MRE’s, mac and cheese, powdered potatoes, and canned vegetables are going to get really old, really fast after the SHTF.
But if you take a little extra time to include herbs, spices, and seasonings into your supply lists, you can completely change the flavor of otherwise bland meals.
I don’t always follow the rules and tend to be a fan of the “throw it in, how bad could it be”cooking method when it comes to spices.
With many of the prepackaged survival meals on the market, it would be pretty hard to ruin a meal by adding some. (Which in a survival situation you really don’t want to do.)
Crushed Red pepper
Minced Garlic (If you can’t tell, I like garlic )
Cinnamon (also great on fruit)
These mostly include ingredients mentioned above and are way too high in sodium, but they sure can turn bland food into something delicious and take all the guess work out of seasoning.
Meat Spices ( those mixed spice things that are made for grilling) One of my favorites is Montreal Steak Seasoning by McCormicks.
Chinese 5 spice
pickled peppers ( jalapeno, banana, and peperoncini are my all time favorites)
Tobasco sauce ( Or my favorite Cholula… goes great on eggs)
Oils ( olive oil is great and can be infused with other flavors for all kinds of uses)
Honey (Not technically a spice, but an unlimited shelf life that can be used to sweeten everything from coffee to baked goods is never a bad thing to have around!)
The Great thing about spices is that they never actually spoil. But over time, spices will lose their potency and not flavor your food as intended and you may need to experiment on how much more spice needs to be added.
As a general rule, whole spices will stay fresh for about 3-4 years, ground spices for about 2-3 years and dried herbs for 1-3 years.