Low Carb Deep Pantry

David Trammel's picture

I saw a post on my FB timeling from a woman seeking information on what options a person had for filling out a low carb deep pantry. Many people have problems with what is mostly recommended for long term food to store, like beans and rice. I'm not familiar with the options but I find it a great subject for discussion.

Any recommendations or observations? What can someone with a restricted diet do to fill out an emergency pantry?

ClareBroommaker's picture

So storing foods that are low carb? Not just continuously renewing them as in growing and raising them?

Well, I'm pretty sure people differ in what they consider low carb. And some people are happy to eat slow-carb as well as low carb. I guess one can put-by just about any foods. Maybe the question is what foods not to store much of if you only want low carb.

Low carb eaters probably know what they prefer to eat and can concentrate on storing those things. Probably the vegetables can be dried, canned, fermented. Heck, fermenting probably reduces the carb count. Meats can be dried, canned, smoked, salted. Hard cheeses store for a long time, don't they? Dried eggs, especially if you are willing to buy them commercially prepared in bulk. I think there are konjac noodles sold dried. I guess there are all sorts of possibilities, but what does the person usually eat? Can they concentrate on their usual foods?

Um, storing low carb foods on the hoof, so to speak. probably makes sense for some people. If for example you have space and know how for poultry and their eggs, then you might need to store foods for them, instead of directly for yourself.

I guess low-carbers might need to store away some extra oils if they find it otherwise difficult to get sufficient calories.

Did you Facebook person have any specific questions?

Tree nuts were my first thought, provided allergies aren't an issue. They don't keep as long as rice and beans, but they are a solid source of calories. They can be a bit pricey, though. I often find decent deals at our local warehouse club. If that's not an option, going through Tierra Farms or a similar seller is another possibility, though for Tierra Farms you might need another household or two to split the quantities involved.

And of course there's also the long-term strategy of growing your own if you have a suitable climate and land.

The best way I've found to store tree nuts is in the freezer.
They don't go stale or rancid.
I've used walnuts that must be several years old and not noticed a thing.

Frozen walnuts or pecans can be chopped or otherwise used right out of the freezer. Almonds are harder to chop frozen because of their shape. They don't have convenient ridges to hold the knife blade.

I do a lot of low carb prepping here, so if you like I can tell you a bit more about how we do it. It's a fair bit more expensive than the norm, unfortunately, but there are a lot more things available than there were several years ago.

We do store a lot of beans, also a lot of canned meats, vacuum sealed unroasted nuts, dried coconut milk, ghee (basically, shelf stable butter!) The ghee is mostly for cooking. We almost exclusively use butter and olive oil for cooking, so having ghee available on the shelf lets me keep my "fresh" butter in the freezer saved to use where it matters. I also home can low carb jams and condiments, like sweet relish, BBQ sauce, and ketchup. Pickles are a great way to liven up your diet without adding carbs, as long as you keep to sour pickles and not sweet unless it's done with low or no carb sweeteners. Ball makes a great low/no-sugar pectin that I really like. You can use as much or as little sugar as you want. Be aware, though, that jams and preserves not made with real sugar generally have a much shorter shelf life - a year, tops.

We make and buy lots of dried veggies for soups and stews, which helps stretch the meat and also gives variety, flavor and nutrition to pantry meals. I also store a little bit of sugar free candy, and fruits dried with no extra sugar.

You can also get lots of different kinds of canned olives, including the fancy kinds that you get at the deli, and most of those are shelf stable until you open them up, at which time they should be refrigerated for best keeping. Dry cured olives are also really nice. Olives work well as ingredients, fat sources, and as low-carb snacks.

Ova Easy eggs are good for storage, too, and can be used in a lot of baking recipes requiring eggs. Expensive, though, but a few packages on hand is probably not a bad idea. We also have some dried cheeses (shelf stable Parmesan and Romano in the plastic jars), and I can report that kefir made with dried whole milk tastes just as good as ready made or made from fresh milk. I only make kefir with dried milk now and save my fresh milk for other things. Yogurt is also another option.

If you can afford it, or happen to have access to a freeze dryer, freeze dried cheeses are also good to keep on hand, as is freeze dried sour cream and full fat cottage cheese. Some cheeses (mozzarella, for instance) can be made with full fat dried milk. I am doing some more experimentation on what can be made with the whole milk, checking to see if cottage cheese, paneer, and ricotta can also be easily made with it. (I suspect so, but want to confirm.)