crackers in the prepper's pantry

Shelf stable crackers
Pack shelf-stable crackers in your food storage

Get cracking on your food storage with crackers!
Crackers are a shelf stable food worthy of a place in the
prepper's pantry. The first cracker was hard tack, difficult to eat
because, as its name infers, it was hard to eat. Eventually a
clever entrepreneur added
baking soda to leaven the bread. This
made the cracker more palatable and lighter. Eventually, through
mergers and acquisitions, Nabisco came to own the first
commercial recipe for saltines.

Crackers in your food storage
Pack crackers in your food storage and here's why..

#1: Crackers have a long shelf-life.
Crackers are shelf stable, meaning they will last a fairly long
time in your pantry straight from the box about a couple of
years; however, with enhanced protection from air and moisture,
crackers can last even longer. Pilot crackers can last 25-years
packed in a #10 can. An MRE cracker wrapped in mylar, pictured
left, can last five years. Buy crackers you enjoy and eat
regularly, and enhance your food storage with pilot crackers, or
can your own.

  • Note: crackers with a high fat content, such as whole-wheat
    or whole-grain crackers, will have a shorter shelf life than
    the flakey white kinds.

#2: Crackers are a crispy side dish.
Crackers will be a welcome crunch for all the freeze dried and
lumpy "bowl" meals you have in food storage. Texture and
variety in your food will be an important luxury in an off-grid
world. Crackers will make a happy addition to canned soups and
stews, to help complete the meal.

#3: Crackers aid in sickness.
Crackers help calm the digestive tract. Bland food is what you
need when you don't feel well, and crackers fill the bill. To keep
stomach acids at bay and to help get down solids, crackers help
offer relief.

Crackers are part of the BRAT diet when a child is sick:
    B-ananas
    A-pples
    R-ice
    T-oast (bread and crackers)

#4: Crackers make soup more filling.
Crackers can help make soup thicker and more filling. And
crackers can sometimes actually made the meal!

Sad stories emerged in the aftermath of the
Great Depression
about what people ate to get through hard times. Saltine
crackers were used to create a semblance of a meal: they boiled
water, added salt and pepper and crushed Saltines into the
water to make a soup. Some folks had enough ketchup and or
milk to create a "tomato" soup with their crackers. They felt
luckier than the ones who ate only hot water with their crackers.
People also used crackers or bread to sop the last bit of their
soup.

Shirley temple actually sang about "Animal Crackers in My soup"
in one of her movies, which helped make it popular to serve
children soup with crackers. At that time, animal crackers were
savory and not sweet. They were much more like the Goldfish
crackers are today.

Saltines aren't a nutrient-dense food on their own, but when
combined with nutrient rich peanut butter or other nut butters,
tuna or other protein, they can help make a meal more filling
and easy to eat.  No cooking required.

#5: There's no cooking required with crackers!
While you certainly can cook with crackers, you can also eat
them right out of the box, which makes them a convenient food
source in an emergency as long as you have enough water.

#6: Crackers are a kid friendly food.
Rarely will children complain when served crackers. It's a toddler
friendly food, and just as popular with teens as a savory snack.
Kids love to build their own peanut butter and cracker towers, or
stack cheese wedges between the saltines.

#7: Crackers are a bread substitute.
Crackers are a highly portable food, just like bread. If you run
out of bread, or don't have time to make your own fresh bread,
crackers can make a nice substitute for the sandwich bread you
were going to pack for lunch.

#8: Crackers are a versatile food.
You'll find many creative ways to use crackers in your food
storage. The Military Ration Wheat Snack Bread, pictured top left
of the page will last 5 years or more.

Here are some ideas on how to use crackers in your food storage:
  1. Baked fish. Top crushed crackers on baked fish, like cod.
    Crumble Ritz crackers or saltines and mince with garlic,
    parsley and drizzle with lemon.
  2. Casseroles: Crunch crackers and use them like bread
    crumbs to top casseroles as a finiishing touch.
  3. Candy -  Bark: Who knew saltines were part of this
    delicious dessert idea? Pine bark using saltine crackers.
    Saltines contrast well with chocolate, since they have salt.
  4. Chili. Crumble crackers and add them to chili.
  5. Crackers and smoked oysters.
  6. Fried fish or chicken. Grind crackers into a cracker meal for
    frying fish and poultry. (ideal for fried shrimp).
  7. Potato pancakes. Use crushed saltines in place of flour in
    potato pancakes.
  8. Meatloaf. Mix cracker crumbs into meatloaf in place of
    bread.
  9. Mock Apple Pie. During the Great Depression, when people
    had to make do with what they had, people used crackers
    for a mock apple pie. Apples were in short supply and
    people used a simple recipe of Ritz crackers with lemon and
    vanilla flavored simple syrup, and cinnamon to improvise
    the texture of apples.
  10. Peanut butter sandwich cookie: Sandwich peanut butter
    between two Ritz crackers or saltines, then dip in chocolate
  11. Tuna cakes: Crush saltine crackers, then mix them into
    tuna with egg to form tuna patties that you can fry like crab
    cakes. Serve
  12. Snacks: Pass the cheese spread, tuna salad or the peanut
    butter! Peanut butter and crackers are an instant meal, but
    try also apple butters and nut butters, including your
    favorite chocolate hazelnut spread (nom nom)!
  13. Soups: Top tomato soup with oyster crackers or goldfish
    crackers, polish of the chowder with oyster crackers.

What kinds of crackers to put in your food storage
Bread sticks, chips, crisps, crackers or pretzels, all are worthy of
storage in the prepper's pantry! You need only worry about
consuming too many crackers, such as saltines, if water is in
scarce supply.Check the expiration date and pack the kinds of
crackers you love.

Crackers have many names, including biscuit, pilot bread, and
hard tack. There are also many varieties to suit individual
preferences.

List of ideas for shelf stable crackers:
  1. Buttery crackers:  Club crackers, Ritz Crackers
  2. Bread sticks:
  3. Cheesy crackers: Goldfish, Cheezits
  4. Croutons
  5. Dried stuffing mix
  6. Matzo crackers
  7. Melba toast
  8. Oyster crackers
  9. Pilot bread
  10. Pita chips (dried pita pocket bread)
  11. Pretzels
  12. Sandwich crackers
  13. Ritz Crackers were invented during the Great Depression
  14. Ry-Krisp
  15. Saltine Crackers - the simple Saltine is a mix of white
    flour, yeast, baking soda,  and salt with humble origins.
  16. Tortilla chip
  17. Wasabröd: Also called Wasa, this whole grain crispbread is
    a decent source of fiber, which could be important to keep
    things regular.
  18. Wheat crackers: Triscuits

Not on the list of crackers to store is the graham cracker. That's
because Graham Crackers in the modern form are really cookies
and not crackers at all. Originally Graham Crackers were a whole
wheat health bread, but that's another story. Learn about
Sylvester Graham and the Graham Diet. Graham crackers today
are usually packed in wax paper, which will have a short shelf
life.

Be sure to test a variety of crackers to see what crackers you
enjoy. Pack only the kinds of crackers that you'd normally like to
eat, and check expiration dates so that you can rotate crackers
in your food storage.

If you have an aversion to Saltines, like
TheSurvivalMom does,
then don't pack them! Then again, she doesn't like canned tuna,
another popular survival food, and tells you not pack that as
well, because they go "mushy." Like all foods in your storage
preparedness plans, you must always satisfy your own needs
and not kowtow to the personal preferences of other preppers.
The cardinal rule of prepping is to store only what you eat. In
other words, if you don't eat crackers, not even at parties, then
don't stash them in your food storage.

Happy endings...
Crackers are inexpensive and will make a welcome addition to
your preps. Pass the crackers and pass along a smile. Add
crackers to your prepper's pantry!

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