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Discussion Starter #1
Probably one of the very best foods to store are lentils, a food which many Americans have never eaten.

Lentils are a small, flat legume (bean). They are mentioned in the Bible and they are common food in many areas of the world from Syria, to Mexico, to India.

Lentils are one of the very best foods to store for whatever happens for several reasons.

1) They are nutritionally the best legume to eat. If you had to you could live completely off of lentils for long periods and stay active and healthy.

2) They are the ONLY commonly grown bean that you do NOT need to pre-soak for some time before cooking.

3) They are cheap. You can get them at Walmart food stores, usually for $0.44 to $0.50 per pound.

4) They cook fast for a bean. Depending upon variety, altitude, etc, they cook between 10 minutes and an hour.

5) A little goes a long way. One cup of dried lentils will make 2 to 2.5 cups of cooked food. One pound of lentils will make about 5 cups of cooked food.

6) They can also be used as a meat substitute, they can be sprouted for vitamin C and other nutrients, and they can also be ground into a flour for use with breads and other dishes.

In the buttpack of my LBV, a key component of my emergency food supply is a bag containing 2lbs of red lentils.

I prefer the taste of the brown ones, as it was a staple in my diet when I was a kid. The browns are cheaper and easier to find. However, the red ones cook significantly faster, like in about 15 to 25 minutes in a USGI canteen cup over a very small fire, depending upon conditions. That compact two pounds of red lentils will supply about 10 cups of cooked, nutritious, high protein food.

When backpacking, I always keep a supply of lentils in my pack as an auxiliary/emergency food supply in addition to the regular menu.

Like all foods that you store, it's best to make them a part of your regular diet so you are familiar with their preparation. It's also a far less shock to the system when you are eating familiar foods in a crisis. For instance, lentils make a great chile. I prefer the taste of lentil chile over that made with other beans.
 

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I use a lot of lentils as add-ins to variuous soups and stews.
 

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If you like Italian food, they go real good in a caccitore, and in sausage/marinara mix for sausage subs, spaghetti sauce, etc.
 

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If you have a heat sealer they can be stored forever in handy/everyday use sizes. It minimizes the chance of a large portion of your food getting damaged and being made unuseable.
 

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Do you seal cooked lentils, or just the dry stuff. If you also seal cokked ones, what's the shelf life difference?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
You store the dry ones. They'll sprout even after 15 years of storage. The cooked ones have to be stored like any cooked food, like canned or in a retort pouch.
 

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My thinking is the sealed cooked ones (with other stuff thrown in) make for a good pseudo-LRRP that can be heated on the top of your ruck as you walk and eaten with no other prep. Just wondered how long they'd last in such a state.
 
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