Whether you’re planning school lunches, going on a road trip, or prepping for emergencies, having a pantry full of shelf-stable, healthy food can make you feel better mentally, physically and ethically.
Shelf-stable food, as you may have guessed, has a long shelf life.
“Shelf-stable food (sometimes ambient food) is food of a type that can be safely stored at room temperature in a sealed container,” states Wikipedia.
It can be stored for a long time, but it isn’t necessarily healthy. The ingredients (and how they’re preserved) can have a big impact on taste and nutrient retention. For example, freeze-dried fruit will retain more nutrients and flavour than heat-dehydrated fruit.
You may find it tough to find truly healthier snacks that last a long time, so we’ve gathered up a few of our favourites below. I know Canadians love to support businesses in this country, so I focused on items produced by Canadian companies.
Choose munchies that are made with love by Canadian businesses and support the Canadian economy! Most source their ingredients in Canada as well, which supports local farming and Canadian suppliers. Double the economic impact by choosing Canadian retailers to purchase these snacks from, or buy direct from the company that makes them.
Shelf-Stable Snacks that are Made in Canada
Made Good is produced by Riverside Natural Foods Ltd in Ontario. They offer a delicious line of healthy snacks that are safe for schools, gluten-free, rich in nutrients, vegan, organic, non-GMO, and minimally processed. The fruit is freeze-dried, so it’s even more tasty and nutritious. This Canadian company goes all the way, supporting their community and the environment.
Each snack contains a full serving of six vegetables, and that’s welcome news for parents of kids who don’t like most veggies. In fact, I AM one of those fussy kids and I truly like the stuff! Some of my favourites are the Strawberry Crispy Squares, Chocolate Chip Granola Bars, Good To Go Strawberry Macadamia Nut Soft-Baked Bars (Keto certified), and Apple Cinnamon Granola Minis…which I’m eating for breakfast as we speak.
Naked Snacks is located in British Columbia. They offer a range of nut and dried fruit products with the goal of making good health taste fantastic.
Fourmi Bionique Granola is located in Montreal. Grand Granola includes a range of artisinal cereals that are locally-sourced and usually organic. Try their Nutbrown grain-free granolas, certified gluten-free and non-GMO. Perfect for Paleo diets! The Foodie Mix trail mixes are available in 3 gluten-free, vegan, GMO-free and sulphite-free delicious flavors. You can also pick up ingredients to make your own blends, including organic and fair-trade chocolate chunks, sulfite-free dried berries and dry roasted nuts.
Royal Nuts offers their healthy nuts and dried fruit snacks from Ontario. Their unique process applies direct flame and hot air, never oil, resulting in perfectly-roasted nuts. They’re peanut-free, gluten-free, organic, vegan, vegetarian, Kosher, and they have no artificial flavours.
SmartSweets are manufactured in Canada, with the brand promise to use no sugar, sugar alcohols or artificial sweeteners. Their sweet treats contain 79-92% less sugar than traditional candy.
Three Farmers is a company owned by a trio of Canadian farmers, all dedicated to bringing sustainable, quality food products to consumers. Enjoy crunchy, roasted Chickpeas, Pea Pops or Crunchy Little Lentils in several mouth-watering flavours.
Viva vegetable snacks (Quebec’s Yum Yum brand) have it all with their fun shapes, light and crunchy texture, and authentic flavour. They’re made from 100% natural ingredients, including tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, spinach and potatoes, which shows up in their natural colors. They’re also cooked in canola oil, which is low in saturated fat. Choose from crispy Vegetable Triangles, Vegetable Snacks and Vegetable Sticks.
Spokes air-puffed potato snacks are made in Calgary. I became a Spokes fan the minute I popped one into my mouth, a couple of years ago. They’re puffed using hot air, not oil. Then, they’re misted with sunflower oil and seasoned with a bold range of flavours, from traditional to unique tastes. These snacks are every bit as satisfying as regular potato chips, and there’s only 40 calories in each cup!
DIY Shelf-Stable Snacks
You can also make your own shelf-stable snacks! We have directions and recipes for you in our Food Preservation Guide IV: Dehydrating Tips and Recipes.
??? What is your favourite shelf-stable snack that supports good health through natural nutrition?
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