A while back, we did a very in-depth look at the top brands of emergency food. We looked at nutrition, shelf life, packaging, quality, cooking method, convenience, cost, and taste (because you shouldn’t have to eat tasteless crap just because SHTF!).
One thing we didn’t look at in that post was gluten-free survival foods. Since so many people have gluten allergies, I thought it was time to address that here.
Problems You’ll Face Finding Gluten-Free Survival Food
It is tough finding gluten-free foods in normal times never mind in a long term SHTF situation. Gluten is in just about everything.
The good news is that many brands now have separate categories for gluten-free emergency food and meals. If you are building your emergency food stockpile from just freeze-dried meals, you can just buy a bunch of the gluten-free options and be done.
But, as we’ve talked about before, you should have a variety of emergency foods in your stockpile.
- Canned goods
- Bulk foods (such as rice, beans, and oats)
- Freeze-dried meals
The canned goods are probably obvious (though you will want to read this post for insights on things you might have overlooked about canned food). So, instead I’m going to talk about gluten-free bulk foods and freeze-dried meals here.
The cheapest way to build up an emergency food supply is to get a bunch of bulk foods (such as 25lbs of rice) and seal it yourself in Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers. Those bags then go in a bucket to keep them safe.
You can read detailed instructions on how to use Mylar bags here.
While cheap, this method is not the easiest.
Whether you have a gluten-allergy or not, you’ll need to:
- Figure out what sort of meals you could make out of bulk ingredients
- Carefully calculate how much of each ingredient you need
- Decide how to package those ingredients (such as putting rice in 5-gallon bags but dried onions in 1-quart bags)
- Do the packaging yourself
For more information on how to plan emergency food (including how many pounds of each food type to get, meal plan examples, and cost breakdown) see this post..
Gluten-free foods you can buy in bulk:
- Beans and legumes
- Potato flakes
- Dehydrated fruits and vegetables
- Dried milk powder
*Note that almost all emergency food companies have buckets of food you can buy. This is much more convenient than packing them yourself.
The fruit, veggie, milk, and egg buckets are *usually* gluten free.
The thing you need to watch out for is meat buckets. Some brands add coatings to the meat which contain gluten! I’d recommend getting non meat food buckets from Augason Farms – they are affordable and GF.
For meat buckets, go with Valley Food Storage as they are the most affordable but still a good quality.
What about Gluten-Free Flour and Grains?
Most guides recommend storing wheat berries for emergency preparedness. Obviously, that is out of the question if you’ve got a gluten allergy. However, there are plenty of other grains that you could store.
The bad news is that gluten-free flour mixes aren’t suitable for long-term storage. Grains have shells around them which naturally protect them from going bad. Once you remove that shell to make flour, the grain starts going bad very quickly. This is why whole grains can be stored for 20+ years but flour generally only lasts 1-5 years.
Another issue is that some grains contain lots of natural oils. These oils will cause the grain to go bad quickly (no matter how well you package them). That is why brown rice is NOT suitable for long-term storage but buckwheat is.
Gluten-Free Grains Shelf-Life*
*Stored in sealed Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers
|1-5 Years||8 years (edible up to 20 years)||10-12 years (edible 30+ years)|
|Gluten-free flour mixes|
|Dry corn |
Note that I couldn’t find any information about the long-term shelf life of sorghum or teff. They have a low oil content and hard shells, so I’d expect them to last at least 8 years. I’m not promising anything though!
Gluten Free Emergency Meal Kits
Pouches of freeze-dried meals can be expensive. However, you can get a much better deal if you buy the meals as part of a bigger kit. Lots of companies are now offering GF meal kits – including these ones:
Valley Food Storage Gluten Free Kits
Valley Food Storage was chosen as “best overall” in our review of the top emergency food companies. Both their bulk foods and freeze-dried meals are affordable. They also do well in terms of nutrition. Their products are GMO-free and have less sodium than most other brands.
As for gluten-free meal kits, they have a 1-month kit. It includes 4 different breakfasts and 5 different entrees.
- Get this kit if: You want affordable, healthy meals.
Legacy Food Storage Gluten Free Meal Kits
Legacy Food Storage is the best when it comes to giving you lots of calories per meal. They have a lot of gluten-free kits. The 120-serving kit, for example, contains 8 different entrees.
- Get this kit if: You want a good variety of filling entrees
Wise Food Storage Gluten Free Kits
Wise Food Storage has a GF entrée kit with 84 servings. The downside is that the kit doesn’t contain too much variety. There are only 4 different entrees and yogurt. So, I don’t recommend it!
However, I would recommend their buckets of powdered eggs, veggies, meat and rice, milk, and fruit.
- Get this kit if: You are already buying food buckets from Wise.
Gluten-Free Emergency Meals Pouches
Here’s a list of gluten-free meals from the top emergency food brands. I haven’t tried all of these myself, so I can’t attest to what they taste like. They are listed in no particular order.
*DF = Dairy Free
Valley Food Storage
- Gluten Free Buttermilk Pancakes
- Strawberry Oatmeal
- Apple Oatmeal
- Sweet and Sour Asian Rice
- Irish Pub Cheddar Potato Soup
- Chicken Teriyaki –DF
- Thai Coconut Curry –DF
- Enchilada Beans and Rice –DF
- Tomato Basil Soup
- Chicken and Rice Pilaf
Mountain House emergency meals are definitely pricier than other brands. However, they are one of the few brands which actually contain real meat in their meals. They also taste better than most other emergency meals.
- Chicken fajita bowl – DF
- Italian pepper steak
- Mexican style rice and chicken
- Scrambled eggs with ham and peppers –DF
- Spicy Southwest breakfast hash – DF
- Scrambled eggs with bacon
From Legacy Food Storage
Legacy has lots of GF meals, but they only be purchased as part of a kit. See the kit here.
- Enchilada, beans, and rice
- Cheese and broccoli bake
- Cream A La King
- Cheese and broccoli soup
- Vegetable and rice soup mix – DF
- Potato soup mix – DF
- Classic chili – DF
- White bean chili
From Wise Food Storage
Wise mostly sells their products as part of bulk sets. However, you can buy these two meal options individually.
This brand is very popular with backpackers. They have a lot of gluten free freeze-dried meal pouches. Plus, many of their meals are also dairy free. If you like lots of flavor in your food, then this is the brand to go with. They are pricier than some other options but worth it in terms of quality of ingredients and taste.
- Cuban coconut black beans and rice – DF
- Three sisters stew – DF
- Risotto with chicken
- Chicken cashew curry – DF
- Jamaican BBQ chicken
- Pad thai veggie – DF
- Lousiana red beans and rice – DF
- Mango sticky rice –DF
What about GF with Other Dietary Restrictions?
If you are GF and have an allergy to soy or milk, your best bet is to look for “paleo” meals. The paleo diet excludes virtually all common allergens (eggs are allowed).
The only brands I know of that makes paleo emergency meals are Elements Meals and Wild Zora. If you know of any other options, please let us know in the comments!
These options are definitely pricier, but the quality is far superior. Not only are you getting real meat (instead of “meat flavor”), but you are getting real ingredients, lots of protein, and no artificial fillers.
Wild Zora Paleo Meals (GF, DF, grain-free, soy-free, sugar-free)
- Palisade pineapple mango
- Summit Savory Chicken
- Mountain beef stew
- Cliffside coconut berry
- Caldera chicken curry
- Butte cacoa banana
- Sesame garlic chicken – GF, DF, egg-free
- Maple mustard pork – GF, DF, egg-free
- Broccoli cinnamon pork – GF, DF, soy-free
- Chipotle turkey scramble – GF, DF, soy-free
- Balsamic chicken pomodoro – GF, DF, soy-free, egg-free
Diane Vukovic spent her childhood roaming the woods of upstate NY, making brush shelters, backpacking and orienteering.
Now she is the proud mother of two adventurous girls whom she takes wild camping and teaches survival skills and self-defense. Learn more about Diane here.