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How to Make an Emergency Food Bar

Emergency Food Bar Recipe
Recipe: Emergency Food Bar

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Emergency food needs to be shelf stable and contain needed nutrients. It is a plus if the food tastes good, is light weight, and not very expensive.

This was not the easiest project to achieve, and I had to test many different recipes until I settled on this particular one.

This particular food bar recipe makes a hard biscuit that is reminiscent of both hardtack and the commercial Datrex bar. It is not a gourmet meal, but it is light and if stored properly can last for well over one year.

This is a very simple recipe, and the base recipe I used can be found on many websites. I found that by modifying the recipe and making small “cakes” instead of the more common loaf makes the food bar much easier to eat and handle.


  • 2 cups oats (quick or flaked oats work equally well)
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 TB honey
  • 1 3 oz package jello (orange or lemon)
  • 3 TB water


  • Bowl
  • Measuring cup
  • Spoon
  • Saucepan
  • Parchment paper
  • Cookie Sheet
  • Aluminum foil or plastic bag


  1. Mix the oats, powdered milk, and sugar together in a bowl
  2. In a medium pan mix 3 tablespoons of water, one package of jello and 3 tablespoons of honey. Bring to a rolling boil. Due to the small amount of water and the high amount of sugar, this recipe is very sweet. If you use flavors other than lemon or orange you may find this bar to be TOO sweet.
  3. Add jello mixture to dry ingredients. Mix well. If the dough is too dry, add a small amount of water a teaspoon at a time.
  4. Do not use too much water because this bar only works if it is bone dry.
  5. The mixing process involves work, mixers aren’t strong enough and you will have to use your hands and arms.
  6. Preheat oven to 3500F
  7. Most food bar recipes have you shape the well mixed dough into loaves at this point. I found that rolling the dough into ping pong sized balls that are then smashed into flat disks the end product is much handier and easier to eat.
  8. Bake your bars at 3500F degrees for 10-15 minutes. (If your making al oaf time is more like 20 minutes). You are not trying to cook the recipe, but rather dry it. I find that by propping the oven door open slightly you get a dryer bar (the dryer the bar the safer you are from food borne illnesses like botulism – and the bar will store longer).

Alternatively, you may want to cook for 10 minutes and then place in a dehydrator until completely dry.

Let cool completely.

Wrap in aluminum foil to store. Another benefits of the disk shape is they can be rolled like coins.

If you want to store these in your car or bug-out bag it would be a good idea to seal these in a vacuum bag after you put them in aluminum foil


This recipe equals approximately 2000 calories which is the caloric needs for an average adult

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