How to Make This Native American Superfood


( – Whether you have to Bug Out or Bug In, you may not always be able to find fresh food – and you can’t very well tote around a barrel of salted pork and dried fruit all the time. You’ll need something to sustain you when food gets sparse, and we have just the thing.

Pemmican is what we today would call a superfood. Created by Native Americans, Pemmican was also used by settlers trying to survive harsh times caused by weather or the difficulties of carrying fresh food on long journeys. Whatever their reason for eating it, this food is known to last up to 50 years when stored properly in an airtight container. It isn’t hard to make, and you may even have some tasty snacks left over for your efforts. Let’s get started.

Gather Ingredients

The key ingredients of pemmican are dried meat and rendered fat. You’ll want about equal quantities of each. You can’t add fresh foods, but dried nuts and berries will add more flavor and nutritional value.

Preparing Pemmican Ingredients

To prepare the meat, cut off any strips of fat and put them aside for use later. Next, dry the meat until it cracks when you try to bend it. You can do this by using a low setting on your oven or by using a dehydrator. If you want to go full-on primitive, dry it outside either on a drying rack or over an open fire.

As you wait for your meat to dry, you can prepare the fat. Do this by putting all your fat strips in a pan and setting it to a low boil, stirring frequently so your fat chunks don’t burn to the bottom of the pan. This will render the actual fat out of the rinds.

Combining Ingredients

When the meat is dry it needs ground up into a fluffy powder. You can use anything, from a food processor or pestle and mortar to the primitive method of pounding it between two rocks. It depends on your own preferences and how primitive you want to get with the process.

Once boiled down, you’ll have some liquid fat, as well as some chunks called “cracklins.” Remove the cracklins from the liquid and set them aside for a snack later, if you choose. Many find them to be quite tasty with some salt added.

Now comes the tricky part. You need to combine the dry ingredients with the wet, in equal parts. But it isn’t as tricky as it sounds, and you don’t even need to measure it out. Instead, add your minced meat and dried berries to the liquid fat, a little at a time. Each time you add some, stir the pot. Continue to repeat this step until there is no fat pooling at the bottom of the pot.

Allow the mixture to cool enough to be put into plastic bags or other airtight containers. It is vital that the pemmican is stored in an airtight container in order to prevent the fat from going rancid: this will not only ruin your pemmican, but can potentially give you a very unpleasant case of food poisoning.

Once the mixture is cooled you can either spread it in a pan and cut it into bars before storing it, or let storage bags do the work for you. To pack it in bags pour or spoon the pemmican into a food-safe storage bag, then roll out the bag until it is flattened. Squeeze all the air out of the bag as you close it.

Try using different types of dried berries in order to give yourself some options later on down the road. No matter how hungry you get, you will eventually get tired of eating the same flavor all the time.

Have you ever tried pemmican before? If so, how was the experience? Reply to your email and share your thoughts, we would love to hear from you!

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