Fresh is not usually an adjective used to describe dehydrated backpacking meals. In fact more times than not backpacking meals end up filling bill of calorie replenishment rather than much else. Now don’t get me wrong I could live on backpacking meals, however, often I feel heavy and full but not necessarily satisfied. Well that has changed for me since Paleo Meals To Go were introduced to me. Thus far I have had a few breakfasts, dinners, and snacks, and while the dinners and snacks were amazing, the breakfasts were not my favorite regardless they were all great fuel!
Before I go any further I think I should admit that I am not a health nut or in any way shape or form constrained by a diet. I like beer, bacon, and the occasional hostess chocolate cake, and while I have enjoyed Paleo meals in the past I am too lazy to commit. When I first got these meals in I was thinking that it would be a neat “niche” market and hell, I dig food and this was food! I was pleasantly surprised by these after the very first one I tried!
The directions are much like the other backpacking meals where you tear the top off of the bag and pour in the boiling water and wait. My experience with backpacking meals is somewhat standard; open the bag, stir the somewhat nondescript mix and settle in for a rib coating meal of what amounts to what can best be described as semi solid mush. This texture of course can be altered by quantity of water as well as time in rehydration, but that is about the limit to the texture offerings of most meals.
But let me tell you, this was NOT the experience I had with the Paleo to Go meals (at least the dinners and snacks, the breakfast offerings I had were fairly nondescript, but more on that later). Notice the texture of this meal! You can see individual ingredients, and taste the difference too!
The Paleo to Go meals were full of easily identifiable ingredients that were both packed with flavor as well as texturally pleasing, which I might add had me thinking of the Willy Wonka line “the snozz berries taste like snozz berries”.
Instead of going into exhausting details of all of the meals I tried I will simply categorize them below from most favorite to least. Please remember these are subjective and based on my tastebuds and experience, everyone is different and will enjoy each differently, the one thing I can say is that everyone will “enjoy” these meals!
Dinners: Caldera Chicken Curry, Mountain Beef Stew, Summit Savory Chicken, Canyon Chicken Chili.
Breakfasts: Cliffside Coconut Berry, Palisade Pineapple Mango
Snacks: Apex Fruit Snacks
All of the meals are labeled as gluten free, milk free, soy free, and grain free and most of the meals only have a handful of easily pronounceable, easily identifiable ingredients that are carefully combined to create real taste sensation for campers to enjoy. You’ll notice from the pictures of the meals that most of the dinners are “clean” meaning there are not thick sauces masking the ingredients, rather the food is forced to stand on it’s own and produce an enjoyable dining experience.
Of the minimal cons I would have to list I would say that one of the bags did leak after I let it sit for a bit, the breakfasts were barely more than a gruel that while they were full of fun ingredients it was mostly nondescript and almost the opposite textural dining experience I had from the dinners. I have hope that one of two things will happen; 1) I realize this is what Paleo breakfasts are supposed to be like and quit complaining, or 2) They’ll figure out more options to bring their carefully crafted styling of the dinners to the breakfast offerings.
Lastly, I want to share my experience with the Apex fruit snacks. Now I read the packaging a bunch of times and I still don’t believe it. They state on the bag that the ingredients are: Bananas, Mangoes, Strawberries, Pineapple, and Blueberries. That is it.
Well what I experienced was more than that, Paleo Meals to Go must have figured out some weird super delicious fairy dust to coat their fruits in because these were the best damned dehydrated snacks I have ever had! HOWEVER, owners of Paleo Meals to Go you should change the “blueberries” to “blueberry” because I only got one in my bag…