Backpacker's Pantry and the Search for Paleo-Friendly Backpacking Meals
|Ground beef and mixed veggies all ready to go. Yum!|
To start, what exactly does "Paleo" mean?* There are slightly different definitions of what eating according to the Paleo lifestyle involves, but the most well-known Paleo prescriptions recommend we primarily eat high quality grass fed, humanely raised lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, and healthy fats like avocado oil, coconut oil, olive oil and more. The same recommendation includes avoiding processed foods with ingredients we can't pronounce, grains (including rice and corn), legumes (including soy), added sugars, alcohol, and dairy products.
|The "before" picture - ground beef and Sicilian mixed veggies.|
For breakfast, I tried the organic scrambled eggs and was absolutely blown away. In the past, the dehydrated eggs I've tried had the texture and flavor of an old sponge. These eggs looked, smelled and tasted like the scrambled eggs I'd make in my kitchen at home. Preparation involved adding 1/4 cup of water to the powdered yellow mixture, stirring, then adding another 1/4 cup of water, which I did with a fork. The instructions suggest that after the mixture is ready, the eggs should be prepared in a greased pan. Luckily, Backpacker's Pantry has little olive oil packets that are perfect to take on the trail. It's a little more work than I normally put in to backpacking breakfasts, but I'm willing to do it for eggs that taste like home.
|Looks like dinner to me!|
I was equally impressed with the Sicilian mixed vegetables and will definitely eat them again. Following the preparation instructions involved a 13 minute wait, but I found them ready in seven. They didn't taste or have the texture of dehydrated food, and paired with the beef, I had a great dinner. Unfortunately, the mixed vegetables, which contain corn, aren't 100% Paleo. If you're strict Paleo, you'll need a different combination of veggies like diced carrots and peas.
Based on the taste tests, you can bet I'll be bringing all three of these dehydrated delicacies with me on my next trip. Well done, Backpacker's Pantry. Well done.
What are some of your backpacking food favorites? Have you tried any of these? How do you feel about dehydrated meals?
*The Paleo lifestyle isn't for everyone and I didn't adopt Paleo principles without doing some serious research. The way I choose to eat is a result of a lot of reading, experimenting, and paying close attention to how what I eat and drink makes me feel. If you're interested in learning more about the science behind these recommendations, pick up a copy of The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet and It Starts with Food.