Paleo Meals to Go has renewed my faith in backpacking meals. I realize it’s kind of a dramatic statement for freeze dried chili, but between my husband climbing El Capitan this summer, assignments in Yellowstone, Moab, Amelia Island and a last minute girl’s trip to hike to Havasupai Falls, this family is officially burned out on camping grub. The last few trips, I’ve even scoured Pinterest in a desperate attempt to find new ways to make our veggies last just one day more. So, when I say Paleo Meals has saved this family, I mean it!
Commitment to Paleo
First of all, even within the Paleo Diet, there can be a wide spectrum of adherence. My husband and I are not exclusively Paleo, but are always on the lookout for good, clean, fresh-tasting food that meets our dietary needs. This is exactly why we were so excited about Paleo Meals; you don’t have to be Paleo, to enjoy good food. For those who are strictly Paleo, their website explains in part, “…we strive to develop products that meet the needs of our customers following a strict Paleo diet and those adopting the 85:15 Rule leniency. Mountain Beef Stew is nightshade free to comply with the Autoimmune Protocol. We welcome suggestions and recommendations.”
This comment exemplifies the commitment that this Colorado-based company has to making good, clean, Paleo-compliant backpacking food–a rarity in an industry that has been locked in a cycle of churning out salty, carb-rich belly fillers. In addition, my big wall-climbing husband has a giant pet-peeve with hauling around the left-overs from the typical gigantic portions, so he loved the portions in the Paleo to Go meals (pictured below, is only a small part of the portion). They were more than sufficient for one person and left little, to no waste–another thoughtful example of their commitment to producing the food that backpackers really want.
This is where Paleo Meals to Go really shines. The first thing my family noticed is how incredibly fresh the meals tasted. My husband commented, “I especially liked that the food looks and tastes like actual home cooked food. I loved that the base is vegetables and not just rice or pasta like most backpacking meals. While there are times when someone would need to make sure they are getting enough carbs and calories through additional high glycemic foods, most of the time a hearty meal of vegetables and meat are what my body, and taste buds really want; Paleo or not.”
Each meal includes a packet of sea salt to comply with individual dietary needs. While the packet of salt is a standard size, if you plan on doing some heavy hiking or climbing, I would recommend bringing extra—I noticed after a few days in extreme heat, I was adding almost twice as much, so keep that in mind.
It’s hard for me to pick a favorite, but we are all big fans of the Caldera Chicken Curry and Mountain Beef Stew. The Caldera Chicken is packed with pineapple and fresh tasting vegetables and the curry was present, but not overpowering. Mountain Beef Stew is equally delicious and is still almost impossible to get through, without having to share a bite or two. It’s a hearty meal, but not so much that it leaves you with a heavy stomach. We also highly recommend trying the Butte Cacao Banana Pouch. We broke the pouch open and sprinkled it onto our oatmeal in the morning and were in heaven, but eating it as intended is also just as heavenly. Dusted with coconut sugar and a light vanilla flavor, it is sweet and delicious–a lovely companion to the sunrise.
Overall, the Paleo Meals to Go was a big hit with my outdoor-obsessed family, and we absolutely loved them. While our samples were graciously offered by the company, we have bought more since then, without any hesitation. The company offers options for all three daily meals and even tasty snacks, that I couldn’t pry out of my children’s hands. While the variety is a bit limited at this time, I have no doubt more options will soon follow. The breakfast options are hearty and delicious, and are a welcome offering for all dietary needs. The process of freeze drying as opposed to dehydrating certainly helps with retaining flavor, but you can only retain flavor that is there to begin with. Paleo Meals to Go has obviously put effort in the creation of their meals, from the first step, to the last. These meals will easily find their way to my Christmas wish list this year.