We’re going on a trip. The plan is to chill all day long – to hike in the woods, relax by the river, pitch a tent, light a campfire and, of course, chow something down. As we got fed up with canned baked beans, which in greater numbers not only weigh a bit but also take some valuable space in the backpack, we’re looking for something different. Something light, small, and at the same time tasty and nutritious (what a challenge!). And so we decide to give freeze-dried food a try.
Some time ago Specshop.pl provided us with some meals prepared by LyoFood, namely Farfalle with gorgonzola and spinach sauce for the vegetarian member of our crew as well as Beef Stroganoff for the meat-eater. We also got some fruit: Wild Berry Mix (couldn’t be better, considering where we’re heading) and Fruity Dream. Fully equipped, we can hit the road.
The grub is showing promise. From the producer’s website (a Polish company, granted the Gold Outdoor Industry Award in 2013) we learn that we’re going to eat optimally balanced meals of maximal nutritional value. Furthermore, they’re supposed to be healthy and natural. Only fresh ingredients, no preservatives or artificial additives. Indeed, only by looking at the labels, it’s difficult to pick on anything in particular.
Farfalle dish (aside from pasta) consists of spinach, onion, sour cream, cheese, almonds, garlic, butter, salt and pepper, whereas beef Stroganoff is nothing but noodles, beef (42%), vegetables and bags of various seasonings.
Both dishes are high in calories which guarantee a pretty good shot of energy crucial after a day of wandering in the woods (or elsewhere). You can buy either small or big packs, which after rehydration weigh 370 and 500g respectively. We received the latter version, which was too much for the vegetarian (she couldn’t finish it), but the meat-eater gobbled up everything (just to feel bloated later;) ).
PACKAGING AND PREPARATION
One of the biggest advantages of freeze-dried food is its size, and so – weight. Meals don’t take too much space, they are light (in our case: 132 and 152g before preparation), and – in a dehydrated form – quite flat.
The packaging is very functional, and not only because the color of the pack is silvery, which makes it easy to locate in the forest bed (especially when it’s sunny), but also because it’s resealable (zipper bag), and it can also serve as a bowl (after tearing off the upper part).
It’s important to mention that to prepare main meals you need some extra water (around 350ml per portion, which is more or less one and a half glass). Interestingly, boiling water is not a must, as before products by LyoFood are freeze-dried, they are cooked first.
A pleasant surprise awaits us after opening the packs. Everything smells very nice and we have no problems recognizing individual ingredients. We just can’t wait to dive in.
We start our portable gas stove, boil water, pour it into the packs, stir thoroughly, close the zip locks and wait impatiently for about 10 minutes.
Finally, we tear off the aforementioned upper part, grab our sporks and tuck into the ready meals.
Our first aromatic impressions are great, but when it comes to taste – for us it’s delicious
The vegetarian complained a little that it’s too salty, but it’s an individual opinion. The meat-eater was happy. Worth noting is the fact that in both cases we were able to tell what was what. We didn’t feel that the food was mushy. To sum up, our meals were not only really tasty (even super-tasty for outdoor food prepared quickly in quite Spartan conditions) but also nourishing. What else can you ask for?
Now, here comes the “but”. Despite full bellies, we felt so enthusiastic about the tested products that we decided to taste freeze-dried fruits.
We pitched into Wild Berry Mix (we had no choice, considering the surroundings). However, neither smell nor taste knocked us out. Strange structure and even stranger smell, but it’s edible.
Maybe we would have felt differently if we had added the said fruits to something, e.g. oatmeal. There was no drama though. Still the big plus is that this product, just like the rest, is 100% natural. Everything else is a matter of personal preferences.
We have no doubts that freeze-dried food by LyoFood is worth recommending. It’s easy to prepare, very tasty and nutritious. Although the cost of a single meal (main dish) is not very low (around 30PLN per portion), it’s worth considering to buy one, especially if you want to eat something good without overloading your backpack. The cool thing is that LyoFood offers a variety of products – from main meals, through soups and breakfast dishes, to 10-day sets. Furthermore, their menu is both vegetarian and meat-based. In other words, everyone should find something for themselves.
- Low weight
- flat, functional packaging,
- nutritious and tasty,
- short preparation time,
- variety of meals.
- Extra water required,
- relatively high cost.