So it turns out that I do actually need to stock up on buying preps. I’ve always had preps, and some of which I have bought from the local store, or MREs from the specialty shops near us, but have never gone out of my way to buy preps, other then Mountain House for walk abouts, and only because they were light rather then a prep itself.
Now, I should mention here and now that this post is technically not a review per say. I plan on doing a whole series on APN, but needed a starting point to based them off of, so hence this post.
In this house we tend to make things ourselves from scratch, everything from Laundry soap to Spaghetti sauce is done in house. We’ve even started saving for our own Harvest Right Freeze Dryer, to add to our Food Saver, and Nesco Dehydrator (yes, we also want the Excalibur as well).
But… recently I’ve been getting a lot of work, between on-line web-master/editor duties, and IRL off-net work, I can not spend the time to make absolutely everything myself. There are times where I still will, some of which is just to keep in practice, and others for just saving time. But I have decided to stock up while we can, and it is starting with food preps. So… it’s been a long time since I ordered stuff like this on-line and I figured the best way to go about it is to get as many different kinds of freeze dried, dehydrated, and whatever as I can, then test them. This as a result, is the first post in the series of the matter.
As it turns out, I got lucky. I hate trying to figure out how to give a fair review for things which I know little about, but food, in this house is easy.
My first food prep in this category was from the LDS warehouse in Lethbridge, Alberta. We received several #10 cans of powdered milk, rice, flour, and REFRIED BEANS. The powdered milk surprised me, as I know that the no-name powdered milk from Loblaws is about as good as you can get, the LDS powdered milk was pretty close, and the added shelf life was a huge benefit. But having the powdered milk in size #10 can was a bit much for our uses, and a smaller can would do the job better while keeping the un-opened cans more fresh. Rice in #10 cans works well, as do other things, but the milk needs to be in smaller amounts.
The ReFried Beans are why I mention here the LDS warehouse, as I am sure that most of my readers are familiar with the food preps from the LDS church. I hate the refried beans from the warehouse. That’s not to say that all the stuff from the warehouse is bad, just that for my tastes, I don’t like them. So if I was to create a rating system for the food preps I taste test, the refried beans get a score of 1. As in, I would not buy them for preps, or even store them if I got them for free, it would just go to waste on a rotating prep system. (To be clear, I am still getting more milk from them, I just wish it was in smaller containers)
Now assuming that the refried beans are a 1, then anything my wife cooks will rate a 10. Nothing beats homemade from scratch straight from the garden food. Now I say all this because I’m a bit of nut when it comes to being accurate, and lucky because the Valley Food Storage stuff I ordered, I happened to choose the White Bean and Lime Chili on a hunch that it would be smack dab in the middle. I wanted a product that would be dead center to test first so I could judge all others by that standard. White Bean and Lime Chili almost hit a 5 perfectly (actual score considers other factors so ended up being a 6.1 which is pretty good). So it sets the stage for the other products I am going to review, not only from Valley Food Storage, but from Mountain House, and anywhere else I can get them from … (shameless plug, send me more!)
What kind of prep is this? (10)
The White Bean and Lime Chili is a small mylar bag of freeze dried pre-made chili. The package says that it is 2.5 servings but it might feed two, most likely just one. I know it is meant as a side-dish, but as far as preps go in general you just want to make one thing per meal. The only preserves I found on the packaging was Vitamin C (Citric Acid) which is pretty standard and actually needed as a supplement in preps anyway, and salt.
When tasting the chili, I was very pleased that the company had not gone nuts with the salt. Mylar packaged, vacuum sealed foods do not need tonnes of salt! (RE: LDS Refried Beans) The other advantage was the size of the packaging, it’s perfect for walkabouts, 72 hour kits, and bug out bags.
Some preppers might complain that food storage should be rat proof, but I prefer smaller food prep portions and just store them is a tight sealing metal garbage can.
Product Image and Link:
I ended up cooking this on the kitchen stove, I know I should have used at least the EcoZoom, or a camp fire, but like I said been busy as hell around here. It took a little longer then the package suggests, which might have more to do with sea level then anything else. These types of preps are literally “Just Add Water” so as far a preparing them, it’s easier then pie.
Taste and Texture:(5)
The taste and texture was not 100% perfect, but none of the freeze dried stuff I’ve ever eaten ever was, which is to say that the chili didn’t do to bad. It isn’t Texas Rock’m Sock’m Chili, but it definitely has a south USA taste to it, not hot and spicy but an almost sweet taste to it. I can honestly say that as a emergency food prep you want this in your food pantry. I have a couple of more of this, and am going to do another review of it for APN, only I plan to see how well it goes with rice, I suspect it will work well. I wish I had ordered more of the other things as well since I was thinking that what you eat with a prep effects it’s taste and I should mix preps with preps. Something to keep in mind for the future.
- shelf life: 25 years (9)
- packaging: mylar bag (8)
- packaging notes: resealable ziplock (not sure about rating this on a small package, so gave it a 5)
- gluten free (n/a)
- calories: 230 (2.5)
- Sodium 640mg (6)
- Protein 11g (3) based on RDA
- Carbohydrates 34g (3)
- Fibre 25g (9)