Suzy Bratton has always been a passionate homecook, but launching YumPouch dehydrated adventure meals is a fairly new endeavor. It began when Suzy helped a friend fuel his arduous 1,000-mile bike race across the Alaskan tundra by preparing healthy, vegan meals for his journey. The reception was better than expected and the validation Suzy received prompted her to launch YumPouch with two crowd favorites, Trail Blazin’ Fiesta Rice and Shroomin’ Roo Pasta.
This was the first meal YumPouch put out in the world, and it’s a good thing, too. You can’t go wrong with beans and rice. Add an explosion of flavorful spices, and you have Trail Blazin’ Fiesta Rice. Jalapeno and Guajillo chili powder add some heat, and the red pepper, zucchini and tomato add great color and balance. It’s hearty, healthy and delicious. Do yourself a favor and add a handful of crushed tortilla chips or make this into a bomber burrito.
- Calories: 420
- Fat: 8g
- Protein: 23g
- Fiber: 18g
- Sodium: 520mg
What I Loved — Flavorful and Filling
When eating this in the backcountry out of the bag, I found myself scraping the bottom clean (don’t forget your long spoon!). Prepared at home in a pot, it was a tasty side dish and just as satisfying. I appreciated the kick of spice, and found it to be kid-friendly, too.
What I Didn’t Love — Long Soak Time
Prepare this meal before you get hangry! The 25-minute soak time feels like an eternity if you’re starving. However, if you’re willing to dirty a pot, it cooks in under 8 minutes.
Named after the brand’s kangaroo mascot Roo, the Shroomin’ Roo Pasta is a vegetarian noodle dish of mushrooms and green veggies (broccoli, peas, spinach) in a rosemary white wine cream sauce. It sounds fancy and it tastes fancy.
- Calories: 410
- Fat: 9g
- Protein: 22g
- Fiber: 11g
- Sodium: 700mg
What I Loved — Gourmet and Greens
Green vegetables in a white wine cream sauce with a touch of rosemary…in the backcountry? Talk about elevating meal time! If you’re hard pressed to get your greens in while adventuring, the generous portion of broccoli, peas and spinach in this dish fit the bill. I was impressed with how, when reconstituted, the broccoli still holds its natural, plump and bright green origins. Mixed throughout a pile of semolina corkscrew noodles, you have an earthy and aromatic dish.
What I Didn’t Love — Scent-sational Taste, Not Scent
Nothing against vegetables, but sometimes, well, they stink. Though, it’s not enough to discourage eating the meal, once hydrated, the broccoli puts out a dominant, pungent aroma. The nutritional benefits and pat on the back for eating my greens in the backcountry supersede the stench.
The blend of seasonings in the Trail Blazin’ Fiesta Rice is so good, YumPouch decided to package it all on its own! The onions, garlic and jalapeno spices complement any dish without any fuss. The possibilities are endless: sprinkle it on roasted veggies, season fish or meat (think tacos or fajitas), add it to chili, sprinkle it on popcorn, or use it to make a dip. You can’t go wrong with this little packet of flavor. The clean and simple ingredients add a huge punch. The only negative is the 1 oz pouches are small, and I wish it was sold in bulk — it’s that good.
With more than 400 calories in each single-serve pouch, I appreciated that both meat-free meals provide more than 20 grams of protein (roughly equivalent to four eggs) and a healthy dose of fiber, too. YumPouch meals are packaged in an Omnidegradable pouch, making it compostable after use without being reliant on water, heat or sun to degrade. After preparing YumPouch meals both in the field (eating out of the bag) and in my kitchen (in a pot), I found the preparation was slightly different, but the flavorful results were consistent and super satisfying.