In the preparedness community, the one thing needed most is food that has a long shelf life and it needs to taste great too. I was given the opportunity by consultant Mara Major from Thrive Life Foods, to review four of their products. Man was I surprised!
As a consultant, Mara asked if I was allergic to anything and secondly, did I have a dietary preference. While I try to stick to a primal diet plan, I gave her leeway to pick what she wanted reviewed. What I received was a little more than I bargained for, a can each of freeze-dried strawberries, freeze-dried green beans, instant milk and instant pinto beans. Check out her site here.
One main thing about Thrive Life Foods is they are healthy for you:
- Gluten Free
- No MSG
- USDA Organic
- Long shelf life (25 years unopened, 1 year after opening)
After unpacking the box, I quickly wanted to try something from one of the cans. Taking the easy route, I opened the strawberries first. Needless to say, the contents of the can did not last a long period of time. Even though I was snacking on them, I left them on the counter for anyone to try only to return to a quarter of the can left for me to review.
Let me break down each can by my use of the product including preparation, taste, and can contents.
As I mentioned, we ate a most of them straight from the can. With what was left, I added them to granola during a camping trip, had a small bowl with the instant milk, and shared a few slices with a good camping buddy of mine. Needless to say the preparation was next to nothing and the taste was a very large burst of flavor with each bite. After comparing them to the taste of a fresh strawberry, I am not sure I want to go back to the picked fresh variety.
My favorite part about the can contents list: Strawberries! That is it. There is nothing else in there except for an oxygen absorber packet.
Freeze-Dried Green Beans
My wife is a green bean fanatic so the test was not just what I thought about them, but what she thought about them. I prepared them in two separate ways and additionally, I ate some straight from the can.
The first preparation was just rehydrating them in a small bowl of water in the microwave and a dash of salt and pepper. She LOVED them. She thought it was one of the best tasting green beans she had ever had and for her, that is saying a lot.
Second preparation was with a little Italian Seasoning and a pat of butter along with the salt and pepper. Additionally, I added a dash of paprika. Oh yeah, they were tasty and got gobbled up by this guy and my wife. The kids? Well, let me just say my wife has fed us a lot of green beans in our lives. They reluctantly tried them and agreed they were good but wanted to wait until the end of the world before eating more.
Can you guess what was in the ingredients list? Yep, green beans (and the oxygen absorber packet).
Instant Pinto Beans
I am a fan of most beans. Pintos are definitely on that list but trying instant beans seemed a little off-putting to me. Nevertheless, I tried them. As I was preparing them from the package instructions, I ate one straight from the can. It tasted really good much to my surprise.
Basic preparation was boil water, add beans, simmer, then eat. For me, I added a little dash of salt to the water and 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, as I am a huge fan of spice. If I can speak frankly, SON, that stuff was good!
On the ingredients list was two words: Pinto Beans (yes, and the oxygen absorber packet inside the can).
Let me start by saying there is a difference between Instant and Powdered Milk. While Thrive Life has a video on the main differences, the taste is the biggest differentiator to me. Using an empty milk bottle from a local market, I was able to prepare and chill the milk. It sat overnight to fully reconstitute and enhance the flavor profile as it chilled.
This is what I used with the aforementioned strawberries as well as with my coffee. The taste was much like what I purchased from the local market/dairy and was very pleased with the freshness as well as how long the bottle lasted after making the milk.
The can ingredients were a little more in depth this time since it is milk: nonfat milk solids, Vitamin A Palmitate, and Vitamin D3. At least it was vitamin enhanced which is no different than any other container of milk with the exception of most raw milk varieties that only sometimes have vitamins added.
Thrive Foods is making a huge hit to the preparedness community due to the shelf life and taste. The cost is helping as well and you can have it shipped straight to your door. Because you are not wasting food and only eating what you prepare without worrying about spoilage, the food bill starts becoming more and more offset which makes this an affordable option.
One final word about Thrive Foods. You can purchase them on a monthly basis and have an auto-ship straight to your door but you can also become a consultant and reduce your overall cost while providing residual income. If this interests you, click here to send Mara a note. At minimum, add Thrive Life to your food storage plan.
Use your instincts to survive