The last few weekends have been bitterly cold and sandwiches just haven’t been hitting the spot. Then I remembered that I have some Summit to Eat camping meals that I received for review. What better way to start a walks than by fueling up with a hot meal.
This past weekend was no warmer than the rest. So as we made our plans to go for a walk around Reddish Vale, we grabbed our camping stove, kettle and Summit to Eat camping meals and headed out to find the perfect spot to cook our lunch.
Having Summit to Eat in Reddish Vale
OK, so I couldn’t resist. I’m northern, and it fits so well! And besides, Summit to Eat camping foods are made up in Preston. So there’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it. Northern food, northern lass and northern puns!
Anyway, back on track. We found the perfect picnic spot overlooking the viaduct in the park. Just enough sunshine to keep us warm while we cooked and out-of-the-way so that we could enjoy our food in peace.
As I can’t do dairy, I was having the dairy free Vegetable Chipotle Chilli with Rice and Jit was having the Macaroni Cheese. The packets are surprisingly light and easy to transport. Our kettle and camping stove provided the most weight in our bags. They are sturdy too, so even though we punctured the cutlery case with the fork prongs, the packets remained whole. Luckily!
Making Summit to Eat
I did it again! I know, but I do love a good pun and this is way too tempting! I promise that it will be the last time. Honestly!
Before we left the house and were gathering together the equipment we would need, we discovered that they really are simple to make. The measurements are written inside the packets, so you just fill to the level required. So all we needed was the packets, two spoons, the kettle and stove. Not bad when you think about having a hot diner away from home in the outdoors.
Before getting started we set up the kit around the picnic bench so that everything was to hand. I filled the kettle from my trusty Sigg and started to heat the water. Meanwhile I took the tops from the packets and also removed the “stay dry” pads. Of course while we were waiting for the kettle to boil we investigated the contents of the packets further. They looked great. I dehydrate food myself and these looked very much like the stuff I make at home. Real ingredients, recognisable and smelling delicious.
Within moments of the kettle whistling, we were pouring the water to the measurements and giving them a jolly good stir. If you have ever eaten a badly stirred Pot Noodle, you will know the necessity of a through mixing. You don’t want those pockets of dry mix ending up in your unsuspecting mouth. After the diligent stir, you just seal the packet again with the “sealy strip” and pop a timer on for 8 minutes.
The proof is in the tasting
See, I kept my promise on the puns!
The 8 minutes rehydrating time flew by and before we knew it we were getting ready to tuck into our delicious meals. And they smelled absolutely perfect to the meals that they were. (I have had others that look like dinner, but have that kind of chemical smell to them. These certainly smelled like homemade food)
We were surprised at how much the meals reduced in size in the packet and wondered whether there would be enough for us. We are a hungry pair as we walk around 10 miles every day, so need lots of fuel.
As for the diligent stirring and mixing, I did manage to find some packets of dry mix in mine. I think it was a bit more challenging to stir mine though as it was higher in the packet. I now know that I would need to stir extra next time. Jit reported that his was nice and creamy with no un-stirred bits.
For taste and ease of making they got the two thumbs up from us. There was plenty of flavour and was very representative of a home cooked meal which had been dehydrated, meaning lots of texture and flavour. They certainly have the recipes nailed down.
Although I completely understand that the concept of these meals is that they are light, portable and don’t require washing. I do find that the thick single use plastic is a bit of a waste. I don’t know the answer to make it more sustainable, but I know there must be an alternative. When I take my own batches of homemade dehydrated food, I pop it into a large bag and take out as much as I need at a time. Perhaps some sort of refillable container would be a good alternative – or something that could be offered to those who prefer less packaging.
The other slight downside is the lack of dairy free vegetarian or vegan options. Many of the dairy free ones contain meat. It seems as though the only option for the likes of me is the vegetable chilli – not that I mind, it was delicious. Oh and to be honest, we could have eaten two each for our lunch.
Overall these were light to transport, east to make and certainly didn’t leave us with lots of washing up. I hope that there might be packet-less options for the future along with a few more recipes for vegan diets.
Are you a fan of taking dehydrated foods on your adventures? Have you tried Summit to Eat camping meals?
How would you address the packet issue?
Let me know in the comments below.
Disclosure: I received the products from Summit to Eat for review. All comments, photos and opinions are honest and my own.