Last week I posted about our freeze-dried emergency meal taste testing of Mountain House pouches and how much our family loved them! This week, I’m continuing the discussion, with a new brand! We also tried out Thrive Express Freeze-Dried pouches, and are impressed with them as well! We’re 2/2 in this house! 🙂 We tried Chile Lime Chicken Rice, Creamy Beef & Noodles, and Loaded Scalloped Potatoes.
How to Prepare the Meals
Similar to the mountain house packages, we opened each package and removed the oxygen absorber first.
NOT similar to mountain house, with the Thrive Express pouches, you need to empty the contents into a saucepan and add water, bring to a boil, then simmer for a few minutes before serving. Now, this is definitely much easier than preparing a whole meal from scratch, BUT after the ease of just pouring boiling water into the Mountain House pouches and letting them sit, I was a little disappointed that Thrive required a tad more effort and a few dirty dishes. In hindsight, I bet it would have worked just fine if I had poured the water into the pouches and closed them up with a clothespin or something, but alas I did not try that. Maybe next time!
What We Liked
- Taste/Texture: The Thrive pouches had exceptional flavor and were perfectly seasoned. The Creamy Beef & Noodles was superior, in my opinion, to the Mountain House Beef Stroganoff version, and the other two side dishes were wonderful as well. Little Man again ate some of each willingly (Praise the Lord!), and the Hubster had second helpings! The texture of these meals was, without a doubt, better than Mountain House. The noodles were larger and more formed (instead of bit-like pieces), and it seemed to be meatier.
- Quantity: Some of these pouches are meant to be entrees, and some are side dishes. We just so happened to pick out two side dishes and an entree, which was plenty for our family of three with leftovers for lunch the next day. Serving sizes seem to be on target. (P.S. The above picture does not show the full contents of each bag, just a sample! There was at least double that amount in each pouch.)
- Price: Each pouch costs between five and eight dollars, which is consistent with Mountain House and other food storage companies; however, I did notice that the Thrive pouches, on average, contained more servings. By purchasing variety packs or multiple pouches at a time, you can get a discount.
- Nutrition: Same as Mountain House, while each pouch was different, I was pleasantly surprised by the balanced nutrition that each pouch offered. They each had a sufficient amount of calories per serving, and a good percentage of protein and daily vitamins. While I would rather have fresh produce any day, I think this would be a valuable substitution if the need arises.
- Weight: The pouches were very lightweight for how much food they contained, which would make them perfect for camping, backpacking, or Bug Out Bags!
- Shelf Life: Thrive Express pouches are rated for a 5 year shelf life. This is an OK shelf-life. Personally, I could stand for it to be a little bit longer, but I can guarantee they probably won’t last that long on our shelves anyways! They’re so quick and easy to use that I bet they’ll become “Mom forgot to start dinner” Emergency meals.
- Production: They’re Made in the USA! Thrive began as a company called “Shelf Reliance” in 2004. They continue to work and produce products out of their warehouse in Utah.
What I Didn’t Like
- Convenience: As I mentioned earlier, I would have preferred the Mountain House version of “cooking” rather than dirtying up my saucepans. These pouches are still much more convenient than a traditional meal, and we love the taste so we will certainly be purchasing some, but I got a little spoiled by trying the Mountain House pouches first!
Overall, I think our family could definitely benefit from having a few Thrive Express Freeze Dried meals in our food storage. I would recommend them to anyone looking into prepackaged meals!
What About You?
Do you store Thrive foods for emergencies? Or have you tried them? What are your thoughts?
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