Wild Zora’s Dehydrated Meals and Bars – a review

One of the most challenging things about the transition to life as a Celiac (or otherwise) on a gluten free diet (especially if you have additional allergies or sensitivities) is the loss of convenience foods, and foods with stable shelf life. While this is annoying in daily life, it is most challenging in contexts like backcountry hiking, camping, or preparing a disaster kit. Wild Zora to the rescue!

What was previously “Paleo Meals to Go” has now merged with Wild Zora to create a fantastic line up of dehydrated meals and bars, suitable for all of your backcountry camping adventures, or to have stashed away in your cupboard or earthquake/disaster kit. Each of the dehydrated meals comes in a pouch with clear instructions, and can serve as the container to eat the meal out of. Just add boiling water and a utensil, and you’re good to go. They also have a variety of meat and veggie bars that would also serve as excellent back up to store in your car, desk, or bag for situations when meals don’t go according to plan.

Wild Zora offers a variety of meals and several enticing flavours of bars. All of their products are Paleo, and there are some (clearly identified) options for those following the Autoimmune Paleo protocol. As someone who is sensitive to garlic and onions, I must admit that I would very much like to see some AIP, Low FODMAP options created. That said, I am still really impressed with the meals and bars they have created. I also wanted to know how long they would keep in my emergency kit, and confirmed with their team that they have a recommended shelf life of nine months, which seems pretty reasonable to me. I would way rather have slightly shorter shelf life and fewer preservatives in favour of real food ingredients!

My friend Josee is an avid hiker, and this summer she has taken on the Pacific Crest Trail. Yes, that’s right – the whole thing! From Mexico to Canada! After hiking a similar, but shorter, trail in New Zealand last year, she knew that she needed more nutrient dense options for this trip to keep her body in peak performance. So I helped hook her up with some Wild Zora/Paleo Meals to Go for her trip.

Here are some of her inside tips from the trail: “I LOVE their breakfast. The berry one is the best. I always kept one as my emergency meal as it has 600 calories and it was delicious hot or cold. In case I ran out of fuel or was too tired to cook, it was good to have on hand. Some of the chicken dinners were a bit bland to my taste. I would have liked more salt. That’s easy to bring along if you plan. My favorite dinner was the Bedrock Beef Chili. I’m cheap, so I cut it with potatoes, rice, or corn grits. I’d have a portion of carbs to add calories and 1/2 a pouch to add taste [and nutrients]. I liked the Wild Zora bars. Some were sweet, that was fine with me. I really liked their softer texture compared to leather hard jerky.” She also noted that the bars are similar in size to a Lara Bar. This might seem small, but when you think about the fact that they are pure meat and vegetables, dehydrated and compacted, they’re more filling and nourishing than you might think.

How about you? Have you tried the Wild Zora bars or dehydrated meals? Which one is your favourite, or do you have any pro tips to share? Do you have other tricks up your sleeve that help you to enjoy all of the adventures life has to offer? I’d love to hear from you at support@downwiththepastryarchy.com.

photo credit: Josee Laroche

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