|Rating:||9 / 10|
|Value for Money||1.8 / 2|
|Taste||1.8 / 2|
|Convenience||1.8 / 2|
|Versatility||1.8 / 2|
|Weight||1.8 / 2|
The Back Country Cuisine range of outdoor meals is probably the best known in Australia and in addition to the meal options they also provide a range of accompaniments including the Instant Mixed Vegetables. While this product is sold more on the accompaniment side there is nothing stoping you from using it as a main meal or as a base for a main meal particularly if you fall more on the vegetarian side. As someone who is also into lightening their load, these vegies are likely to form part of my lunchtime meal – in that case I would cold-soak them prior to starting out for the day and eat them cold for lunch.
This packet which contains 90 grams of dried vegetables consisting of peas, corn and carrots with a seasoning of salt. If you use the entire packet, you end up with 5 x 88 gram serves of rehydrated vegetables. If using these as a stand alone meal I would suggest they would make up around three meals from my perspective. Even with that, a meal is going to cost less than $2.70 AUD per serve which is pretty economical. As far as freeze dried food is concerned this is about as cheap as it gets.
The taste is pretty good and probably leans more towards the carrot side of the ingredients but overall I would be very happy to eat this as a lunchtime meal option by itself or mixed with freeze dried rice with some spices. The only real downside is that as a standalone meal these vegies are very light on calories (but high on fibre) which is fine for short hikes but on multi-week hikes you would want to rely heavily on them. The individual pieces are all reasonably small and about the same size and as such, you don’t need to cut them up or navigate different shapes and sizes.
This is one product from Back Country Cuisine that you can pretty much rely upon that all stores will carry.
Preparation is very, very easy – measure out the dry amount you want and soak in boiling water for approximately 10-12 minutes stirring at least once. The vegetables will absorb the water and the heat, and then you are ready to go. If using the entire packet you will add 350 ml of water which equates to a good consistency and if you are working on a per serve basis then use 70 mls of water per serve. Alternatively you can eat these cold soaked in a Peanut Butter Jar and in this scenario I would let them soak for at least 90 minutes prior to eating. You won’t have a hot meal in this instance but it will still taste pretty good. The length of time you need to soak this product will vary depending on your personal preference however the packet suggests 10 minutes. I like my peas and corn slightly softer so I typically soak for around 12-14 minutes. One thing to note is this product usually has a three year life span but in testing this product I dragged a bag out of my stash that was about four-five years old and past the ‘best by date’ by around 17 months – it still tasted the same as the more ‘recent’ product.
This is a great option for all hikes and great for those who prefer vegetarian and gluten free options.
An easy to prepare standalone meal or accompaniment
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Hearty Venison Casserole
Back Country Cuisine Instant Mixed Vegetables as purchased
Back Country Cuisine Mixed Vegetables ingredients list
Bottom of the packet-opens out for standing
Back Country Instant Mixed Vegetables before cooking
Back Country Instant Mixed Vegetables ready to eat
This review was done with product purchased from a retail store by Australian Hiker