ReadyWise Long-term Food

This Salt Lake City, UT-based company started off as one of the leaders of the emergency food storage industry and in 2020 rebranded and expanded into the outdoor industry, launching a line of freeze-dried and dehydrated camping meals through its Simple Kitchen line. Just launched in August, the range of products includes 19 options of fruit snacks, such as Sweet Apple, Mango and Cookie Dough Medley; and hearty meals like Cheesy Potato Soup, Creamy Cheddar Broccoli Soup and Hearty Veggie Chili Soup. I love the simplicity in the ingredients list. Some products contain only one ingredient, such as organic apples, strawberries or mangoes, while those that have more do not have unpronounceable, unrecognizable words or chemicals. Packaging in airtight mylar pouches includes prominently displayed descriptors (like vegetarian, gluten free, no sugar added and 100% real fruit) and many have fun, clever riddles related to the snack or meal on the bottom of each pouch. The snacks are ready-to-eat and the meals simply require water to prepare. Although there are “best by” dates extending two or three years, studies have proven that freeze-dried and dehydrated foods will last up to 25 years or even longer. Other advantages are freeze-dried and rehydrated foods maintain the original flavor, shape, color and texture; better retain nutritional value; are condensed, taking up less space; with all of the water extracted, are extremely lightweight; and when water is added, the food completely reconstitutes itself. While ideal for camping, outdoor treks and emergency food storage, after trying several I found them to be delicious and suitable for enjoying anytime.

Adams Apple Butter

Theresa Adams, creator of the Adams Apple Company, has vivid memories from her childhood of watching apple butter cook in a copper kettle on a family farm. She created her first recipe while in college, canning apple butter as Christmas gifts and twenty years and thousands of homemade jars later, she now offers her perfected award-winning apple butter recreated from her original recipe. I also have memories of enjoying apple butter as a child and after tasting this version it brought some nostalgia but seems to taste much better than I remember and is so good I found myself eating it straight out of the jar. Made in Lexington, SC, the ingredients are apples, sugar, apple juice, water, molasses, apple cider vinegar, vanilla extract, spices, pectic, salt and lemon juice concentrate; and it’s gluten free. Those looking to bestow this upon someone as an unexpected gift can select the ordering option to have it shipped in a gift box with a spoon.

Flax4Life Gluten, Nut & Dairy Free Baked Goods

These days lots of people are looking for healthful products that also have the advantage of being made without ingredients that are harmful to some. This Bellingham, WA-based company has been in business for 19 years and offers gluten-, nut- and dairy-free baked goods. After trying several of their offerings, and although I don’t need to eat gluten-free products, I must say, “who needs gluten” to make something taste great. The gluten substitute is flax and I honestly can’t taste the difference between these and those made with flour. Offerings include Dark Cherry Brownies, Cranberry Orange Granola, Carrot Cake, Wild Blueberry Muffins and several others. Plus, there’s the added bonus of the use of all-natural ingredients, Omega 3, and no preservatives, hydrogenated fat, cholesterol or trans fats.

Plant Junkie

Gotta love the name of this line of condiments that are made in the US and are 100% plant-based, vegan and delicious. A variety of salad dressings and mayonnaise alternatives are offered, which are low carb and dairy-, egg-, soy-, nut- and gluten-free. After trying some I can say amen to their tagline that “choosing plant-based is anything but bland.” The line includes fun ingredients and flavors like Chia Ranch Dressing, Turmeric & Pepper Ranch Dressing, Avocado Oil Spread, Chipotle Lime Spread & Dressing and Thai Peanut Vinaigrette and are made with 100% avocado oil along with non-GMO canola oil that’s pressed, never chemically extracted.