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Thursday, May 26, 2011

THRIVE Review and Giveaway!

This is a really long review! Hang onto your hats, the giveaway details are at the very end!

As Hannah explained a
couple weeks ago, Shelf Reliance has changed their business model and are now working through individual consultants. You should know that how Shelf Reliance is set up, it's always cheaper to order through a consultant than through the official website. The consultants have access to special deals and discounts. We're lucky enough to have another Shelf Reliance consultant, Fran, hosting today's review and giveaway.

Fran sent me some of Shelf Reliance's freeze dried food line "THRIVE" to give a test run. She gave me the Taco TVP, which she says is her family's favorite.

This was my first experience with TVP (textured vegetable protein), and I have to admit, I was a little nervous.


Fran told me to put the Taco TVP in a pot, add some freeze dried onions, and bell peppers and fill it up with water according to the package directions.

You bring it to a boil, then let it simmer on the stovetop for a little while.


Fran also gave me a package of macaroons to try.


Equally easy, I added water, let it sit for a minute, and then scooped it onto and cookie sheet and baked them until they turned golden brown on the tops.


My verdict?


The Taco TVP tasted really good. Surprisingly good. It reminds me of tacos that you can get at Taco Bell (Mountain Man's favorite). Everyone at the table (my kids, Mountain Man, and a few other guests) liked it enough to have seconds. My meat picky daughter (she only likes beef) took one bite and exclaimed "it tastes just like hamburger!" and ate it all up.

Would I eat it again? Yes, I think so. It tasted good, but more important, it was SO fast and easy. One pot meal--made in less than 20 minutes. I would have loved to have had this on hand during my 1st trimester, when it was so hard to cook anything because I was so sick. This would also be great to have for those really busy days when you walk in the door at 5pm and need to have dinner on the table by 5:30.


Onto the macaroons: these were also delicious and believe it or not, tasted JUST like the real thing, and incredibly easy. If I had my druthers, I would have dipped half of them in melted chocolate, but the general consensus at the table was they were delicious, and they were gobbled up instantly.

Overall this is my food storage-y opinion.
I don't think you should have a food storage based completely off of freeze dried food unless you have an unlimited supply of water AND you eat it on a regular basis so your family is used to it and is comfortable with it. The best food storage is what you regularly eat!

On the other hand, I think THRIVE offers so many great options as additions to your home food storage. Special things like dried cheese, sour cream, eggs, that you wouldn't be able to have otherwise. Am I going to start adding some freeze dried foods to my food supply? Yes, definitely as part of my rotating 3 month supply, because I can see myself actually using them to feed my family regular meals. On a side note, I am also going to stock up on powdered eggs...then I can eat cookie dough without being afraid of getting salmonella poisoning.

Thanks Fran for letting me try these foods! Check out Fran's store here

Fran is offering Safely Gathered In readers a mixed package of some of THRIVE's best sellers, valued at $50!

To be entered into the drawing, leave a comment and let us know what your favorite food (that you can't live without) is. Mine is cereal and milk. A very tricky food storage meal...since I don't love the taste of powdered milk. Guess I need a cow.

Giveaway will run until Sunday (May 29th) at midnight, Eastern. One comment per person please. Winner will be announced Monday.


Those of you who get this post via email need to come to the actual post on the website to leave a comment to be entered into the giveaway, email responses cannot be considered entries. Thanks!


***Disclaimer: Although I received the THRIVE samples for free, the opinions are my own.

Whew. That was a long post...is anyone still here?

94 comments:

Julie said...

Cheese! I love cheese, all kinds of cheese, Cheddar, Feta, Mozzarella... I could go on and on, and anything with cheese on it. My son has developed the same love, and so we can go through cheese pretty quickly, and not quite a food storage friendly item. I might need a cow too, and then learn how to make cheese.

Kathy said...

Mine is cookies. That is why I do have powdered eggs and all the supplies on hand. It makes it very easy to bake them when I want. ;)

Bethany said...

Can't live without? It's gotta be chocolate. Many varieties will work: M&M's, brownies, Ghirardelli, chocolate chips if nothing else is available. That's why I always have a stash of brownie mix handy. :)

The Harried Homemaker said...

Granola bars - the yummy, not-so-healthy, chocolate-covered kind, preferrably. :)

Jade said...

Mine would have to be anything with sugar! Brownies, cookies, cake...I love it all!

C said...

As others have already said, chocolate, brownies in particular. I keep brownie mix and powdered eggs in my food storage, easy.

Debbie said...

I'm a cheese girl! Adding cheese a plain dish can make it so much better. I love the idea of Thrive's freeze dried cheese and have some on backorder. To me, cheese is a comfort food!!

Stephanie said...

Chocolate, Chocolate!!

Jenny and Jake said...

Milk! Boo on powdered, too!

Rachelle said...

Hands down CHEESE!!! I used to get it in my stocking for Christmas. Sad to admit that. I'd be very hard pressed to go three months without cheese.

Destiny said...

Definately cheese. I use it on everyting.

Lynn said...

I cannot live without raw carrots. I generally keep 5-10 lbs of them in the fridge at all times, and eat them whole without peeling, just taking the tops off. I have only grown carrots with limited success, because you need really light soil, and i just don't have that. Organic carrots are very affordable at the store, so I'm just buying for now. I guess I'd better have some seeds as a backup just in case!

Deon said...

mine would be cheese and cookies but not together :)

Erin said...

I can't live without vanilla yogurt with frozen raspberries! Too yummy!

Heidi said...

Bread and cheese...not necessarily together but I NEED to have bread for toast and such and my whole household LOVES cheese!

Alyosha said...

I really love fruit! I've tried the Thrive strawberries, apples and blueberries and loved them!

Amanda said...

Definitely cheese for me!! I love adding it to dinners :)

Karen K. said...

I drink a chocolate protein shake (with lots of ice and frozen bananas to make it smooth and creamy)every morning and I practically go through withdrawal if I don't have it. I have been known to drag my Vita-Mix from Oregon to Utah when visiting my daughter. I think it satisfies my sweet tooth and chocolate cravings first thing. :) I'm excited about the Thrive foods. I wasn't aware of them.

Cecily said...

Homemade bread (or rolls or muffins or such). I always have to plan on eating a few pieces when a loaf comes out of the oven.

Gretta said...

Wow, I can only choose one food I can't live without. I guess I would have to go with potatoes (as in french fries, chips, mashed, and baked). I'm a salty gal.

Camille said...

I don't think I could live without pasta and sauce. YUM!

Sariah said...

I would have to say fresh produce. I am also going to need a cow because I can't stand the flavor of powdered milk either. I have been wanting to try the freeze-dried stuff for a while now but cannot justify spending the money on it and then not liking it.

Holly Hoopes said...

Can't live without rice. We've just made the change to wild rice from white and I am loving it. We eat it plain,fried,stir-fri or in our soups! So yummy!

Fire said...

There are just to many. I love to eat. Dairy would probably be at the top of the list though.

Julie said...

Fetuccini Alfredo! Love it. We have that at least once a week. MMMM!!!

Amanda said...

I think the one thing that my family would have a very difficult time living without is dairy products. Milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream...we eat it with every meal, for snacks, basically all the time. I would love to try the Thrive stuff!

Cindy said...

I love rice....and pasta. Almost any kind of either!

Mrs. Pear said...

I have learned that it does not matter because my oldest daughter needs a high iron diet, so that became my must have - stuff high in iron that she will eat. Which means meatloaf, meatballs, and asian beef.

Heidi said...

Good bread. And peanut butter. Preferably together. :)

Cassi : ) said...

Ice cream - I'm even picky about the brand . . . I think I'm going to have to settle with storing chocolate. It's not ice cream, but I'm sure it will do! :)

Super Pi said...

Cheese, Milk, Yogurt, and other Dairy goodness like Sour Cream and Cream Cheese.

Lisa A said...

That's a tough question, what can I not live without. I tend to eat in cycles, so I might eat a lot of one thing for a month, but then not want it again for a year. I'm on a yogurt kick at the moment, can't get enough of it. Later in the summer it will most likely be chips and fresh salsa. We always have peanut butter, usually in several flavors, in stock. I'll go with that.

Emily said...

Fresh produce! Once I started eating vegan/whole foods in Jan. I've been trying to figure out how to best store the things that I'm eating if I couldn't go to Costco all of the time. We have a really short growing season so that complicates it too.

Gaengy said...

Cheese and real milk...treats of any kind as well!

Cindi said...

I have just started using Thrive. So far I am loving it. I made scrambled eggs with powedered eggs. With the usual seasonings I could tell no difference,I am usually picky on my eggs. I have bought several basics now and am ready to try the different freeze dried products.

Carolina girl said...

Definitely chocolate!

AlysonRR said...

I think I must have eggs and cheese. So many foods are better with them!

Aleasha said...

I'm a fruit lover! Any kind really!

Morgan said...

Can't live without chocolate! Anything chocolate! :-)

Live n' the Light said...

Chocolate, chocolate anything..oh and ice cream sandwiches! yum

John and Laura said...

Cheese and sour cream are my biggest worries for if/when I have to live on food storage. Great giveaway. Thanks!

Ollamha Anne said...

Hm, it's hard to pick just one thing. I think bread is what I couldn't live without.

Crystal said...

Cheese and Chocolate.

Prepared Teacher said...

My husband and daughter can't live with out milk and cheese. I can't live with out a few things, chocolate :), Tea, ICE does that count.....I guess for me it is hared to choose I love food!

kdonat said...

Honey and dark chocolate are "must have" pleasures. Milk, eggs, butter, flour for the multitude of foods that can be created from them.

Monica said...

I can't live without cookie dough. Oh and fresh spinach. Opposite ends of the spectrum huh? I know I'm weird.

Coupon Person said...

Cheese is a must for me!

egundy@ gmail

Sharon said...

Beans, all kinds. I love them!

Sheena said...

I've only tried the freeze dried fruits. They are delish! I would love to try some of their other products. I'm always looking for good fs ideas.
sapyatt at gmail dot com

Kerry said...

To all the powdered milk haters...you MUST try THRIVE's Instant Milk. It's awesome! You would never know the difference from real milk.

Anonymous said...

I'd miss fresh fruit a lot.

I did a taste test in my ward -- Country Creme and Provident Pantry were the favorite powdered milks. They taste like 2%.

Shreela said...

Fav food is "a yummy sauce". Thin or thick doesn't matter, as long as it's yummy ^_^

Ellen said...

Can't live without? I'd have to say potatoes as well. Although it would be really nice to have all the lovely things that go with them, like cheese, butter and sour cream!

Vicki in UT said...

I can't live without chocolate, but if I had to choose something a little healthier, it would be homemade bread.

Lynette acorntooak at juno dot com said...

You mean besides chocolate! :) I really crave potatoes and eggs if I haven't had them in a while. I would have a hard time living without all the fresh veggies and fruit that I currently have access to.

Leann Slater said...

I couldn't live without boneless, skinless chicken breasts. They are so versatile in ways to cook them, and we eat them for dinner almost every night.

Peggy said...

cereal and milk, my kids could live on that alone.And as an added bonus they love powdered milk!

The Jeffery Family said...

Milk...definitely milk!

Dollwood Farms said...

I can't live without eggs! Thanks

Kim @ KimsKandyKreations said...

I am totally a milk and cereal girl. I could have it for breakfast and lunch everyday...in fact I have somedays! It's cheap, easy, filling, and yummy. Don't know how I'll deal without it in an emergency since I HATE powdered milk.

Kathi said...

I can't live without chocolate.

daleglynn said...

Real eggs are my "can't live without"! I am going to try the mineral oil bath and see how that works.

Melissa Me said...

Cheese and crackers are my favorite. Salsa and chips are a close second.

Stephanie L. said...

I don't think I could live without fruits and vegetables. Even in their dried/freeze dried state, I'd be happy to have them.

Darla said...

I think my absolute one staple in life is cheese. I know it sounds weird, but I have to have cheese on any dinner I make.

Nancy Hill said...

I would love to try this. Souns wonderful and I'm sure I would dip my macaroons in chocolate too!

Shenille said...

Chocolate is a must have for me.

Emily said...

I think it would be hard to live with out sour cream and eggs. Think of all the baked goods and casseroles you could you could make with food storage items!

Dede said...

Gosh, it's hard to pick just one! But I'll say potatoes. I LOVE potatoes.

Lorraine said...

Not sure if there is anything I couldn't live without... Water - I am addicted to water.

B.A.M said...

Water!!

Yvonne Fraraccio said...

Although I am a vegetable and fruit girl, I have always enjoyed bread, eggs, and milk. I have noticed that if I don't have bread, eggs, or milk in the house, I feel like I am out of food. Crazy, huh! Water is my favorite drink!!!

Susan said...

I LOVE CHEESE!! I use cheese in so many dishes that I make. I cannot imagine being out of cheese in an emergency situation. Freeze dried cheese is something I would love to have in my food storage.

Patty Cake said...

I have to have spices. Alot of food storage is bland and I hear from alot of people in my ward that that is the reason they don't store food. I love cheese, but it has to be the real thing. I'll split a milk cow with someone.

nfmgirl said...

I'm not sure what food I feel I couldn't live without. Seasoning is more important to me. With the right seasonings, most things can taste tolerable. Just salt, pepper and garlic powder can make a world of difference to just about anything, from veggies to simple rice!

Angela said...

I can't live without the sweet stuff, chocolate and ingredients to make cookies and cake. PS. I have had good luck with powdered eggs in all my baking.

Erica said...

I tasted the Thrive freez dried milk I was REALLY surpised how how good it was! I could not live with out cookies and milk!! It tastes nothing like powdered milk!
daisysquire@hotmail.com

Tom/Tabitha said...

Salsa! We're out right now which is probably why it came to mind so quickly...

Sherry said...

My kids could not live without cereal and milk. My husband would miss bread. I am just thankful for clean water.

Amanda R said...

I love my milk cows! I couldn't live milk or sweets.

Rita said...

Gotta have chocolate and chicken. Not necessarily together just love them both. Good to have chocolate in your storage!

Kristine said...

Chocolate. Baking cocoa is required for our food storage.

Stacy said...

Mine is ice cream.
gingeroo616 at aol dot com

Dan and Melissa said...

Chocolate for me, and dairy products like cheese and milk.

Kristyne E said...

Potatoes....any way you can fix them. Gotta have 'em!

Vicki in UT said...

Can't live without chocolate! lol But my homemade bread comes a close second.

Audra said...

I love milk and cereal too. Thrive actually has really good instant milk with a great storage life.

Linda said...

Milk and cereal are my staple foods too! Chocolate is tagging closely behind:). Love your blog. I have a food storage blog too...
sevenyearsofplenty.blogspot.com
It is always good to meet food storage friends!

Ali said...

Hello Chocolate! That is what I CANNOT live without. As for what the rest of the family cannot live without, it's eggs and cheese. YUM!

L.C. said...

What ever I don't have on hand is what I can't live without. Cheese,chocolate, milk, bread, cereal, green beans,...you name it.

Anonymous said...

mozzarella cheese and tea for me. I have to have tea in the morning and I love cheese with veggies!
vicky
visinglet@aol.com

lindaharper said...

Popcorn and/or cheese, either together or separately but plenty of it!

judyyy said...

chocolate!

Gentleman Dinosaur said...

I would say that the dried strawberries are my favorite!!! They are super sweet and yummy!