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.
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?