This is the best pre-packaged breakfast that I have…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $4.99
This is the best pre-packaged breakfast that I have eaten on the trail. I have sampled many other dehydrated and freeze dried breakfast items over the years, and have not repurchased any of them. The Packit Gourmet (PIG) Santa Fe Breakfast Pudding is the first one that will be a regular in my trail food rotation.
- Clear easy instructions
- Great flavor
- Rehydrates very well
- Sturdy packaging
- Healthy vegetarian ingredients
- Great cottage company
- Price per serving (similar to other prepacked meals)
- Not as sweet as expected
- Need care to ensure proper mixing/hydrating
- Not allergy free
I usually test gear multiple times, but this breakfast meal was so good a couple of weeks ago that I thought I would share it with everyone before the colder months really set in. This is a perfect meal to start the day off on a frosty morning, getting going with hot food and a little kick of peppers.
It is a great dish with just the right balance of sweet and spicy for me (although I am not much of a sweet tooth, but really love a good spicy dish). It re-hydrated perfectly in about 5 or 6 minutes using a little extra water than the instructions, as I usually like these meals less dry.
First, some background on my breakfast eating habits on the trail:
- Lots of fresh stuff first day or two (an apple, bagel, etc)
- Cream of wheat or oatmeal with dried fruit added rotated on later days
- On lazy mornings over a wood stove, fried bannock bread with cheese etc mixed in
- Not a boil-in-bag or pre-packaged guy in general but do carry one or two for longer trips
Packaging, Instructions, and Preparation:
As with all PIG meals, the packaging is minimal and simple, with easy to read and follow instructions. For the Santa Fe Breakfast Corn Pudding, you simply boil 8 ounces of boiling water (I used about 9) and pour it into the bag with the mix (after first removing the ubiquitous little dessicant packet that I usually end up fishing out of every third packaged meal!).
The mix is poured into the outer bag, followed by the boiling water, then the whole thing is sealed and shaken to mix thoroughly. After setting it aside (wrapped in a jacket if like me you don’t have a Cook-In-Cozy or other insulator) for 5 minutes (I left it for 6) it came out almost perfect with just one or two small areas of less hydrated corn pudding.
While mixing it, I had no fears of spillage or leaks as the zip lock on the sturdy outer bag was easily secured. I even turned it upside down several times. The seal is so good, I used it as one of my trash bags for the rest of the trip. On top of that, the bag is just the right size to get a long handled spoon, or my spoon-fork combo, into the bottom without getting your hands messy.
Ordering and Cost:
Ordering from PIG is easy directly from their website, and allows you to browse by group (breakfast etc). Each item has a nice photo as well as detailed information. The cost is good for similar meals (less than $5) but much more expensive than home-made breakfasts.
For the ease of prep and taste, this is money well spent. The items (I ordered several different meals to spread over multiple trips) arrived well packaged and in a timely manner. Note that you need to plan ahead, as I just checked the website and like any good cottage industry they are off for most of the week of Thanksgiving.
Ingredients and Satisfaction:
The package weighs around 4 ounces and with a couple of cups of coffee was the perfect start to the day for me. The ingredients are relatively simple and healthy — see photo below that shows the vegetarian components. Note that there are several ingredients that may cause allergic reactions in some folks, but the package clearly warns of this.
Nutrition is pretty good and has a balanced amount of fat, carbs, and protein to start the body off right on a long day of walking. I don’t like a lot of sodium in my breakfast, but didn’t notice the amount (610 mg) in the corn pudding.
I tend not to focus too much on the individual balance of the nutrition, but this meal filled me up and kept me from snacking for at least a couple of hours. This is a personal record as my wife jokes that I usually start eating trail snacks before we lose sight of camp. It hit that balance for me of satiating my hunger without leaving me feeling too full. The 300 calories lasted quite a while.
The most important factor in any meal is obviously the flavor. However, I find that this is so subjective based on the distribution of your personal taste buds that it is difficult to evaluate anything for others. I can tell you that this is the best breakfast that I have had on a trail that came prepackaged.
The consistency of the corn pudding was excellent with only a couple of less hydrated parts, which was likely due to my mixing technique. The flavor was just right for me—a balance of slightly sweet polenta with a touch of syrup with the spicy kick (but not too much) of the jalapenos and chipotle seasoning.
Be warned that I tend much more toward the spicy side and don’t always notice or care if something is less sweet. Again, purely personal preference on this, but the Santa Fe Breakfast Corn Pudding is a close second only to cooked bread, bacon, or eggs on the trail.
I could not give this meal a higher rating as it was easy to prepare, tasted excellent, and filled me up for longer than most breakfast items. Give it a try and I am sure you won’t be disappointed. This last photo says it all!