Nomad Nutrition Backpacking Meals Review – Staying vegan on the trail

Nomad Nutrition Meals Review

Nothing beats a nutritious, delicious meal after the rigors of a hiking or backpacking trip. If you are an avid outdoorsman who loves camping, hiking, cycling, or any other backcountry adventure and are looking for some variety in your bland, backpacking cuisine, then the plant-based Nomad Nutrition Meals are an excellent option to consider.

Crafted by a British Columbia, Canada-based company, these energy-packed meals are locally-sourced, purely vegan and can be re-hydrated in a jiffy. In this article, we review four of their premier dehydrated meals and share our recommendations.

Read on to find out if the Nomad Nutrition Meals are a suitable option to consider for your next outdoor excursion!

Disclaimer: We did receive some samples from Nomad Nutrition to evaluate. However, the review here is totally independent and is only driven by our personal biases to certain cuisines!

Nomad Nutrition Meal Options

Soem of the best dehydrated backpacking meals by Nomad Nutrition are listed here
PictureProductNutrition (3.5 oz. pack) 
Nomad Nutrition Hungarian Goulash600 kcal.
20 g. protein.
’Nomad Nutrition Irish Shepherds Pie790 kcal.
23 g. protein.
Nomad Nutrition Indian Red Lentil Stew680 kcal.
24 g. protein.

Nomad Nutrition Kathmandu Curry630 kcal.
20 g. protein.

** In addition to the four basic meals available on Amazon, the manufacturer has added two new meals to its collection – Caribbean Curry and Ukrainian Borscht. You can purchase these flavors directly from the manufacturer’s website.

Nomad Nutrition Meals Overview

The Nomad Nutrition Meals were developed by Denis Mikhailov, an avid climber, whose pursuit of combining veganism with delicious dehydrated meals for outdoor athletes led to the development of the first line of four meals. It is one of the successful products to come out of a Kickstarter campaign.

All Nomad Nutrition Meals are manufactured in British Columbia from locally-sourced ingredients. The meals follow a proprietary dehydration method called REVDry (REV stands for Radiant Energy in a Vacuum – a dehydrating technology perfected in the University of British Columbia), which allows meals to require less water during re-hydration and retain twice the nutrition compared to most other backcountry meals.

The key common features of all the flavors of these meals are listed below:

  • 100% vegan, plant-based nutrition using identifiable ingredients. Made with certified Organic ingredients sourced locally in Canada.
  • 100% gluten-free and 100% non-GMO.
  • Do not contain any dairy, soy, or palm oil fillers.
  • Manufactured in a nut-free facility using the best quality and environment-friendly processes.
  • Require 1 cup (240 ml) of boiling water and ready in 7-10 minutes.
  • Available in snack-size (50 ml) or meal-size (100 ml).
  • Have a shelf-life of at least three years. Testing in progress for longer duration.

These entrée meals are available in four international flavors. Two new flavors – Caribbean Curry and Ukrainian Borscht were recently launched and are currently available for direct purchase through the Nomad Nutrition’s website.

Hungarian Goulash
Nomad Nutrition Hungarian Goulash - Nutrient Packed, Plant Based Protein Meals for Camping and Travel - Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Non-GMO (3.5oz)

The Hungarian Goulash is one of the national dishes of Hungary and a popular symbol of the type of food popular in Central Europe. Originating in the 9th century, the traditional Goulash is a stew which contained big chunks of beef with a generous quantity of paprika sprinkled over it.

The Nomad Nutrition has taken a vegan route to create the same flavor with potatoes, kidney beans, and mushrooms replacing the meat as ingredients. You still have plenty of onions, carrots, tomatoes, garlic, paprika, and peppers to give it an authentic taste.

At 600 kcals and 20 grams of protein in a 3.5 oz. meal serving, it is the lightest Nomad Nutrition meal in the pantry.

Irish Shepherd’s Pie
Nomad Nutrition Irish Shepherd's Pie - Nutrient Packed, Plant Based Protein Meals For Camping and Travel - Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Non-GMO (3.5oz)

The Shepherd’s Pie is another traditional European high-energy meal. The original version has a generous proportion of minced lamb in it, making it high in calorie content and still easy to digest.

Nomad Nutrition has replaced minced lamb with potatoes, lentils, and corn, along with carrots, onions, tomatoes, garlic and other spices to give it some interesting flavor. Once prepared, you can actually see the potatoes, lentils and corn floating around in the thick stew.

The Irish Shepherd’s Pie has the highest calorific value among Nomad Nutrition meals with 790 kcals and 23 grams of protein in a meal-sized serving.

Indian Red Lentil Stew
Nomad Nutrition Indian Red Lentil Stew - Nutrient Packed, Plant Based Protein Meals for Camping and Travel - Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Non-GMO (3.5oz)

The red lentil is a staple vegan diet in India (called dal), so this is probably the most traditionally authentic meal of the Nomad Nutrition’s pantry, though they have given it a more nourishing touch with potatoes and carrots in addition to lentils, onions, and peas as primary ingredients.

The Red Lentil Stew is rich in proteins (24 grams) and decently fulfilling at 680 kcal for the 3.5 oz. pack.

Kathmandu Curry
Nomad Nutrition Kathmandu Curry - Nutrient Packed, Plant Based Protein Meals for Camping and Travel - Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Non-GMO (3.5oz)

The Nepalese-style, Kathmandu Curry is the most elaborate meal from Nomad Nutrition and one of the best taste-wise. After all, Nomad Nutrition advertises this meal as a nourishment to the body and spirit.

The Kathmandu Curry is essentially a rice-noodle stew with potatoes, chick-peas, spinach, carrots, and mushrooms along with rice noodles and all the spices and olive oil. It is mildly spicy (not too much, just right) and pretty sumptuous.

The Kathmandu curry has 630 kcal and 20 grams of proteins in the meal-sized serving, making it light on the stomach yet fulfilling in taste.

Nomad Nutrition Meals Review

So, in order to evaluate the Nomad Nutrition’s plant-based meals, we tried out the Kathmandu Curry first. Our personal preference for the Indian/Nepalese curries probably drove this, and we were not disappointed at all!

Preparing a Nomad Nutrition meal like the Kathmandu Curry is pretty simple. You start by boiling about 1 cup (240 ml) of water, adding it to the opened package, stir using a spoon or spork and re-seal, leaving it standing for 7-10 minutes (or 10-12 minutes for Caribbean Curry and some other flavors).

The REVDry process used for dehydrating the contents makes these meals require less water than other dehydrated meals, but you are better off adding a tad more than 1 cup of water (15-20 ml more). Since you only need to re-hydrate food, you can still stick to the simple, ultralight stoves like the backpacking alcohol stoves or canister stoves.

One characteristic of the Nomad Nutrition meal packages is that they do not have the aluminum foil linings in them, which often causes the food to overheat and not exhibit its true test.

Once the food is ready, you can open the package and dig in. The texture of the food is excellent. You can actually see the contents – rice noodles, potatoes, chick-peas and mushroom in case of the Kathmandu Curry. It is always good to enjoy the meal when you have a well-textured meal.

Taste-wise the Kathmandu Curry tasted pretty decent. For slightly better taste, you might need to add some more salt, but it is a personal preference and most backpackers would prefer a less salty meal anyway. The 3.5 oz. meal felt fulfilling and not too heavy on the stomach. You can check the exact nutritional details on the package. All of the meals are offered in both the snack size – 1.75 oz. (50 grams) and meal-size – 3.5 oz. (100 grams) packages. If you are a serious backpacker, we recommend that you go with the 3.5 oz. version.

Now coming to some limitations of Nomad Nutrition meals, probably the biggest one is the price. At about 12.50 USD for a 3.5 oz. meal, it looks a tad on the higher side. Thankfully the manufacturer is now offering a 25% discount coupon on purchases made from Amazon and their website, so that does help. Another thing is that the meals are available in only six flavors now, though more flavors are on the way. Finally, it is more of a personal preference – if you are already exposed to the spicy Indian and South Asian cuisine, you may find the need to add a little more salt to the meal.

To summarize, the major positives and negatives of the Nomad Nutrition backpacking meals that we observed are listed below:

Pros
  • High-quality vegan backcountry meals with real wholesome ingredients. Crafted in British Columbia, Canada using locally sourced ingredients.
  • All ingredients are 100% gluten-free and 100% non-GMO. Also, all meals do not contain any dairy, soy, or palm oil fillers.
  • Use a proprietary REVDry technology that helps in retaining twice the nutrients during dehydrating.
  • Quick and easy to make. Just add 1 cup of boiling water and let the contents stand for 7-10 minutes.
Cons
  • Pricey with respect to the calorific value they provide, though you get what you pay for.
  • Only available in 6 international flavors with two standard meal sizes.

Overall, the Nomad Nutrition meals offer a nice, vegan dehydrated meal option to diversify your backcountry meal.

Final Thoughts on Nomad Nutrition Meals

Who said you have to sacrifice the taste of meals completely during backcountry adventures? In this article, we reviewed a set of plant-based, gluten-free meals by Nomad Nutrition. Developed by the British Columbia based company, these wholesome dehydrated meals provide a sumptuous, homemade (ok, restaurant-like!) vegan meals in the outback.

So, if you are looking for diversify your outdoor meals and add some vegan international flavors to your tail-meals that can provide the necessary nutrition, then you should definitely consider trying out the Nomad Nutrition meals. They offer six international flavors in snack and meal-size portions and require less water to re-hydrate than most other commercial options and can be ready in under 12-15 minutes.

For any more questions or comments, feel free to share them through the section below and we would be happy to answer them.

Image credits:Amazon.com

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