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Nutberg Review:
Drinkable Meals For Hikers

This Nutberg review considers a drinkable meal for lightweight, easy to prepare backpacking menus or as a substitute for lunch during a day hike.

Nutberg drinkable meals are a great addition to your hiking menu and lightweight backpacking plans. Read why you should give it a try in this review. #hiking #backpacking #hikingfood

Disclosures in this Nutberg review

Nutberg contacted Hiking For Her and generously provided three different flavors of drinkable meals:

  • Classic
  • Banana
  • Cocoa

There is no affiliate or financial relationship between Nutberg and HFH.

All photos and opinions in this Nutberg review belong to Hiking For Her.

An additional disclosure: Hiking For Her is keenly interested in gluten free, plant based, flavorful and easy prep foods for hiking.

  • This was the prime motivator for agreeing to write this Nutberg review.


First things first:
the specifications of Nutberg

While flavor and preparation are certainly important, a hiker thinks first about weight and calories when choosing food for the trail, especially on an extended backpacking trip.

So let's start there in this Nutberg review.

Weight

One packet of Nutberg weighs - are you ready for this? - 110g, less than a bar of chocolate.

You will need 300 - 350ml of water to reconstitute the meal, so be careful to factor in that amount of water (and its weight) if you're hiking in a dry area.

Calories

A thorough discussion of the hiking nutrition per packet of Nutberg is coming up.

For now, realize that 500 calories are available to you, regardless of which flavor you choose: classic, banana or cocoa.

That's a pretty high hit of energy for the amount of weight you'll be carrying per packet.

The basic ingredients delivering those nutrients, regardless of flavor:

  • coconut
  • oats
  • rice protein
  • almonds
  • coconut sugar
  • tapioca
  • almond protein
  • hazelnut protein
  • chia seeds
  • Himalayan salt

Now let's get to the heart of
this Nutberg review

We already know that these drinkable meal packets are lightweight, nutrient dense, and easily stackable in a food bag or bear canister.

But how quickly can you get one ready for consumption?

And how do they taste?

Preparation

Clear Nalgene wide mouth water bottle and 3 packets of Nutberg, plus a metal coiled agitator to break up clumps

The process of preparing a Nutberg meal could not be simpler.

Steps:

1. Measure 300 - 350 ml water into your water bottle.

2. Toss in the metal agitator (your anti-clump device).

3. Open the vacuum sealed packet by tearing across the top where it's notched.

4. Dump the powder into your bottle, being careful to capture all of it.

4. Shake, shimmy, and salivate for a few minutes.

5. Bottoms up!

Be a good citizen by practicing Leave No Trace principles: carry out the empty packet for proper disposal, and re-use the rinsed off metal agitator again and again.

Heads up!!

Just in case this point escapes you:

No stove, no fuel, no set up time, no pots to clean

Are you fully grasping the advantage of carrying these meals into the backcountry?

  • In particular, when you're knocking off an ambitious set of mileage and elevation goals?

These easy to prepare "meals" can also be trail snacks every few hours when you're pushing hard and burning calories at a stupendous rate.

Taste

Let's just get one thing right out into the open in this Nutberg review:

  • If you're not a fan of coconut and/or almonds, you might be not be a prime candidate for Nutberg.

Also, if you have food allergies involving nuts, coconut, rice, tapioca or guar gum, steer clear of these meals.

For the rest of us, you're gonna appreciate the clear, unmuddied flavors in these drinkable meals!

  • Especially after a few days out on the trail, when your thoughts turn to something cool and frothy with a satisfying mouth feel.

And if you're already on a plant based (vegan) or strictly Paleo diet (lots of coconut), this is right up your flavor profile!

NOTE: Nutberg offers a "Good Taste Guarantee" if you're hesitant to try these flavors. See their website for details.


Specific flavor notes
in this Nutberg review

Each of the three flavor packets had their own little quirks, and by that, I mean distinct tastes.

  • None of the flavor profiles are overpowering.
  • None of them leaves a weird chemical after taste, because there are no chemicals added, just natural ingredients from Mother Nature.
  • All of them leave you feeling full (satiety) for several hours.

Time to get detailed about flavors in this Nutberg review.

Cocoa Nutberg

I tried the cocoa Nutberg first, because, well, chocolate.

The water I used was just above room temperature, and I allowed the mixture to sit for 5 minutes before drinking it.

  • Visualize yourself taking off your boots and relaxing in the sunshine for this length of time on a day hike.

The coconut flakes definitely got my attention on my first sip, in a good way. They provided texture and reinforced my expectation of coconut flavors.

The drink was thicker than I expected, not sweet and not overpowering in its cocoa taste as some other cocoa based dehydrated mixtures have been.

There is a hint of coffee, too.

A few hacks to personalize it:

  • A squeeze of honey for extra carbs and a sweeter taste makes sense if you're in the middle of your hiking day and want fast energy.
  • Toss in some cacoa nibs to enhance the antioxidant profile and provide even more texture to the cocoa base.
  • Add a teaspoon of crystallized coffee if you like caffeinated hiking.

Banana Nutberg

I am somewhat averse to artificial banana flavorings in candy, pudding, or other foods.

So I was looking forward to trying this banana-y drinkable meal to see if it really tasted like banana.

I found this flavor to be less about banana than about nutty goodness from almonds and hazelnuts.

And I definitely got an "oatmeal" hit from it, which was quite satisfying because GF oats are a staple in my diet.

A few flavor hacks:

  • Chia seeds are included, but add even more with a bit more water and some golden flax to increase the fiber and flavor profile.
  • Try your favorite flavor of electrolyte powder added to the mix to add oomph to the Himalayan salt(y) ions.
  • Some matcha powder (anti inflammatory plus caffeine) might also pair well with this flavor.

Tip: Don't expect a vivid yellow color, even though the packet is yellow, because there are no artificial colorings in Nutberg (hurrah!).

Classic Nutberg

I wasn't expecting much from this flavor, as you can tell because I saved it for last in this Nutberg review.

The reason?

Mild flavors don't hold my attention on a long hiking trip.

  • I'm after something that jumps around on my taste buds and gives a lot of advance notice to my stomach that something delicious is on its way.

However, in this case, the neutral flavors in the classic packet provided an opportunity for some culinary creativity:

  • Toss in some nutmeg and cloves to keep the cinnamon company (sort of a pumpkin pie vibe).
  • Or go a different direction with any fresh berries you might harvest along the trail, like huckleberries or wild strawberries.
  • Squeeze a packet of flavored nut butter into the water bottle before mixing, like chocolate hazelnut or honey almond, for more of a "shake" profile.

Now that I've got you salivating, let's turn our attention to something just as important as flavor for successful hiking trips: the nutrient profile of Nutberg.


Nutberg review:
a close look at nutrition

As an older hiker, it really matters to me what I put into my body on a hiking trip.

  • I can't get away with salami and cheese, or Clif bars, for every meal anymore!

So I was very careful to size up the nutrients offered in these Nutberg packets.

For a complete data profile, use Nutberg's breakdown by flavor.

For a fast overview, stick with me for a bit.

The big three nutrients
and their friends

Hiking For Her provides a detailed discussion of the importance of the "Big 3" nutrients here.

This is what your body gets in one banana flavored Nutberg packet:

Carbohydrates (energy): 40.5g, of which 11.7g are simple carbs (fast energy) in the form of glucose

Protein (for building and repair): 27.6g

Fats (for satiety and muscle energy): 26g

That's a generous dose of nutrients!

And their "friends"?

  • Fiber (for a feeling of fullness, and regularity): 11.1g
  • Salt (precious electrolytes): 34.8mg

Recall that all of this totals to 500 calories, which a hiker regards as an abundant energy supply from one little packet.

Too much fat?

Expect high fat content from coconut and nuts.

The question becomes: "What kind of fats, and how will they help me on a hike?"

Of the 26 grams of fat, around half (12.5g) are saturated.

  • Note: Saturated fats in general have gotten a bad reputation in relation to heart disease.
  • Coconut fats are mostly medium chain triglycerides which are handled differently in the body than animal saturated fats.

Bottom line: Nutberg is high in saturated fat and while you're hiking, you're likely to use this fuel rather than convert it to fat.

  • Use caution when you're sedentary, though.

Omegas!

For muscle strength, consider the omegas provided in Nutberg:

  • Omega-3: 0.5g
  • Omega-6: 2.2g, 4 times higher - as you would expect from a nut based source

This ratio skews toward the healthy side, when compared to the 10:1 ratio typical of American diets.

Both of these are polyunsaturated "essential" fats (EFAs) which help build strong cell membranes (and therefore strong muscles), but they play different roles in your hard working hiking body:

  • Omega-3 is touted as an anti-inflammatory nutrient. Read why damping down inflammation on a hike is a good idea here.
  • Omega-6 is important in cholesterol regulation and healthy skin.

There's a lot more to the fat story than that, so contact me if you need more details.

In this review, let's just say that Nutberg is giving you plenty of muscle fuel to keep you going on the trail.

Vitamins & minerals

Going with our banana example, here are the percentages of some of the harder to obtain (in typical hiking food) vitamins and minerals.

The values are percentages of daily intake in one packet:

  • Vitamin E: 24%
  • Vitamin B1: 13%
  • Calcium: 11%
  • Molybdenum: 40%
  • Zinc: 15%
  • Copper: 43%
  • Selenium: 12%

(A full run down is available on the Nutberg site).

Why do these micronutrients matter to hikers?

Proper enzyme function, for one thing.

That translates into muscles which are willing to contract hour after hour, and clear, sharp decision making for navigation.


A few cautions
in this Nutberg review

I think it's prudent to mention three things, in this order:

  • You need the right water bottle.
  • Adjust your sweetness dial to "low".
  • Patience is a virtue.
Before heading out, check to be sure your wide mouth bottle is wide enough!


Measure your current water bottle

I hit a glitch almost immediately when I tried to use the wire agitator (included, see photo above).

My Nalgene bottle, although a wide neck version which I carry on every hike, wasn't wide enough!

I measured:

  • my bottle mouth diameter = 2 3/8 inches,
  • agitator just a hair over 2 5/8 inches.

No go!

This would have been a problem on a hike, although a smooth, clean rock of the appropriate size would have been a fine substitute to break up the powder clumps.

Instead, I prepared the drinks in a wide mouth pitcher with a tight fitting lid.

This is just one reason why I always try something new in the comfort of my own kitchen.

You never know when your best laid plans are going to go haywire out on the trail!



The Nutberg folks recommend a different style of Nalgene bottle.

The OTF water bottle holds 22 fluid ounces, so the right amount of water plus the Nutberg powder will fit easily.

It has a tightly fitted lid for safe shaking, and is easy to hold and drink from once your Nutberg is ready.

Another caution

To most American taste buds, Nutberg will be distinctly lacking in a bold amount of sweetness. Our diet includes sugar in just about every type of prepared food, and we've come to expect it in meals.

However, if your taste buds have been weaned off cane and beet sugar, you will immediately appreciate the subtle nutty and spicy flavors.

And you can always try some of my flavor hacks if the lack of sweetness prevents you from full enjoyment of Nutberg right out of the package.

One more caution...

To get the most nutrition from each packet, you have to be diligent about breaking up the clumps and allowing enough time for thorough mixing.

  • The packet has been compressed and vacuum sealed, and the product comes out in large chunks.

While the metal agitator they provide does its best to break up the clumps, you have to be diligent to get all of them broken apart.

If you don't, your flavor profile will be weaker than you'd expect.

  • And you'll be leaving nutrients behind.

Also, lumps will need more water (which you might not have budgeted into your daily weight and pack volume), and more shaking (which takes time and attention away from other things you might need to be doing).


Nutberg review:
Hiking For Her's conclusions

Wide mouth clear Nalgene hiking water bottle with 350ml of Nutberg drinkable mealNutberg drinkable meal in a Nalgene bottle: lightweight simplicity and a solution to fast, filling hiking nutrition


Let's wrap up our Nutberg review!

This company is easy to deal with, and has taken pains to meet all stringent European and U.S. food regulations.

Each meal is conveniently packaged, and costs ~$3.25 US.

To recap why Nutberg makes sense for your hiking plans:

  • The nutritional density is high, the weight is amazing for the abundance of plant based nutrients and calories, the taste is simple and natural, and preparation is super easy.

Nutberg and me

I can definitely see myself using Nutberg at the end of a long day when various mishaps and weather issues have kept me on the trail longer than anticipated.

  • No need to labor over a meal, just toss together Nutberg and water.
  • Let it sit while I deploy the tent, and drink it up before crawling into my sleeping bag.
  • Rehydration + nutrients + no clean up sounds like a great plan when I'm exhausted!


The opposite scenario may also play out on the trail:

I want to get an early start and don't want to fuss with breakfast.

  • So I rehydrate a Nutberg in my water bottle, stash it in an outer pocket on my backpack, and stop to enjoy it an hour or two down the trail.

I can also see myself stashing some Nutberg pouches in my carry on luggage for inevitable travel delays and lay overs.

  • As long as you have access to potable water, you're in business!
  • No depending upon whatever the airport passes off as food :)

Your turn!

After drinking in all the facts in this Nutberg review, it's your turn to give "the finest meal on the go" a try.

Head on over to their website and see how easy it is to get your questions answered and an order placed!

For more HFH nutrition and food tips, head over here.


Home page > Best Hiking Gear Reviews >

Nutberg Review


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