Thursday, September 19, 2013

DIY Paleo Packs

My annual birthday beach pilgrimage is upon us! This year's trip is going to be different, it's not going to be the eating free-for-all like birthdays past. I'm going to make my best effort to stay as close to my Paleo template as possible while traveling, and at the very least gluten/wheat-free. I became quite ill from eating homemade pizza with a wheat-based crust during Labor Day weekend and it just wasn't worth the days of discomfort and time spent doubled over on the toilet bowl.

While I'm not planning on avoiding restaurants or packing a hot plate and stopping at the nearest Whole Foods on our way to Amelia Island, I thought it might be a good idea to pack some high-quality food that could act as a snack or a fast food meal. Enter Paleo packs; grass-fed beef jerky, dried fruits and soaked, dehydrated nuts all measured and vacuum sealed in a portable pouch. There are a couple of companies that sell these types of pre-made packs but I wanted to try doing it myself.

I made a batch of soy and sugar free beef jerky from a grass-fed London broil.  It's the perfect cut of beef because it is lean. It's not that I want to avoid the fat, I sure don't, but fat isn't great for jerky due to the spoilage factor.

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Then  I stocked up on raw nuts and unsulphured dried fruit from Trader Joe's. I soaked the nuts overnight before dehydrating them. Why soak nuts? Nuts, like grains, seeds and legumes, contain anti-nutrients that make it difficult for your body to assimilate the nutrients contained in the nuts and also make the nuts difficult to digest.  I have a very hard time digesting cashews and almonds unless I soak and dehydrate them, now I know why. I just pour a little whey off the yogurt, mix it with filtered water and pour over the nuts.

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Then I got out my trusty food scale, my Rival Vacuum Sealer and got to assembling my packs.  I made three-ounce packs using once ounce of jerky, one ounce of nuts and once ounce of dried fruit.  Two pounds of London broil gave me enough jerky for about a dozen packs with some left over for plain snacking.

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Tip~ be sure to nick the side of the pack with a scissors (without cutting into the bag thus breaking the seal) otherwise you'll never get them open.

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I've found that the full pack is perfectly filling for a light meal and half the pack is perfect for satisfying snack. They turned out really well and will be joining us on our upcoming trip!


  1. Awesome idea, I'm just starting Paleo and been looking for something to keep me going. Thank you so much :)

  2. Neato! I have a dehydrator that I haven't used for years. You have totally inspired me. I used it to dry out apples but that beef jerky looks amazing and the nuts too.

  3. MMM yum all that looks so healthy and so tasty at the same time. Yeh I agree that it is a really good idea too. Let's ope I see some success with it. Fingers crossed!