Based in Anchorage, Alaska, Heather’s Choice is a newer name in the adventure food market. According to their website, Heather Kelly started the company in 2014 after years of experimenting with her own backcountry food and studying nutrition. Offering a variety of breakfasts, entrees, and snacks (called Packaroons), the company still makes their food from scratch in an Alaskan kitchen. While not a vegan company, Heather’s Choice offers some vegan options in their selection of adventure food, and we tried every flavor we could find.
Why Heather’s Choice
Although newer to the game, Heather’s Choice stands out from the competitors in several ways.
Minimal Packaging: Decreased packaging has two main advantages. First, smaller sizes fit easily into a backpack, or any container with limited space. Second, it’s better for the environment.
HeartyCalorie Count: Adventure food should be filing and full of nutrients. The breakfast options at Heather’s Choice contain over 500 calories per serving and the dinners range from 450-600.
Made in America: Heather’s Choice makes all their food at a kitchen in Anchorage, AK.
Small But Mighty: The company is still in their first ten years of business. It feels great to support a small company with a clear mission and a passion for their selected industry.
Certified Organic Ingredients: The packaging clearly marks organic ingredients, and the company uses more organic ingredients than other brands. This is especially true of the breakfast options.
Room To Grow
There are a few areas where Heather’s Choice has room to grow. These are ones that stuck out to us.
Limited vegan options: Although the company has several plant based breakfast options, there is only one dinner option as of right now: the African Peanut Stew. All the Packaroons are vegan friendly.
Distribution: Heather’s Choice products can be found at some outdoor stores, such as REI and Scheels. Other than that, the company has a fully stocked Amazon Store. Orders can also be placed on their website. At times, products can be out of stock or delayed, which is at some level to be expected with a small operation.
Recommended Vegan Products from Heather’s Choice
We tried to find as many of the Heather’s Choice products as we could get our hands on for this review. This included the available dinner meal, several breakfasts, and all the Packaroons. Here are our top picks.
We were excited to try the African Peanut Stew, which is the only dinner entree that is vegan friendly at this time. This stew has bold, curry flavors. Packed with vegetables, the stew even had some leafy greens in the form of Swiss chard inside. Paired with some crackers, the meal was very was filling; we cooked on pouch per person and it was the perfect amount. Per usual, we both added salt and Cholula to get the perfect flavor. We did notice the cooking times were not accurate in our preparations. Even adding extra time to account for altitude, we still needed to add more time to fully rehydrate everything. In the end, we almost doubled the cook time (stirring and checking a few times). Because it’s a stew, the texture and flavor were not negatively affected in any way.
All of the Heather’s Choice breakfast options are vegan friendly (as well as gluten free and allergen safe). The base of all the meals is buckwheat, which is incredibly healthy and hearty. The Apple Pie Breakfast was our favorite. It was sweet, but not too sweet and not too tart. There were a ton of apple chunks. The hemp and chia seeds in the mix ensured that it was very filling. We made two, but we probably could have shared one. The company makes a breakfast sampler pack of all of their breakfast options that is definitely worth sampling so you can see which is your favorite.
We saved the best for last. Packaroons are coconut energy bites that come in eight flavors. They are small (a little bigger than a ping pong ball) but mighty. Just one is surprisingly filling as a quick energy bite. Eat several together and you have an all out snack. We tried all eight flavors, and they all are great depending on the flavors you like. My top pick was the Lemon Lavender: it’s not too sweet and goes great with coffee or tea. A close second was the Spiced Cocoa, which tasted like a chocolate lava cake. You can buy Packaroons in single flavors or in a variety pack.
Final Thoughts on Vegan Options at Heather’s Choice
We enjoyed sampling all the vegan offerings from Heather’s Choice for our review. The Packaroons are going to become a staple in our kitchen tote since they are perfect for everything from a hiking snack to a dessert bite in the backcountry. Although the company seems to focus more on sustainable animal proteins than vegan options, we hope they consider adding a few more vegan entrees. Maybe a meatless spaghetti to compliment one of their most popular omnivorous options, the Mom’s Spaghetti with Grass-fed Beef and Marinara? Fingers crossed!
Have you tried any of the vegan options from Heather’s Choice? What did you think? Let us know in the comments. If you liked this post, check out these others:
Note: When we review products, we always purchase them ourselves. We do not get paid to review products, unless the post explicitly states that it is sponsored (this post is NOT sponsored). We only share the products we are passionate aboutand use ourselves.