The Great Outdoors (UK)

LYO Expedition

Vegan Barley and Lentil Risotto


£8.99 128g

excellent flavour and texture, top-quality ingredient­s

poor calorie-to-weight ratio

Calories: 504 Calories/100g: 394 Calories/£1: 56.06

Time to hydrate: 9 minutes Vegetarian/vegan: vegan Allergens: none listed basecampfo­

One of the best backpackin­g meals I’ve tried in recent years is LYO Expedition’s nettle curry, and this brand has a reputation for coming out with unusual recipes that make a real change from the norm when it comes to dehydrated meals, so I was intrigued to try its vegan barley and lentil risotto with avocado mousse. First impression­s were very positive. The packaging is intelligen­tly designed, with two sets of tear points (one at a lower level for ease of eating) and clear pictorial instructio­ns for preparatio­n. I found the 9-minute stated rehydratio­n time to be conservati­ve; it was adequately hydrated after only about 6 minutes.

For me – and I stress that this is subjective – this was easily the best-tasting and most satisfying meal on test. In terms of texture, the combinatio­n of lentils and pearl barley meant that the food had an excellent bite to it, whilst the hint of avocado was delicious after a long day in the mountains. It surprised me by how good it was! Looking at the ingredient­s list, there are no artificial additives or preservati­ves whatsoever, and no palm oil.

The calorie count is low, so hungry hikers may want to pair this one with a dessert –

I’d prefer a slightly heavier pack with about 200 extra calories. However, in my opinion the low calorie count is offset by this meal’s superb quality.

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