If you follow me regularly than you know that my take on gluten-free is from more of a decadent and indulgent perspective – so I have to say that when Steve’s PaleoGoods reached-out to me to sample some of their products I was a bit hesitant. I mean Paleo was never really something that was even remotely on my radar. Don’t get me wrong, if you choose to live a Paleo lifestyle and it makes you happy than more power to you. I honestly also never really looked into what living a Paleo lifestyle entailed – other than grains and dairy being off-limits and returning to things like meat, fish, vegetables, and fruit. I typically eat meat, vegetables, and nuts anyway – though I do not eat any fish given my shellfish allergy that came-on later in life and I fear that all fish might eventually become problematic.
Well, back to Steve’s PaleoGoods. When their Paleo Sampler arrived I have to say that I was intrigued. It contained: PaleoStix, Southwestern Sriracha Jerky, PaleoKit (fruit, nut, and jerky mix), Original PaleoKrunch (granola-type bar), PaleoKrunch Apple Pie Granola, Dried Fruit Strawberries, and PaleoChef Maple Mustard sauce/marinade/dressing.
Believe it or not I have always loved beef jerky but quite honestly have found a hard-time finding one that is not overly processed, full of preservatives, or the consistency of shoe leather. So when the sampler arrived with the Southwestern Sriracha jerky I could not wait to dig-in. The first thing that I noticed was the ingredients. You can actually recognize each and every ingredient on the label. There is also one other thing missing – any preservatives. The meat itself is absolutely the most tender jerky that you will ever come across. Take everything you ever thought about jerky and toss it right out the window because this is hands-down the most amazing jerky ever. The mild spiciness adds the perfect kick of heat that just gives an extra flavor boost to this jerky.
The Original PaleoKit was an interesting mix of jerky, nuts, and dried fruit. You wouldn’t think that the combination would work but the sweet and savory blend really works very well together. Again, the jerky is perfectly tender as is the dried-fruit and when you add in the crunchiness of the nuts it makes for a great snack.
I am a huge granola person so was really interested in trying the PaleoKrunch bar and cereal. The bar is wonderfully moist and you would never know it is grain-free. It is a really nice mix of seeds (pumpkin and sunflower) with almonds and shredded coconut. It is perfectly sweetened with a hint of honey and has a nice texture that is a nice balance of soft and crunchy. The Apple Pie Granola was a real favorite of mine. Large pieces of tender dried apples paired with a mix of seeds and nuts have a subtle sweetness that is elevated by a hint of spicy cloves, nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon making this truly reminiscent of a traditional apple pie flavor.
The dried fruit was another personal favorite because usually when you think of “dried” fruit your mind immediately goes to dehydrated shrivels of dead fruit. Steve’s is a complete different take on dried fruit with moist strawberries that actually still look like strawberries. They are soft and chewy with a vibrant sweet flavor that is rounded out with just a hint of tanginess. The PaleoChef Maple Mustard sauce/marinade/dressing was extremely versatile and I used it as a veggie dip and as a marinade for some Berkshire pork chops. The zippy mustard gives it a tangy kick and the maple syrup adds just a hint of sweetness (and helps caramelize to perfection when grilling).
The final item that I sampled was the PaleoStix. Now your mind probably goes to those mass produced sticks that you see sitting on the counter when you walk-in to a convenience store. I often wondered who actually eats those. There was something just so off-putting about them and the ingredient list looks more synthetic than meat. Steve’s take uses either free-range or grass-fed beef with no hormones of antibiotics and has zero nitrates (something I do not react well to) and zero gluten or fillers. These were really very good and made for the perfect quick snack.
Steve’s also gives back and pays it forward with 15% of sales proceeds going to support Steve’s Club – a non-profit that brings fitness, nutrition, and mentorship to at-risk youth across the country. It’s always nice to see a company that not only has great products but does great things to help affect change in a meaningful way.
So, whether you follow a Paleo lifestyle or are just looking for great products that are free from any junk, taste great, and just happen to be Paleo be sure to check out Steve’s PaleoGoods. They most definitely have a new customer in me and I am really looking forward to trying more of their products – not to mention ordering some additional jerky – it is so addicting. You can learn more about Steve’s PaleoGoods on their website where you can also place an order and have it shipped right to your front door.