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These Bone-Broth Pouches Are a Grown-up (and Healthy) Alternative to Cup Noodles

LonoLife 24-pack Thai Curry Beef Bone Broth Powder

There’s something about living out of your truck that encourages people to offer you advice. Some isn’t all that helpful, like when people told me I should get a van instead. (A little late for that.) But some suggestions stick with you for miles — and into your everyday life. Like bone broth.

In an effort to minimize my cooking time and save money, I ate a lot of soup (Amy’s Organic if I could find it at a reasonable price) during my four months on the road. When I mentioned this to my cousin, he suggested LonoLife Bone Broth. He drinks his out of a mug as a healthy work snack, but he also thought it would be convenient in my truck.

He was right, and for a two-month period this summer, I ate a packet of LonoLife every day. The powdered bone broth comes with various proteins, including beef and chicken, and multiple flavors. The pouches are about the size of a solo serving of Kool-Aid or a Starbucks Via Instant coffee packet. But unlike either of those drinks, LonoLife has ten grams of protein. (Other nutrition facts vary slightly by flavor, but chicken has three grams of carbs and 700 mg of sodium. Compare that to Chicken Cup Noodles with 7 grams of protein, 39 grams of carbs, and 1,190 milligrams of sodium.) On days when I’m hiking 8 miles or mountain biking 20, those are the kinds of nutrients I need to keep me going. There’s no real prep. You just pour the powder in hot water and drink it. This makes the pouches an easy option whether you’re at a highway rest stop or the office tea machine. In the time it takes to grab a cup of hot water, you’re blowing steam off a savory soup. (The company knows that’s how a lot of people consume its product, so it even sells the broth in K-cups. That might sound convenient, but it’s not the nicest thing to make in the office coffee machine, which you might share with vegetarians or vegans.)

My favorite way to use the broth is slightly more complicated, but still very simple. I buy vegetable soup, like Amy’s Southwestern Vegetable or Campbell’s Savory Vegetable and pour a pouch in as a protein-dense “booster.” That way I don’t have to deal with low-quality canned soup meats, or worry about buying my own. It works on the trail, too. I no longer have to pay $12 for a tasteless freeze-dried dinner, or carry a heavy can of tuna in my pack. Instead, I can buy cheap dehydrated foods like rice, beans, and simple vegetables, and add broth to create meaty, filling meals that don’t weigh me down.