Going Camping This Summer? You Don’t Have to Eat Junk Food!

camping

Summer is the ideal time to enjoy the outdoors. Being out in nature is inherently relaxing and satisfying, and brings many health benefits.



While your fitness and stress levels might improve thanks to lots of movement, fresh air and peaceful surroundings, your digestion and nutritional well-being will often suffer at the hands of typical camping foods. Canned, packaged and dried foods are full of sodium, trans fats and preservatives. Even though it might take more planning and effort to bring along fresh ingredients, it will be well worth the work.

Rather than filling your cooler or pack with chips, hot dogs and granola bars, try these simple recipes to make your time spent camping as nutritious as it is rejuvenating. You’ll have longer-lasting energy for all of your adventures, and feel that much better when you round out the trip.

Breakfast recipe ideas for camping

A good, filling breakfast will set you up for a long day of hiking or paddling. Rather than eating lots of empty processed carbohydrates, try incorporating some good proteins and fats for slower-burning fuel. These breakfasts will keep you going strong all the way to lunch.

Cheesy Scrambled Egg Croissants
Prep Time:
5minutes
Cook Time:
10minutes
Total time:
Serves:
4
Recipe by:The Alternative Daily
This is a quick and easy recipe with only a few ingredients. If you’re gluten-free, use lettuce wraps instead. Extra toppings could include avocado, bacon or slices of previously cooked sausage.
Ingredients
Servings: servings
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Instructions
  1. In a bowl, whisk the eggs, cheddar, milk and some seasoning.
  2. Pour into a saucepan and heat gently, stirring continuously, until softly scrambled.
  3. Stir in chives, then split open croissants (warm them first if you have a grill you can place over the fire) and put the scrambled eggs inside.
One-Pan English Breakfast
Prep Time:
20minutes
Cook Time:
30minutes
Total time:
Serves:
4
Recipe by:The Alternative Daily
This is essentially a frittata (crustless quiche), which combines all the best ingredients of a traditional English breakfast in one frying pan, with no need to chop anything. You will find it very easy to make, and delicious! If you’re camping without a cooler, you can make this in advance and pack it along (it will keep for a day or two), or use powdered eggs instead. If you’re allergic to eggs, simply fry up the same mixture as a hash with canned wild salmon.
Ingredients
Servings: servings
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Instructions
  1. Heat the grill to high. Heat a medium non-stick frying pan, add the sausages and fry for 3 minutes. Add the bacon, turning occasionally, until it starts to crisp — about 5 minutes more. Tip in the mushrooms and continue to cook for a further 3–5 minutes. Drain any excess fat and move the ingredients so they are evenly spread out.
  2. Season the eggs, then add to the pan, swirling to fill the spaces. Gently move with a fork for 2 minutes over a low-medium heat until the mixture begins to set. Scatter over the tomatoes, cheese, if using, and chives, then grill for 2 minutes until set. Cut into wedges and serve with your favourite sauces.
Baked Oatmeal Snack Bars
Prep Time:
20minutes
Cook Time:
20minutes
Total time:
Serves:
9
Recipe by:The Alternative Daily
These bars are perfect for making up before your trip. You can simply wrap them in waxed paper or put them in a container to bring along. Alternatively, pack the dry ingredients in a resealable bag and bring them along for making hearty oatmeal. Simply steep them with boiled water for a few minutes for a tasty breakfast. This is the ultimate lightweight option if you are backpacking rather than car camping.
Ingredients
Servings: squares
Units:
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Mix dry ingredients.
  3. Mix wet ingredients.
  4. Pour wet into dry, and stir to combine.
  5. Pour into a 9×9 baking dish either coated in cooking spray or lined with parchment.
  6. Bake for 40 minutes.
  7. Cut into 9 squares.
Recipe Notes

The variations are endless: you can add cranberries, coconut, all kinds of dried fruit, nuts, etc., depending on your taste and what you have available.

Healthy recipes for lunch and dinner while camping

The best way to enjoy nutritious lunches on the trail is to pack along a variety of bits and pieces that you can assemble into a meal on the go. Bananas and avocados are good calorie-dense options, as are nuts and dark chocolate. You can pack homemade coconut energy bars along for a good source of fiber and healthy fat. Nut butters and tuna packed in resealable pouches (rather than cans) are a good lightweight source of protein.

campingIf you’re setting up camp for the night and have a little more time, the key to making delicious and nutritious meals is to use simple one-pot recipes. This way you can still focus on good, fresh food, but without lots of fuss or dirty dishes.

One-Pot Potato and Mushroom Curry
Prep Time:
20minutes
Cook Time:
20minutes
Total time:
Serves:
4
Recipe by:The Alternative Daily
For those nights that you feel like being just a little exotic, this healthy meal is sure to please. You can make this dish as hot or mild as you wish.
Ingredients
Servings: servings
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Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the onion and potato. Cover, then cook over a low heat for 5 mins until the potatoes start to soften. Throw in the eggplant and mushrooms, then cook for a few more minutes.
  2. Stir in the curry paste, pour over the stock and coconut milk. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 minutes or until the potato is tender. Stir through the coriander and eat on its own or with some naan bread.
Chickpea, Chorizo and Spinach Stew
Prep Time:
20minutes
Cook Time:
20minutes
Total time:
Serves:
4
Recipe by:The Alternative Daily
For a healthy, warming supper that takes little effort or time, you can’t beat this simple one-pan dish.
Ingredients
Servings: servings
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Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a large pan, then gently fry the onion for 3–4 mins until it begins to soften. Stir in the carrot, celery and herbs. Season, then cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic, chorizo and paprika. Gently fry until the vegetables soften and the chorizo starts to release its oils and crisp up.
  2. Stir in the chickpeas and 1/2 cup water, then bring to a simmer for 1–2 minutes until the chickpeas have heated up. Add the spinach, then stir through with the chickpeas until it wilts a little. Remove from the heat, season to taste, then serve warm with crusty bread.
Frying Pan Pizza
Prep Time:
20minutes
Cook Time:
20minutes
Total time:
Serves:
4
Recipe by:The Alternative Daily
This healthy pizza is so easy to make, and will add a little fun to your camping trip. Simply layer everything onto a frying pan and enjoy a delicious pizza! Optionally add avocado, sausage or bacon as toppings to make a heartier variation.
Ingredients
Servings: servings
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Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan, then add the onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes. Tip in tomatoes and tomato paste, and simmer for 5–10 minutes, or until the tomatoes are soft. Remove from the heat, stir in the basil, season, then allow to cool.
  2. Put the flour into a bowl. Make a well in the centre, add the olive oil, then add 6–7 tablespoons of warm water, or enough to make a soft dough. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll out to fit a 10-inch frying pan, or make 2 small ones. Heat a glug of olive oil in the frying pan, then press the dough into the pan and cook over a medium heat for 8–10 minutes, or until the base is golden.
  3. Heat grill to hot. Spread the tomato sauce over the pizza base, scatter on the cheese and grill until it has melted and the base is golden at the edges. Serve immediately.

Now that you have solid daily meals planned, check out some ideas for easy healthy snacks to pack along in this article, or find high-protein snacks here.

—The Alternative Daily

Sources:
http://greatist.com/health/how-to-eat-healthy-camping-hiking-trail
http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/camping
http://blog.gaiam.com/rethinking-campfire-food-15-healthy-easy-ideas-2-recipes
http://eatdrinkpaleo.com.au/paleo-camping-food-road-trip-meals-ideas
http://www.motherearthnews.com/real-food/hearty-oatmeal-recipes-zmaz08fmzmcc.aspx
http://www.katheats.com/favorite-foods/baked-oatmeal-snack-bars
http://www.artofglutenfreebaking.com/2012/06/self-rising-flour-gluten-free

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