PLAN MEALS AHEAD OF TIME
Eating well while camping is possible! You can still cook balanced, tasty and quickly made meals with minimal ingredients and equipment. Here are some tips for adding flavour and colour to your camping life!
- Plan meals ahead of time
When cooking while camping, it is essential to prepare meals that are quick and easy. Being on holiday does not mean you should only eat sandwiches, chips or even the traditional hamburgers and hot dogs. Eating healthy while camping is possible. All you need is good planning. Before leaving, take the time to develop a simple menu for each meal. For inspiration, look through culinary magazines, cookbooks or websites. You’ll find healthy recipes like fish in foil, risotto with dried mushrooms, chilli beans . . . there are so many options! With a good plan, you can enjoy healthy meals and snacks throughout your outdoor stay. Also, planning your menus will prevent you from forgetting must-have ingredients for your favourite dishes.
- Prepare some dishes beforehand
Another good tip is to prepare everything you can in advance. Doing so will help you be more efficient and cut down on preparation time once you get to your destination. Plus, it will optimize storage space and avoid overloading your bags and coolers. For example, prepare vegetables in advance. Simply wash, cut and pack them in airtight containers or reusable plastic bags (like Ziploc). You can also prepare your meats by deboning, pre-cutting, as well as wrapping and marinating the pieces into reusable bags. Another option could be to cook some dishes before hitting the road (Think: stew, spaghetti sauce, chili, etc.) There’s so much you can do! Keep these in a cooler, and your pre-cooked meals will defrost quickly. Why not bring already cooked and seasoned ground meat to simply add to pasta or rice mixes? Don’t forget to be attentive to refrigeration during transport. Planning ahead will allow you to savour both fresh and tasty food.
- Pack nutritious foods that can be kept well
To eat well while camping, it may be wise to bring healthy foods that can be stored and transported easily. This can be the case with certain canned foods. Since these do not require refrigeration, they are certainly the best allies of savvy campers who wish to eat well. Know that there are good quality foods that you’ll be happy to bring on your trip.
Legumes are a good canned food option because they are nutritious and can be cooked in many ways. Simply incorporate them to a ground meat dish, soup, salad, rice or spaghetti sauce to enjoy a tasty and healthy meal. Try to think of these options when planning your meals. Canned fish also is an interesting choice because you can incorporate it into a salad, a sandwich or even rice or pasta. You can also try canned antipasti (pickled vegetables, olives, artichokes vinaigrette, stuffed vine leaves, etc.). These are very convenient for camping fans because they are ready-to-eat. There are a lot of canned food choices and you’re sure to discover new favourites. Lastly, do not forget pasta! Ready in no time and with tons of meal possibilities, pasta is also a good source of energy. Opt for pasta that is whole grains or enriched with fibre to fully beneficiate from the increased nutritional value.
DON’T NEGLECT FOOD SAFETY
When camping, you need to be vigilant about food conservation and safety. Make sure to have a good cooler, good freezer packs or ice packs and, most importantly, clean water at hand.
Certain products, foods or changes in lifestyle may not be appropriate for you. Always consult your pharmacist or a healthcare professional.
Original source: 3 tips for cooking healthy while camping | Brunet, 2023.