If you’re visiting our collection of healthy camping recipes today, you’re probably planning a trip or looking forward to the long Labor Day weekend.
The weather is nice. The sun is out. Perfect timing for a getaway to indulge yourself in the beauty of nature. Of course, you cannot enjoy nature on an empty stomach. With this list of camping recipes, we’ll help you plan delicious and nutritious meals without any hassle. But before we do, how about some camping tips?
How Do You Eat Healthy At Camp?
When it comes to camping, canned food may seem to be the most convenient option. They’re relatively cheap, easy to carry, and unlike fresh food, they don’t spoil easily. You can just stack a pile of them in the back of the car and you’ll be feasting for days. Plus, you don’t have to worry about wild animals sniffing out your food.
However, the problem with most canned food is that they have a high amount of sodium and sugar, which is not so good for your health. If you eat canned food too often, you are more exposed to the risk of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases.
So if you do use canned food, always look for low-sodium products and opt for “sugar-free” or “no sugar added” labeled juice or canned fruits.
But all and all, staying off canned food and choosing fresh produce might be the best option when it comes to eating healthy. However, we understand that keeping food fresh while camping isn’t an easy task, and cooking at camp can be troublesome. No worries. We’re here to help.
How Do You Preserve Food While Camping?
It is always advisable to invest in a quality cooler to bring to camp because you will most likely need to keep your food fresh for the whole trip. In order to do that, the cooler has to maintain a temperature of about 40 degrees Fahrenheit. If your cooler fails to maintain the temperature, your food will spoil. Our advice is to get a quality cooler that can stay cold for as long as possible, and fill it with ice to keep it cool. Here’s how you do it:
- Start prepping the cooler by making or buying ice packs the day before you leave. You can also fill water into empty water bottles or milk jugs and freeze them to make ice blocks. These ice blocks take longer to melt than ice cubes so they can keep food colder for longer.
Note: don’t fill the containers all the way up – leave enough room for the liquid to expand once frozen.
- You should divide food and store them in the fridge or in the freezer overnight.
- Vegetables, fruits, milk, soft cheeses, desserts, and beverages like beer or soda cans should be kept in the fridge.
- Freeze as much of the food as you can. Store juice boxes and raw meat like chicken breasts, fish, bacon, or hot dogs in the freezer overnight. By doing this, they can thaw slowly inside the cooler while keeping other food cold as well.
– Double wrap raw meat in ziplock bags or store it in an airtight container to avoid cross-contamination.
– You should cut vegetables and raw meat in advance to save time and cut down on food handling.
- Distribute ice packs evenly among food packages. Keep the heavy ice containers at the bottom of the cooler, then start layering frozen food items and ice packs one after another. Put the light-weight food like desserts at the top of the cooler to prevent them from being squashed.
Note: seal the ice packs carefully so that they can stay clean and be used in drinks.
Other food like dry ingredients or non-refrigerated items can be stored in a separate cooler or container for easy access.
How Do You Reheat Food While Camping?
You’ve successfully kept your food cold and fresh. Now how do you reheat it? Spoiler alert: you’re going to need a lot of tin foil.
Wrap whatever food you can with aluminum foil carefully and when you reheat it, you just have to throw it in the hot coal. This method uses direct heat from the fire so the food is cooked very quickly. Therefore, you should keep an eye on it to avoid burning.
Using the heavy-duty aluminum foil as a lid can be a good idea, too. Just wrap the pan loosely with foil. This will trap in the heat and help cook the food faster.
For food that cannot be wrapped, you’ll need to use some pots and pans to reheat it. Make sure the fire pits at your campsite have grates to grill food, or bring your own. Put the grate over the fire pit and you’ll have a cooking surface to cook your food.
We wouldn’t recommend reheating cooked meat like chicken, beef, pork, etc. as they tend to lose moisture and become dry. You can, however, marinate the meat in advance and put in the freezer. The meat will have a chance to thaw slowly on your way to camp and will be ready to cook by the time you arrive.
Now then, it would be pointless to bring all those bits and pieces without preparing any food. So let’s check out our favorite healthy camping recipes for this summer!
12 healthy camping recipes
Coming up with menu ideas for your camping trip is hard. Making sure they are nutritious is even harder. Let us help you plan tasty, nutritious, and easy-to-pack meals for you, your family, and friends. All you have to do now is to pick out your favorite recipes, hit the grocery store, and prepare your next getaway.
This creamy, garlicky, zingy lemon chicken recipe might sound too fancy for a meal at camp, but it’s actually surprisingly simple. Within 30 minutes, you will have some beautifully juicy chicken cooked to tender perfection. The best part about it is that everything is done in one single pan, which means fewer dishes to wash!
In the original recipe, the carrots are roasted in the oven. Here’s how you roast them on campsite: simply scrub, wash, and pat the carrots dry. Season them with salt, pepper, thyme, and olive oil. Once seasoned, double wrap with aluminum foil, throw them into the fire, and let them cook. The result should be sweet and salty, crunchy yet tender carrots.
Similar to the recipe above, these roasted sweet potatoes are our favorite when it comes to roasted vegetables for camping. All it takes is some foil, sweet potatoes, seasonings, and a fire. Easy to prep, light to pack, and simple to cook. No tricky cooking methods involved (and no dishes, either)!
These colorful fish kebabs are absolutely stunning and delicious. You can even make and thread the skewers at home, and then freeze them. Once you get to the campsite, they should be at the right temperature and ready to cook!
Plot twist: this recipe works with other types of fish, too. So feel free to switch out for cod, halibut, bass, or anything else your heart desires.
Freshen up your taste buds with this hassle-free Mexican tomato salad recipe. We suggest chopping up the onion beforehand and keeping it in an airtight container. When you’re ready to eat, simply dice tomatoes and add them to the onions. Then give them a squeeze of lime or lemon, season with salt and pepper, and toss. That’s all there is to it.
For this recipe, we recommend you make these taquitos at home, wrap them individually with aluminum foil and put in the freezer. You can reheat them by putting the whole wrap on the grill, or unwrap and heat them in a pan. Make sure they have thawed before you start cooking.
Eggs are delicate. They need to be handled with care. We suggest you keep them in a jar to avoid them breaking and making a big mess. Then, when you’re making breakfast, crack the eggs right into that jar and beat them. No extra bowl needed!
No breakfast at camp is complete without pancakes! However, making them can be messy. To avoid that, simply measure all the dry ingredients in advance and put everything in a jar. After that, when you’re hungry, add the wet ingredients to the jar, whisk with a fork, and make pancakes!
For this recipe, we recommend making it the night before your trip. Just put the ingredients in a jar before you go to bed and let the fridge do its magic. You can have them for breakfast and bring along on the trip. They even make a great power snack for the kids, too!
This one pan recipe is our favorite when it comes to easy-to-make camp food. It doesn’t require many ingredients, and there’s no complex cooking method involved. Add a few slices of toast and it should be perfect for breakfast or lunch!
If you’re camping somewhere cold, you’ll need a bowl of sweet potato and peanut stew to warm you up. It is packed with protein and other nutrients to help you stay fit and full of energy. However, the dish does contain peanut butter and chickpeas which are not Paleo or Keto friendly. Do keep that in mind if you follow either of the diets.
Pro tip: we would recommend chopping the veggies, and draining and rinsing the chickpeas in advance to save time.
Another simple and delicious recipe to make at camp. It only takes 25 minutes to cook, but we still recommend prepping the ingredients beforehand to save some time. We doubt that anyone would want to take out the cutting board to use and clean while being short on water supply anyway. Let’s simplify as much as we can, folks.