For the RV-ing or camping family, summer is a time of adventure, new places, old favorites and … lousy food. The good news is healthy camping foods are not as difficult as you might think.
By Danielle, Contributing Writer
Let’s face it, when you’re camping it is very tempting to eat junk. Marshmallows, hot dogs and processed snacks are so convenient for camping, but they aren’t good for us. Healthy camping food is not as difficult as you might think. But like anything worthwhile, it takes a little planning.
In the first few weeks of our summer camping it was fun to live on junk food, but we quickly realized that eating too much junk was affecting us in negative ways. I began to break out more than I did in high school and our son’s behavior was starting to show signs of too much sugar and food dyes. The break from prepping snacks and foods was nice, but a mother’s work is never done, even when you’re camping.
When you want to make healthy camping food at home you can prep ahead of time but what about an extended trip when you need to make food in the campsite? It can still be done! Here are some tips for preparing healthy camping food beforehand and at the campsite.
Before You Travel
Make and Take Foods
These foods are great to make at home and pack for both travel snack and campsite nourishment:
- Homemade Larabars
- Homemade Marshmallows
- Homemade Graham Crackers
- Chocolate Raisin-Nut Clusters
- Homemade trail mix
- Smooth and Creamy Chocolate Chia Pudding
Before Travel Prep
If you’re cooking over the fire there are things you can prep at home:
- Brown burger meat
- Prepare taco meat (here’s a great homemade seasoning recipe)
- Cut veggies
- Scramble eggs
- Mix dry ingredients and bag (this is great for pancakes, brownies, etc.)
A perk to camping is exploring new or different locations.
Buying local fruits and veggies when you reach your destination is good for the wallet and the belly. Many times you can find roadside stands, and if they are mom and pop run the items may be less likely to imported or heavily treated with chemicals. If you’re super opposed to chemicals ask around for local organic markets and do your fruit and veggie shopping there.
Healthier Campfire Foods
Healthy camping foods over the campfire can be fun for everyone. You’re not at home so the prep and cooking are different from the normal routine. Children young and old can help prepare and cook foods on site. Of course, use your judgement when allowing children to cook over an open fire and be sure to discuss fire safety with them beforehand.
Here are a few great campfire recipes that are low prep yet healthy.
Seasoned Snow Peas
- 2 cups snow peas
- 2 Tbsp butter (cut into pieces)
- 10 fresh mint leaves, torn (substitute any herbs your family loves)
- Salt to taste
- Place grate over medium coals.
- Cut two 14-inch pieces of heavy-duty foil and place one atop the other. Grease lightly with butter, coconut oil or olive oil. Arrange peas in the center and top with mint and salt (if desired). Drop butter pieces evenly on the top of the peas.
- Wrap the foil around the food. Be sure to seal the pack well.
- Place on the grate 15-20 minutes, turning halfway through cooking. Cook until desired tenderness is reached.
Taters on a Stick
- 12 baby or new potatoes (or, cut medium size potatoes into halves)
- 2 cups plain yogurt (homemade is best)
- Your favorite seasoning
- Salt and pepper (as desired)
- Combine yogurt, seasonings and potatoes in a small bowl. Stir to coat the potatoes well then marinate 20-30 minutes.
- Thread 3 potatoes on a stick and cook above coals for 10 minutes or until crisp-tender.
Bacon Egg and Cheese Sandwich
Yield 1 sandwich
- 1 egg
- 2 slices bread of your choice
- 1 strip bacon (uncooked)
- 1 slice cheddar cheese
- Pepper to taste
- In a small bowl, beat egg and add pepper if desired. Butter one side of each piece of bread. Coat inside of pie iron with butter, coconut oil or cooking spray.
- Cut bacon into 4 pieces and lay on one side of the pie iron. Try to cover as much of the iron as possible. Put one slice of bread atop the bacon, butter side down. Some bread may stick out, that is okay.
- Carefully pour egg mixture onto bread and add cheese. Add remaining slice of bread, butter side up.
- Close pie iron. Trim off any excess bread from the outside edges. Hold over hot coals4-6 minutes, turning often until bread is toasted.
Another one of our favorites is cheesy burger and potatoes. You can find that recipe here.
Healthy camping food is not hard. You can enjoy foods within your dietary needs even over the fire. If you are looking for some basic campfire instructions, be sure to grab this free fire starting printable.
Lisa @ This Pilgrim Life
We love camping too and I definitely know what you mean about the effects of compromising too much on typical “camping food”. It’s also so important to remember that it’s not just about satisfying hunger but giving our bodies what they need when we are in new places and likely doing a lot more physically strenuous activities. Water, fruits, and nutrient dense foods are more important than ever!
I have written a lot about camping on my site too but it’s always nice to get new ideas! I love the roasted potatoes and the idea of cooking snap peas over the fire. Planning to buy locally from road stands and such is another great tip. Before we go camping (usually for a week at a time) I like to do as much prep as I can so that I don’t have to do much cooking at the campsite (my husband mans the camp stove ). One thing we do is blend a weeks worth of fruit and vegetable smoothies for everyone and freeze them in jars. It helps to keep our cooler cold and helps us to start off on the right foot every morning.
bacon, egg and cheese is considered “healthy” to you? Ha!