Summer is here and that means camping for many of us. The chief complaint amongst the masses when discussing camping seems to be the food. There are many people who think that the lack of quality foods to take camping far outweighs the issue relieving yourself in the great outdoors believe it or not.
I designed this article to help you eat healthy, flavorful foods even when camping. This favorite summer event shouldn’t be passed by simply because of the foods that are convenient to take but are rather unhealthy choices.
The Dehydration Method
If you love camping then you need to invest in a food dehydrator. They are relatively inexpensive and are worth the money. All of the foods that I am going to list are prepared in your kitchen and dehydrated. When you go camping simply place the contents in a pot and add water to enjoy. Seriously, when done right it tastes as if you just made it.
First, let me just say that if you have favorite pastas and casseroles then it is a great idea to make them, spread layers on your trays and dehydrate as usual. When you want to make the foods once at your camping site simply pour water until the food is covered (appx. 1 inch above food level) and cook over your fire.
For everyone else who does not know which of their favorite foods to make let me offer some advice.
Homemade chili is great to use but if you want pure simplicity then canned foods are the way to go. Just remember that canned foods are not as healthy because they use preservatives and artificial ingredients. Casseroles and stews are a nice treat as well. From lasagna to chicken alfredo these are good dehydrating items.
If you don’t have a machine like this at home to prepare the foods prior to leaving on your camping adventure then you can make the selection just as good by following a few tips.
First, make sure you bring potatoes, ‘real bacon’ bits you find in the stores that need no refrigeration only (just for flavor), bell peppers, onion, barbeque sauce, rice, oil and French bread. In an ice chest you’ll need a bag of pre-shredded cheese, kielbasa or bratwursts, and items for your favorite salad.
These foods will give you 3 really nice, healthy dinners. 1) By cutting some of the potatoes into wedges you can fry them up with a tablespoon of oil, when nearly done sprinkle cheese and bacon bits on top and serve when cheese is melted- serve with salad. 2) Cook the rice as per instruction on the package over your open flame and set aside, in another camping skillet slice some of the meat (kielbasa or bratwurst), peppers, onion and enough barbeque sauce to coat the mixture. Cook until meat is done. Pour the ingredients over rice and serve with French bread. 3) The remaining potatoes can be wrapped individually in foil and placed on the fire to cook – this will make a baked potato which can be sprinkled with remaining cheese and bacon. The rest of the meat can be made by keeping a little water in the pan at all times. A salad will go nicely with this choice.
All of these choices are very healthy for the few days living outdoors. The starches will keep up your energy and the veggies will provide the dietary principals that your body needs. Be sure to also stock up on dried fruits and trail mixes for added protein and fiber.