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When you head off camping, thinking about what you and your family are going to eat is often the last thing on your mind. After all, there is so much to pack, things to organise, and if you are bringing your kids, then there is a whole extra list of things to worry about and prepare. However, it is important to take some time to think about what you will be cooking while you are adventuring. That’s why we have prepared these healthy and easy recipes to make mealtimes at the campsite that much easier.
What You Will Need: General Equipment
For each of the recipes, the ingredients required will be listed. However, there are also some general items that you will need to prepare and cook each meal. Take a look at our general equipment list below:
- Camping stove
- Pots and pans
- Kettle for boiling water
- Plates and bowls
- Tupperware containers
- Cool box or mini fridge
- Knife for chopping food
- Wooden spoon for stirring
- Basin and dish soap for washing up
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It gives you the base energy that you need to be able to tackle the day ahead. Whether you are hiking, fishing, or simply chilling, a good breakfast is essential for a good day. Here are three of our favourites.
What you need: porridge oats, water or milk, honey or sugar as wanted.
Porridge is one of the easiest breakfasts to make, and it takes hardly any time at all. On top of that, it is really good for you and will keep your energy levels up until lunch time. It’s the best breakfast for any camper, and can be topped with honey or sugar if you want a little extra sweetness.
Alternatively, you can also add some chopped fruit to your porridge for the same effect and a little extra slow release energy for the day.
This quick and easy breakfast can be eaten dry, with water, with milk, or with yoghurt. It contains a great mix of oats and dry fruit, and some may contain nuts for a little extra bulk and flavour. Much like porridge, it provides a slow release energy that will keep you going throughout the morning and until lunch. While one of the perfect breakfasts for camping and hiking, you can also bring some along for lunch or an afternoon snack.
What you need: eggs, salt and pepper, bacon if desired, sunflower oil if frying
If you have space in your cooler, you can bring some bacon along with you for a breakfast treat if you like. If you are looking for a healthy bacon alternative, then you have the option of turkey bacon, which is leaner and much better for you. If you decide to fry your eggs and bacon, use sunflower oil to help go easy on your heart – it’s a healthier option.
Eggs are filled with protein and nutrients that will keep you powered for a good few hours. Boiled eggs are often a good way to go as there is less mess and you don’t need to fry them in oil. Of course, a dash of salt and pepper on a boiled egg can never go wrong. Fried eggs are the definition of a classic camping breakfast, so it’s worth giving them a try on at least one morning.
If you are off hiking, snacks instead of lunch tend to be the best option. Of course, there might be some days that you spend at the campsite, and something a little more might be in order. Here are some of our top selections when it comes to quick snacks and lunches for your camping trip.
What you will need: bread, meat/substitute filling, salad for filling if desired, light sauces
Sandwiches are perfect for afternoons at the campsite, and it’s possible to make them a little healthier. You can use pita bread instead of regular bread, and whole wheat instead of white. If you are using a meat filling, then turkey is a lean choice that also tastes great, and adding plenty of salad creates a refreshing crunch as well as providing you with a balanced lunch. If you use sauces like mayonnaise, use the light versions where there is less fat – same for reduced sugar ketchup.
#2 Trail mix
What you will need: nuts (peanuts, cashews, pecans), M&MS (or a similar chocolate), dried fruit, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, a sweet treat (if desired)
Trail mix is so easy to make, and it is the perfect hiking and camping snack. The balance of ingredients combines quick and slow release energies, which means that it will help keep you going throughout the day while you are hiking or engaging in other activities.
All you need to do is take each of the listed ingredients and mix them together in a Ziploc bag or container. You can also mix things up by adding your own sweet treats, such a pretzels, popcorn, or dark chocolate. The great thing about trail mix is that it can be changed around and ingredients can be substituted.
#3 Oat muffins
What you need: 175g self-raising flour, 50g porridge oats, 140g light muscovado sugar, 2 tsp ground cinnamon, ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda, 1 egg, beaten, 150ml ¼ pint buttermilk, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 6 tbsp sunflower oil, 175g stoned prune, chopped, 85g pecans
These oat muffins are not only delicious, but they provide a healthy and guilt-free snack for the afternoon. Plus, kids find them delicious, which is an added bonus. Here is the recipe for these tasty oat muffins – just make sure you bake them before you leave for your trip.
Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6/fan 180C. Butter 6-8 muffin tins. Put the flour, oats, sugar, cinnamon and bicarb of soda in a large bowl, then rub everything through your fingers, as if making pastry, to ensure the ingredients are evenly blended.
Beat the egg, then stir in the buttermilk, vanilla and oil. Lightly stir the egg mix into the flour. Fold the prunes and nuts into the mixture. Divide between the tins, filling the cases to the brim, then bake for 20-25 minutes until risen and golden. Once cooled, pack them up and take them along with you on your trip.
#4 Chopped fruit and veg
What you will need: fruit and veg of your choice. We recommend apples, melon, carrots, and celery.
It might seem like a boring snack, but chopped fruit and veg can make a healthy and delicious snack for while you are on the move. Things like chopped carrots and celery provide some quick energy and relief if you get peckish, and fruits like sliced apple and chopped melon are hydrating as well as delicious. The natural sugars found in fruit also release slowly in your body, helping your energy levels stay up.
At the end of a long day camping, hiking, or just hanging with friends and family, it’s good to gather over a delicious evening meal. Dinner is a great time for everyone to socialise, be together, and share good food. Here are some delicious and healthy camping recipes that you can all make together in the evening.
#1 No-oven pizza
What you will need: 225g self-raising flour, 3 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for frying. For the topping: 1 tsp olive oil, 1 onion, sliced, 3 garlic cloves, crushed, 250g pack cherry tomatoes, halved, 4 tbsp passata, handful fresh basil leaves, chopped, 50g cheddar, grated.
Pizza doesn’t always have to mean it’s an unhealthy choice. With the right toppings, you can make your pizza a healthier one, and one that tastes amazing too. Here’s the step-by-step for making this delicious group meal.
Heat the oil in a frying pan, then add the onion and garlic and cook for 5 mins. Tip in tomatoes and passata, and simmer for 5-10 mins or until the tomatoes are soft. Remove from the heat, stir in the basil, season, then allow to cool.
Put the flour into a bowl. Make a well in the centre, add the olive oil then add 6-7 tbsp warm water or enough to make a soft dough. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll out to fit a 22cm frying pan or make 2 small ones. Heat a splash of olive oil in the frying pan, then press the dough into the pan and cook over a medium heat for 8-10 mins or until the base is golden.
Spread the pizza base with the tomato sauce, scatter the cheese and heat until it has melted and the base is golden at the edges. Serve immediately.
#2 Spanish Omelette
What you will need: 400g bag spinach leaves, 3 tbsp olive oil, 1 large onion, finely sliced, 2 large potatoes, peeled and finely sliced, 10 eggs
An omelette is a wonderfully light and delicious meal for a warm evening. They are large enough to serve several people, and they take hardly any time to cook. If you are in the mood for this rich and healthy dinner, follow the steps below for the perfect results.
Tip the spinach into a large colander and bring a kettleful of water to the boil. Slowly pour the water over the spinach until wilted, then cool under cold water. Squeeze all the liquid out of the spinach and set aside.
Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan and gently cook the onion and potato for about 10 mins until the potato is soft. While the onion is cooking, beat the eggs together in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper.
Stir the spinach into the potatoes, then pour in the eggs and cook, stirring occasionally, until nearly set. Ease the omelette onto a plate, then flip over back into the pan. Finish cooking the omelette on the underside and turn out onto a board. Serve by cutting into wedges.
#3 Chilli Con Carne
What you will need: 500g of mince beef (or meat of your choice), 2 bell peppers, 1 large red onion, diced, 2 cloves of garlic, chopped, 2 tin of chopped tomatoes, 2 tin of kidney beans in chilli water, 500g of rice.
Chilli is a classic dish for a cold evening and a group of friends. This recipe can easily serve six people, and if you want it to serve less, only add one tin of tomatoes and beans. Healthy and filling, it is hearty food that will certainly leave you feeling content. Just follow the instructions below.
If you only have one stove to hand, boil the rice first and leave it to the side. Once this is done, tip the onion, garlic, and peppers into the pot and allow them to sit for two minutes while they soften. Add the beef (or other meat) and cook until it has browned.
Once browned, add the tins of tomatoes and kidney beans, stirring to ensure everything is mixed together. Leave it to simmer for 15 minutes to make sure that everything cooks through. If the rice has been cooked first, mix it together once the chilli has been cooked and then serve.
#4 Minestrone Soup
What you will need: 3 large carrots, roughly chopped, 1 large onion, roughly chopped, 4 celery sticks, roughly chopped, 1 tbsp olive oil, 2 garlic cloves, crushed, 2 large potatoes, cut into small dice, 2 tbsp tomato purée, 2l vegetable stock, 400g can chopped tomato, 400g can butter or cannellini bean, 140g spaghetti, snapped into short lengths, 1⁄2 head Savoy cabbage, shredded, crusty bread, to serve.
Soup makes a wonderful dinner, especially if you are looking for something healthy and nutritious. It makes a wonderful meal for everyone you are camping with, and minestrone is particularly good for giving you all of the nutrients you need after a long day of hiking. Take a look at the step-by-step below.
Chop the carrots, onion and celery into small pieces. Heat the oil in a pan, add the processed vegetables, garlic and potatoes, then cook over a high heat for 5 mins until softened. Stir in the tomato purée, stock and tomatoes. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer, covered, for 10 mins. Tip in the beans and pasta, then cook for a further 10 mins, adding the cabbage for the final 2 mins. Season to taste and serve with crusty bread.
Hopefully, some of these healthy and delicious recipes are appealing to you. When you are out hiking, and enjoying the fresh air, it is important to maintain a healthy diet so that you have enough energy to really enjoy each day away. Each of these meals is easy and quick to make, which gives them a little more appeal. Try a few of these out and see if there are any that you would like to take on your next trip.