Healthy Camping Pt1

So many think that when you take food along or cook outside your kitchen that forcibly the quality of your food has to go down, as in unhealthy and bad for you. But there is really no reason for that, whatsoever. As proven by or most recent camping trip and many hikes before that (I made Vietnamese summer rolls on time, put the peanut sauce right into them), you can definitely ‘rough it’ without sacrificing on the food side of things.

This time we only had a few days so it was sadly much shorter than we would have liked. But hey, that was in June (yes, sometimes that’s how long it takes me to get a post completed) and now it’s only August, and even if you are cold easily, camping season extends till at least the end of September.
We set off on a blistering hot weekend where temps here in the Lehigh Valley topped out just short of the triple digit mark, drove through several fronts of thunderstorm and heavy downpour ( there was an inch of water in my kayak by the time we got there! ) up to the Catskills which proved to be cooler and therefore much more agreeable with everybody. Oh and the best part? It did not rain one drop once we got there!

We went with friends and the cooking duties were split evenly: we were responsible for one dinner and one breakfast.

But first, here are some general guidelines for meal planning, away from you regular kitchen:
Use seasonal produce for fresh and healthy meals. Most produce can be kept at room temperature for a period of time ( unless it’s berries, which we did put on ice in the cooler) Things like cucumbers, tomatoes, potatoes, bananas, apples, grapefruit, oranges, watermelon , cantaloupe , red bell pepper, onions or green beans, even kale if wrapped in a moistened paper towel before put in a plastic bag will happily keep a while. And if you end up having more space than expected, you can always store them on top of the rest in your cooler. ( don’t refrigerate your tomatoes or bananas)

Breakfast:

Mix up the dry ingredients for pancakes and store in a zip top bag, all you need to add is the liquid stuff (a liquid like milk, oil and eggs, if you are making them with eggs)

Omelettes are always a good choice, easy and versatile that can be made with pretty much anything added.
Desert: doesn’t have to be roasted marshmallow or smores either, branch out. Try fruit salad with watermelon or mixed berries with yogurt the first couple of nights. Yogurt keeps fairly well, it’s fermented. Folks used to turn milk into cheese and yogurt in order for it to keep before there was no refrigeration. Keep it cool, but you can also bring it along for a picnic on a hike, no need to panic about it. When you get down to the end of your supplies and the more delicate things are gone, make these chocolate bananas over the fire. Or make a fruit compote topped with granola for crunch!

Dinner choices beyond the hot dog and chips: Pieces of meat are healthier than mystery meat in a casing. That said this time we did have chicken sausage the one night. Carl at the farmers market is a sausage genius and I know for a fact that his chicken sausage is made from chicken breast he sells right there alongside the sausage made from it. Steak, pork chops and chicken breast can all be easily grilled but need to be kept cold on ice in your cooler until you are ready for them. In my experience, meat, like ground beef, sausage or steak. (Oh yes, I said we did it in style, didn’t I?) keeps well right on the ice or bottom of the cooler, submerged in the water. To make doubly sure and make it keep longer, freeze it solid at home, then place in a zip top bag to keep it from getting ‘watered’ or in one of those Rubbermaid ‘take alongs’ (storage containers), they seal the water out and keep the meat inside cool and dry. You can cook chicken breast pieces in an aluminium foil pack with vegetables and seasonings included. Potatoes do well cooked that way, too, although they do take a while, sweet potato seems quicker.

Oh and remember, aluminium foil is your friend, as is a good set of grill thongs and a mitt 😉

imageWild Blue berries along the hiking route

Serves 4

Breakfast:

We decided to go with an omelette with spinach and feta for sustenance and flavor. I cooked these over a camp stove, not the open fire. And it ended up being easier to make one at a time since the pan i have, makes it hard to put more than 3 eggs on at a clip and still have it cook through. Wasn’t a problem at all since other really only takes minutes to cook.

Basic Spinach Omelette:

  • 12 eggs (3 per person)
  • Spinach ( about 2 hand full per person)
  • 4 oz Feta Cheese, cut into 1/2″ cubes

Variations on a theme:

  • Use Swiss Chard or Kale, instead of Spinach
  • Add some deli ham, or prosciutto for additional flavor
  • Use cheddar, Fontina or Swiss instead of Feta

imagewith Fontina and Prosciutto

This one’s with Swiss Chard from the garden & Ham

Desert:

© 2012 SimpleHealthyHomemade

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This entry was posted in banana use, Bootcamp approved, breakfast, dinners & main meal, frugal, how to, Sides, snacks and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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