Let’s face it. Camping and “healthy meal” aren’t usually paired together. Generally, campground cuisine is about what “works” rather than nutrition. After all, how can you prepare healthy foods without a fridge, a microwave, and the other conveniences of your home kitchen?
To answer this question, I recently toured the supermarket only in the aisles and skipped the fresh departments. Yup, pretty much the opposite of the usual advice. Here are some foods I found that you may want to put on your next camping grocery list.
Just add boiled water.
- Oatmeal: The section offers a plethora of whole grain cereals (in convenient paper cups). Just add boiling water.
- Dr. McDougall’s: Try the Black Bean All Natural Soup, which offers 8 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber or the Black Bean Quinoa Salad, which has 14 grams of protein and 15 grams of fiber! Simply add boiling water to prepare either right in their convenient cups.
- Vana Life Foods: Simply warm these grab-n-go legume bowls in boiling water to enjoy a warm, nutritious meal in minutes.
Snack without hassle.
- Lara Bar: Raw fruit and nut, simple ingredients and loaded with heart healthy fat to satiate you.
- High quality granola bars: Seek granola bars that are low in added sugar and offer at least 7 grams protein.
- Grape tomatoes: You can sneak in fresh veggies after all! These little gems don’t require refrigeration.
- Bananas, apples and very under ripe fruit: And you can enjoy fresh fruit too! This fruit doesn’t need to be kept cold either.
Add on the nutrition.
- PB2: This peanut butter powder can be added to yogurt (which is worth having around if possible), oatmeal and more to increase the protein content of your food.
- Nuts: Once you make that oatmeal, add crushed nuts for added heart healthy fat or for a snack
- Hemp seeds: Rich in protein, these little seeds are the extra protein (and “good for you” fat) you need to be satisfied
- Tuna pouches: No need for a can opener or to drain water when you simply tear open a pouch of protein rich tuna. Pack along individual mayonnaise packets (shelf stable) if you want to turn it into a tuna salad.
- Cabot Whey Protein: This pure whey protein can be added to water or used in other ways to create protein rich beverages and snacks.
Cook before you camp.
Depending on the type of camping you are doing and how long you can keep foods cold, you may want to prepare one of these Guiding Stars rated recipes and pack the finished dish along with your other convenient foods:
- Quinoa Pesto Salad: This can be made ahead at home and packed to eat cold. Made with quinoa and fresh vegetables, it is protein rich and packed with veggies.
- Plum Tabbouleh: Another make-ahead side. This unique salad takes advantage of summer produce.
- Sweet Potato Pesto Burrito: Make ahead, wrap in foil, and freeze these simple burritos. With 24 hours to thaw and time to warm over the grill they will be ready to enjoy.
- Curried Chicken Salad: Prepare and pack this simple, yet flavorful and versatile chicken salad. Save time by shredding a rotisserie chicken.
- Spicy Stuffed Peppers: Assemble these stuffed peppers, wrap in lightly oiled foil, and grill for about 30-40 minutes.
- Breakfast Cookies: Pack these protein-rich “cookies” along for a quick breakfast or mid-day snack.
- Cod Pockets: Fishing for your dinner? You can also modify this recipe for and prepare them at your camp site.
- Do you have a favorite meal you prepare or must have foods for camping? Please share!