Earlier this week, we discussed the surprising health benefits of camping, including significant improvements in your immune health, mental health, physical health, and overall sense of wellbeing and happiness. Of course, health and nutrition go hand-in-hand. Today, we’re cooking up a day’s worth of delicious, healthy meals that aren’t only tasty, but also easy to make while camping or hiking. You’ll fuel up your body, boost your immune system, and have everything you need for a day of fun in the great outdoors.
1. CAMPING RECIPES: Chickpea Breakfast Hash
Start your day of outdoor adventures off right with this protein-rich breakfast that’s a breeze to whip up over a grill, barbecue, or campfire. The chickpeas and eggs add a full day’s worth of healthy, lean protein, while the summer veggies give you a seasonal taste of produce that’s bursting with phytonutrients and antioxidants that will enhance your immune system. Finally, the spices give this dish a burst of flavor without requiring the same amount of salt you often see in breakfast hashes (perfect for hot days outdoors since salt can be quite dehydrating).
1 tbsp olive oil
1 zucchini, sliced thinly
1 red onion, sliced thinly
3 mini sweet peppers, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 15-oz can of chickpeas, drained
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp coriander
1 tsp salt
2 eggs (or a plant-based egg substitute)
Stoke your campfire (or fire up your grill) and place an oiled skillet on top. Add the veggies and saute for five minutes or until they’re fragrant and tender. Add the chickpeas, salt and spices and saute for another 10 minutes or until browned. Finally, scoop the hash to one side of the skillet and add a couple of fresh-cracked eggs. Cook until the eggs are done to your personal preferences, and enjoy hot.
2. CAMPING RECIPES: Easy Trail Mix
Trail mix is the perfect meal to take on the go, whether you’re hiking, going for a mid-day run, or needing a portable snack for a day in the forest or on the beach. All of the combinations below are high in protein and fiber, and the superstar in every trail mix recipe are always the nuts. Nuts are exceptionally healthy and one of the best plant-based sources of good fat. They also contain specific types of fiber that help boost your gut health and metabolism.
Pick three or more of the following nuts:
- Pumpkin seeds
Pick three or more add-ons:
- Bagel crisps
- Chex-style cereal
- Cheerios-style cereal
Pick optional sweeteners:
- Dried coconut flakes
- Dried cranberries
Pick your seasoning:
- Maple glazed: 3 tbsp maple syrup, 1/2 tsp salt
- Sweet and salty: Combine 2 tbsp honey, 2 tbsp sriracha sauce, 1 tbsp liquid soy aminos, 1 tbsp olive oil
- Cajun style: 1 tsp olive oil, 1 tsp maple syrup or honey, 1 tsp cayenne pepper, 1 tsp thyme, 1/2 tsp each of onion, paprika and salt
Preheat your oven to 325°. While the oven is heating up, spread the ingredients onto a baking sheet and whisk together the seasoning sauce. Drizzle over the nut mix, toss, and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the trail mix is golden brown. Let it cool, then pack it in a container for your camping trip.
3. CAMPING RECIPES: Shrimp Foil Packets
You’ll wow and amaze your friends and family when you take these foil packets off of the campfire grate and open them up to release a clowd of fragrant, tantalizing steam. This recipe is almost impossible to mess up, even without precise temperature controls or tools, which makes it perfect for an evening of cooking outdoors. It also beckons creativity, since you can mix and match ingredients to the dietary and taste preferences of you, your family, and your friends. Finally, it’s so flavorful that you can sneak in all types of healthy veggies without anyone batting an eye.
6 corn cobs, shucked and cut in half
4-5 red potatoes cut into thirds, or one package of baby potatoes
25-30 raw shrimp
1 pound of smoked sausage or smoked tofu
1/2 c of melted butter or butter substitute
1 tbsp cajun-style seasoning
Variety of vegetables of your choice, such as red onions, mushrooms, celery, diced carrots, etc.
Salt and pepper to taste
Fire up your grill or the campfire. While the fire is going, tear off large rectangle sheets of heavy-duty foil. In each foil square, drizzle some butter. Add one corn, a few potatoes and shrimp, some sausage or tofu, and a sprinkling of salt, pepper and cajun-style seasoning. Toss in a few veggies of your choice, then fold up the foil into a tightly sealed packet. Roast on your grill or barbecue for 35-40 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Enjoy!
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