The view of Utah Lake from the mountains up above Payson, Utah.
We had a great time camping over Memorial Day weekend! I have to say, I was slightly nervous to go. As you all know, because of our food allergies, our life revolves around food. Without a kitchen, I feel lost! I wasn't sure how we would survive four whole days in the mountains without a real kitchen. But survive we did! And actually, we did more than survive. We ate well!
I'm not going to lie...it took a lot of planning and preparation. I spent almost two full days preparing beforehand but it paid off. When we got there, I was able to relax and didn't have to spend my entire day cooking. Meals were prepped in under 10 minutes and eaten as soon as they were done cooking over the fire or camp stove. It actually felt like a break!
I thought I'd share our menu and recipes with you to give you some ideas of how you can take real food along with you on your camping trips this summer! Just because you're in the mountains doesn't mean you can't eat real, nourishing food!
Here's what we ate.
Dinner: Tinfoil dinners - I forgot to take a picture of these! But they were absolutely delicious. I lined tinfoil with parchment paper, then filled each packet with diced pork, yellow potatoes, zucchini, red onion, and bell pepper. I followed this recipe and it will definitely be a camping staple from now on! These were cooked over the coals of the fire.
Dessert: Smore's - A few weeks ago I made these marshmallows for my son's camp out. I had leftovers, so I froze them which made it super easy to pull them out for this trip. They are yummy and very easy to make! They also brown perfectly. I followed this recipe for the graham crackers and then found some dairy and soy free chocolate at Sprout's. Of course, I forgot a proper picture but you can kind of get a glimpse of them in this picture of my sweet little Maude. My kids LOVED these and I loved that they didn't feel left out when the other family we camped with also made Smore's. It was an absolute win!
Breakfast: Pancakes with maple syrup and berries - this meal was yummy. We cooked the pancakes in lots of coconut oil so they were really crispy. Yum, yum, yum! This is a new recipe that we have really enjoyed using lately. It also works well for waffles. Add more or less liquid depending on how thick you want the batter.
Gluten, Dairy, Nut, and Egg Free Pancakes or Waffles
3 cups Bob's Red Mill All Purpose Flour Blend
pinch of powdered stevia
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons ground flax seed + 6 tablespoons water
2 cups rice milk
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil or olive oil
Combine flour, stevia, baking soda, and salt. Mix well. (If going camping, put these pre-measured ingredients in a ziploc bag beforehand to make your life easier). In a separate bowl, combine flax seed and water. Let gel for about five minutes. Add the flax seed gel to the dry ingredients, then add the rice milk and oil. Stir well to combine. Cook as pancakes or waffles, then serve and enjoy! We cooked these pancakes on a cast iron griddle over top of our propane stove.
Lunch: Hot dogs - This was an easy quick lunch that we all loved. We also ate Bubbie's pickles which are pricey but contain probiotics and are DELISH, olive oil potato chips, and watermelon. I love a good easy meal! Applegate organic hot dogs are pricey too but they are made from organic grassfed beef, are gluten and dairy free, have no sugar, and do not contain nitrites/nitrates. They also taste AMAZING and are probably one of our favorite splurges. I am a hot dog lover and always have been...now I can enjoy them without guilt. We heated the hot dogs up over the fire and everything else did not require any heat.
Dinner: Chicken Lime Soup - I brought precooked frozen chicken from a previous meal so this was a cinch to throw together. I also bought organic canned beans (another splurge to make my life easier). I brought previously frozen homemade broth which added as a double bonus to keep food cold in the cooler. All I had to do was combine the ingredients then heat it up. It took less than 10 minutes to throw together and was very yummy. We heated this up over the propane stove.
Dessert: Apple Crisp - This was so easy and quick to throw together. It would have been quicker if I had remembered to bring my apple slicer, but since I prepackaged everything in ziploc bags, all I had to do was throw it in the pot after the apples were chopped. This was a big hit and will definitely become a family favorite while camping.
Dutch Oven Apple Crisp
8 apples, sliced and chopped into 1 inch pieces
3/4 cup coconut sugar, divided
juice from 1 lemon
1 1/2 sticks of butter, coconut oil, or Earth Balance soy-free spread
1/2 cup gluten free flour
1/2 cup gluten free rolled oats
1/4 teaspoon salt
cinnamon, to taste
Line a large dutch oven with parchment paper. Cut your apples and place them in the dutch oven. Add 1/2 cup of coconut sugar, then juice the lemon, and add a couple of dashes of cinnamon. Stir to combine. Slice up 1/2 stick of butter and add to the apples. Stir to combine. Separately combine the gluten free flour and oats, 1/4 cup of coconut sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Sprinkle the flour/oat mixture on top of the apples, then add the remaining butter to the top of the crisp. Place the lid on the dutch oven and cook until done. We cooked this over hot coals of the fire and it was done within 20-30 minutes. (We have no experience with dutch oven cooking but we just checked on it often to prevent burning and it turned out beautifully!)
Breakfast: Oatmeal - I pre-measured 3 cups of gluten free oats and cooked it on our propane stove with 6 cups of water and a big pat of coconut oil. When it was done I added a touch of maple syrup, strawberries, and cinnamon. This was yummy, quick, and warm for the cold morning!
Lunch: We went down into town to get some supplies at the store (I happened to start my period that morning...what fun!) and then we played at the park. It was great for the kids. We ate some nitrate free lunch meat on this seed bread and munched on cut up veggies. It was a super quick and easy lunch that filled us up. Nothing better than healthy and easy.
Dinner: Rice/Beef mixture with side salad - Just realized I forgot to take a picture of this! This meal is yummy enough to deserve a picture and a recipe for you to enjoy so stay tuned...I will post this as soon as I make it again.
Dessert: Gluten Free Peach Cobbler - This was super yummy! This was a special dessert just for my husband's 30th birthday which happened to be that very day! He loved it and I was happy it turned out! We ate it with homemade coconut milk ice cream (we kept it frozen by having our friends bring it up for us that day when they came up to join us camping).
Breakfast: Dutch oven bacon/potatoes and Scrambled eggs - This was just okay. I cut up red potatoes and put them in a dutch oven alongside chopped up nitrate free bacon. We cooked it over the fire until it was "done." The bacon wasn't crispy enough for my tastes but my kids and husband enjoyed it. We scrambled some eggs separately and everyone had them but Olive who has an egg allergy. I have been letting the kids have eggs on occasion, so they really enjoyed this breakfast.
Lunch: This was a pull whatever we have out of the cooler and eat it type of lunch. It was totally nutritionally unbalanced and very snacky but they kids enjoyed it :) We left for a hike and then returned home right after so it was quick and easy, just like it should have been :)
Camping with real food takes some planning and preparation beforehand but it pays off. We ate delicious food in the mountains that was healthy for our bodies, safe for our food allergies, and more than enjoyable. My planning and preparation paid off because everything was quick and easy to prepare. I hope this helps you plan some healthy meals for your family while camping! xoxo
And just for fun, a picture of me washing dishes in ice cold water while wearing a baby who was only happy when I was holding her :)
*And just so you don't think our camping trip was perfect, it wasn't. Food prep was easy for sure! But camping with three little kids wasn't. It was actually stressful a lot of the time and at night I hardly got any sleep because Olive woke up worse than a newborn! Max had a very hard time adjusting (he is very, very rigid and doesn't do well with new environments...he did not adapt nearly as well to this trip as I had hoped he would). We had good moments though and I *think* we'll even do it again this summer :)