It might surprise you, but camping recipes could become regular favorites all year long -- even in the comfort of your home. These recipes are as easy as they are tasty, but they are actually healthy too. Due to the simple preparation methods and ingredients, camping recipes are also perfect for introducing kids to basic cooking concepts. Now, if you can just keep them safe from that mesmerizing campfire, everything will be great!
Although healthy camping recipes do tend to be simple, that doesn't mean they aren't delicious. In addition to satisfying the tummy, these relatively easy meals will reward kids with a sense of accomplishment. Anybody who has been camping knows there is something about eating your meal around a campfire that seems to make it taste a hundred times better. However, you'll be surprised at how many camping recipes will become year-long favorites. Even when you have the luxuries of home, you'll want to rekindle that special feeling of when you went camping with these scrumptious meals.
Camping Recipes for All Year
Even die-hard campers know that it can be inconvenient and uncomfortable. So taking some steps to plan ahead and take pre-prepared ingredients from home in a cooler can help make sure you spend more time enjoying the camping experience and less time fussing with food. The most difficulty will be in collecting sticks and wood for the campfire. Then you can take out the ingredients from a cooler or other storage container and use aluminum foil, a designated camping skillet, or a camping stove to prepare the food with ease. For some foods, such as hot dogs and marshmallows, you can use sticks that are carefully cleaned and whittled down to hold them over the fire. Yes, cooking with sticks can be fun.
The same concepts are great for backyard camping over a firepit. Only with backyard camping, after you finish eating, the cleanup is just a few steps to the house, along with all the other amenities. The food may not taste quite as good as it does out in the middle of the woods, but it's a close second. Camping in your yard can provide a quick escape from hectic daily life. It could also be an excellent way to introduce kids to camping before they graduate to the relatively untamed wilderness.
Keeping It Healthy
The foods we associate with camping aren't always healthy. Hot dogs, s'mores, and gooey chocolate drizzled concoctions come to mind. As simple as those things are, they become like delicacies when cooked over a fire. The taste absolutely explodes. As fantastic as those things are, there are also numerous healthy foods that prove to be delicious as well. One begins to wonder what doesn't taste good after a day of hiking in the woods.
The following recipes are intended as healthy alternatives for camping. Pre-chopped veggies and pre-cooked meats are going to be the easiest for short camping trips. It also helps to keep meals sanitary when everything seems to get a coating of dirt on it at a campsite. Of course, bringing along canned or dehydrated goods is a good solution when the expiration date becomes so critical on long camping trips. However, fresh ingredients are possible with some planning and a well-insulated cooler.
10 Camping Recipes to Prepare With Kids
We'll take a look at some camping recipes that are sure to make you say, "Yum!" Will they taste as good at home as they do in the woods? Probably not, but it's worth a try.
Super simple fish tacos
This simple recipe from Meal Planning Magic is healthy, easy, and could be a favorite all year. Now, if you are a dedicated camper, the fish could be caught and cleaned yourself. On the other hand, you can bring along fish filets that are frozen. There are several methods for cooking the fish. You can fry it with olive oil on a pan, or boil it in a pot of water. Or, if you caught the fish yourself, you can cook it with the skin over the coals. Fish tends to cook quickly, so it may not take as long as you'd think.
Once you prepare the fish, customize your tacos with the seasonings. This recipe calls for plain yogurt and broccoli slaw, with lime juice, slices of avocado, and cilantro. This part is where you can develop your own family recipe. Bring along your favorites. Combine all the ingredients in tortillas, and you won't need utensils to chow down.
Campfire blueberry orange muffins
This recipe from Apron Strings uses oranges as a convenient and fun way to insulate your muffins from the fire. Kids can easily take part in scooping out the insides of the oranges. You can save the oranges and drink the juice right away as a great appetizer. Then you'll prepare a box of blueberry muffin mix and fill one half of an empty orange with the mix. Cover it with the other half of the orange and wrap the whole thing well in three layers of aluminum foil.
The orange peel protects the muffins so well that you can toss them in and don't have to worry that they will burn. The balls have to be turned over every minute for about 10 minutes. Kids will find that part a lot of fun with supervision. Then remove them and let them cool before carefully unwrapping them. Inside you'll find a delicious treat flavored by the orange peel. The peel might turn black, but it's the inside that counts.
Campfire baked apples
The recipe from 50 Campfires requires orange juice, which you may have on hand if you prepared the previous recipe. This time, the orange juice comes in handy for flavoring and cooking the apple. Chop off the top of the apple about a half inch down, then scoop out the seeds and core.
Then you'll add some yummy goodness in the form of brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter inside. Close the apple back up with the top and wrap it with foil. Before you close off the package, drizzle the apple with orange juice to help it cook. Sit the sealed package on the edge of the fire and turn them frequently. The drawback is this one may need up to 40 minutes to cook. When it's ready, it will be so worth it.
Rip’s sweet potato bowl
This recipe from Healthy Girl's Kitchen combines some unusual ingredients that are unexpectedly delicious together. Aside from the sweet potato, nothing else needs to be cooked. The easiest way to do it is to cook the potatoes at home and bring them along, so they only need to be warmed up over the fire. The other ingredients can be chopped at home as well, but the canned black beans are easy enough to bring in a can. Throw in chunks of avocado, mango fruit, and bell peppers, and season with balsamic vinegar and cilantro. You may not believe how delicious and how easy this recipe is.
Here's an easy way to make hobo pie from Mom Junction. You'll need a pie iron to do this. They're readily available at camping suppliers. It's a good idea to bring some cooking spray, or coat the inside with butter. The crust will simply be slices of bread. Cover the bread with your favorite pie filling from a can, such as blueberry or apple. Then butter the second piece of bread and lay it on top. Close the pie iron and cook over the campfire for four minutes. That's it. In just a few minutes, your kids will be in heaven. You can use fresh fruits for a healthy alternative. There will be plenty of fun experimentation to see who makes the best hobo pie.
This is another recipe from Mom Junction that will be much easier if you chop and cook the meat and prepare the other ingredients at home. The rice and meat will need to be cooked. Then, mix it up with the burrito fillings like cheese and salsa verde in plastic bags. Then freeze the bags, and you'll only have to thaw them out before dinner. Fill up tortillas and place them in foil bundles sprayed with cooking oil on the inside. Cook them over smoldering coals for three minutes on each side and let them cool. Then dig in. Mmmmm.
Campfire foil packs
If you leave out the tortillas from the Campfire burritos, you have a Campfire foil packet. You can combine any meats and vegetables that you like and prepare them inside foil packets. The main thing to remember is to use olive oil inside to keep the food from burning. The other thing to remember is to open the packages very carefully. Of course, adults should supervise or do this part, so nobody gets burned by the steam. Check out one suggested recipe from All Recipes.
Greek island shish kebabs
This recipe from All Recipes can be just as delicious without the wooden skewers. However, that's a big part of the fun of this recipe for kids. It might be easier and more sanitary to bring along wooden skewers purchased at a store. To avoid splinters, and to keep them from burning, soak them in water for half an hour.
Put large chunks of your favorite meats with bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, and other veggies on the skewers and roast them over the fire. If you cook the meat at home, it's easy to warm everything up. Otherwise, it may take about 10 minutes to cook the small pieces of meat until they are done on the inside, turning frequently. We doubt any child will complain about tending to their shish kebabs. Be sure to pick extra-long skewers to keep little hands away from the flames.
Some camping recipes have an international flair. This one brings some Spanish spice to your campfire foil packets. To make it authentic, bring along cooked chorizo and arborio rice. Combine with chicken, onions, peppers, and tomatoes. Season with saffron if you're extra fancy and salt and pepper. Zestuous recommends shaping the foil by folding it around a bowl. Cook over the fire for fifteen minutes, and it will be ready. As an added treat, the flames create a delicious crust on the dish called socarrat. Our mouths are watering just thinking about it.
Campfire hobo stew
This is another recipe from Zestuous that may be a long-term favorite once you try it. If each person is in charge of one ingredient, the kids can walk along the assembly line and pick out what they want to add to their foil packets. Choices can include anything you like, but this recipe suggests ground beef, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, peppers, cheese, and condiments. Top it with a slice of cheese and seal up your foil packet. Cook in the fire for about 30 minutes, or longer if you include potatoes. You can get as fancy or as simple as you like and that's the beauty of it. Everyone will have their spin on it, and say how theirs is the best.
Encourage Healthy Cooking
with Camping Recipes
We hope we've shown you some camping recipes that you'll try. If not in the great outdoors, then maybe at a firepit in your backyard. Trying camping recipes is a great way to make cooking fun and introduce kids to the basics. Once they see how delicious a meal they cooked over a fire can be, kids will probably want to take what they've learned to the kitchen. It could inspire a lifetime of interest in the culinary arts. The best part, is they learn that healthy recipes don't have to be boring. These recipes can burst with flavor and satisfy the mind and body, no matter where you eat them.