Summer Camping Healthy Meals
By Lisa Metzgar, PhD, Nutrition Tidbits –
This time of year is one of my favorites for outdoor activity. Our family loves to go hiking and camping in the beautiful mountains of Northern Nevada. We are heading out next weekend to one of our favorite camping spots. Along with camping comes your traditional camping foods,most of it tends to be easy to make, convenient, and usually not the healthiest of venues. So you usually write the weekend off and just indulge knowing that you will pay for it next week.
Here are a few ideas to making camping not so deadly with the diet.
I always like foods that are easy to prepare so I am not spending my time cooking. Preparing food ahead of time is one of the best ways to stay on a somewhat healthy path. I make sure that my main meals are prepared in a healthy manner so that when I do indulge in the nightly smores I know that I have at least put some redeeming food into my body.
Luckily one of the best and easiest ways to cook on a camping trip is barbequing.
Just pick good quality meats to throw on the grill and you will have a tasty main course. Some healthy options are grass fed beef steaks, organic and free range chicken, buffalo burgers (if you want a good old fashioned burger), and organic sausages. You can marinade or season your meat before you even head out and just throw it on the grill.
There are many great options for healthy vegetable dishes that you can prepare ahead of time.
If you like corn on the cob,just wrap them in foil ahead of time and throw them on the grill with your meat. I like to grill vegetables at home (a combination of sweet potatoes, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, onion, and apple with a little olive oil and herbs is very flavorful and chock full of great nutrients). Just heat and serve. Of course it is easy to prepare a healthy salad ahead of time and just serve it up.
Side dishes can also be very easy to prepare ahead of time.
My husband makes an excellent German potato salad that has olive oil and vinegar instead of mayonnaise. I make a quinoa salad that has sun dried tomatoes and feta cheese that is always a winner and so easy to prepare.
I make sure I bring along plenty of fruit for snacking on during the day.
Grapes and cherries are a big hit on a summer afternoon. Just be careful the squirrels and birds don’t steal them. Speaking of squirrels, another healthy favorite are nuts and seeds. I will indulge in chips but I buy organic varieties.
Of course there are the camp favorites, smores! I have to say,go ahead and indulge, but all in moderation.
Hope you are having a great summer!