Consider Vegetarian Camping

Vegetarian CampingHealthy eating isn’t that hard when you’re home, but people still tend towards eating too much and loading up on fats and sugar. Exceeding one’s intended caloric intake is easy, especially on the road. When faced with a multitude of fast food options and coolers filled with treats from home it can be easy to load up on unhealthy, quick-energy options that are more expensive and less beneficial than their vegetarian cousins. The next time you are on a camping trip try vegetarian camping. If you eat vegetarian for the duration of your trip you will be amazed at the way your body responds to a primitive diet of vegetables, easily foraged items and extensive exercise.

Keep it Cool, Cook it Simple

Firstly, the key to camping is packing a good cooler. In preparing for your vegetarian camping trip you should first find several clean containers that can be used to freeze water. These gallons of frozen water will protect vegetables that need to be kept chilled such as mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes, broccoli, most fruits and berries, etc. Keep in mind that many vegetables do not need to be chilled so you can bring as many potatoes, zucchini, onions, turnips and garlic cloves as you like. Aside from the normal cookware one brings camping you’d probably be wise to bring along a small steaming basket. Bring along olive oil and cooking vinegar. The goal of vegetarian camping is a return to naturalism by eating food the way nature created it. Don’t assume the natural flavors of a campfire and cast iron aren’t enough to turn normal vegetables, very lightly seasoned, into exactly what your stomach craves after a day of activity.

Enjoy Fatty Snacks to Keep Your Body Full of Energy

Second, don’t forget to bring along some fatty foods. While it may be tempting to leave home with a bunch of greens and good Vegetarian Campingintentions, it’s wiser to bring along familiar flavors and textures that your body will appreciate to fight hunger. Don’t hesitate to bring along the ingredients for pancakes, cornbread and other fireside favorites. Also, unless you are a regularly practicing vegetarian it’s probably best that you not attempt veganism over your vegetarian camping trip. Vegans do not eat any animal products, but your stomach will probably thank you for not cutting it off from things like milk, cheese and other sources of fiber and soluble fats. Don’t turn vegetarian camping into an endurance test; appreciate the experience of relying more closely on nature and its simpler pleasures. Go out and find berries that your phone can confirm are safe. If you have a mature knowledge of mushrooms you should definitely see what you can find after a light rain shower. If you are not knowledgeable as to which berries or mushrooms are safe to eat it is best to avoid them all together. You don’t want to have to be rushed to the hospital on your camping trip.

Natural and Fresh is the Best Way to Go

Lastly, to actually cook the majority of vegetables you need nothing more than a skillet, a bit of oil and ten minutes. The general rule of skillet cooking vegetables is to maintain crispness by using only a small amount of oil and salt on freshly cut vegetables. If you elect to use bags of frozen vegetables then you should increase the amount of oil used and cook vegetables to a point of firm, savory springiness. Your vegetables shouldn’t become too mushy or overly firm. Onions should be translucent, potatoes shouldn’t be cooked to an unnatural darkness and other vegetables should generally be crunchy and not soggy. Pre-cooked rice in the cooler leads to easy stir fry and pre-cooked pasta makes for an easy lunch or dinner with the appropriate vegetable additions.

When all is said and done, you’ll probably reach for the pop tarts. You will probably cheat and bring bacon. That’s all fine. The goal of vegetarian camping for the non-vegetarian is to create a more mature idea of what it’s like to live off the land. As you fish, hunt or just forage you’ll find additions to these culinary ideas and you should feel free to indulge. The true goal of vegetarian camping is to try something new that makes sense to you but still celebrates your amazing surroundings.

Author: Luke Garcia

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