10 Tips For Real Camping Food
I recently attended a training program for Girl Scout summer camp. We were told the girls would learn effective knife skills and how to start a fire. Watching young girls wield a survival knife while lighting fires was not the most horrific part for me. I admire the Girl Scouts for tackling those skills. The scary part was the camping food the girls would learn to cook.
These recipes are from the 50's
The problem was the 1950's, toxic frankenfoods we were using to teach cooking. I don't know about you, but I want my child to learn the life skill of cooking real food. I think the Girl Scouts do too, but like most other huge programs, the manuals remain filled with the wrong information. The "foods" we used were created to have eternal shelf life while they were shipped across seas to our soldiers on the front lines. These foods cannot be properly digested and are the main cause of leaky gut and heart disease.
Prior to the world wars, our ancestors cooked down pork fat, reserved the lard, cooked everything in it and they were skinny as poles. Thanks to obesity and heart disease, our generation has been claimed to be the first not to outlive our parents. We have recognized that heart disease and obesity are acquired by the over consumption of processed foods and refined carbohydrates, however national protocols still avoid fat and overprescribe carbohydrates. With Food Foundation, I want to help reverse this nutritional decline in our future generations. What better way than to start with Girl Scout camp.
Owning a Nutritious Future
When my child learns a recipe from school or camp, she owns the skill and I love when she teaches me. However, when she learns how to cook frankenfoods, my reluctance to eat it makes her skill feel less valued. No parent wants to take an accomplishment away from their child. Instead of covering the fresh cut carrots and chicken with cans of creamed soup and season packets, I see an opportunity to teach the girls about cream, salt and paprika.
I understand that preparing food for camping may lead to cutting corners in order to be efficient. Instead of challenging a 100 year old institution on my first leadership training, I thought I would offer some camping tips for those of you that want to eat real food. This way you can eat wisely even in the woods.
Tips for Real Camping Food
- Use cast iron, it works great over coals, cleans with only water and provides nutritious iron in the food.
- All vegetable oil or margarine in recipes should be substituted 1:1 with real butter, lard, olive oil or coconut oil.
- Most meats do not need a coating of oil in the pan to begin, especially if you keep your cast iron well seasoned.
- Use grass fed meats and you will not need to drain the fat, it is actually full of vitamins A,D, and E.
- Heavy cream or coconut cream can replace all cream soup cans as can sour cream or plain yoghurt.
- All seasoning packets with "natural flavor" contain sugar, MSG, and high sodium. Making your own is easy.
- Plain rice will cook in about 18 minutes, pretty darn fast compared to minute rice which is not even food.
- Pre-grated cheese is tossed with wood pulp to stay separated, so grate your own before the trip.
- Pre-measure ingredients for the recipes at home and meals will come together much quicker.
- Freeze milks, creams, butters, and cheeses ahead of time to keep the cooler colder longer.
Bonus: Most importantly do not bring a brand new recipe to the campground, make something you have already mastered at home and spend the rest of the time enjoying the great outdoors.