Summer is the perfect opportunity to grab your fishing pole, pack up your tent, and head to the lake for a fun and relaxing weekend of camping. Lots of campers will stick to the stereotypical campfire fare when it comes to eating outside; however, your diet doesn’t have to consist of hot dogs and s’mores during your camping trip!
Read on for 3 incredibly easy, surprisingly healthy, and remarkably creative camping recipes that are sure to spice up your summer camping trip!
Homemade Granola Bars
This easy snack food can be perfect to take along for a hike, or could just be a light morning breakfast before your day gets started. The ingredients needed are flexible, allowing you to create your own perfect combination! They store well and keep long, and are sure to keep you full! You will need to prepare these before you hit the road, as you’ll need your oven to create this tasty treat.
- 3 cups quick-cooking oats
- 1 14-oz can of condensed sweetened milk
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 cup flaked coconut
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- ½ cup sweetened dried cranberries
- 1 cup miniature chocolate chips
To start, you’ll preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×13 pan for bar preparation. Next, grab a large bowl and mix together the oats, condensed milk, melted butter, and the remainder of the ingredients with your hands until everything is well mixed and blended.
Grab chunks of the mix and lay them out flat pressed on the pan – you can choose the shape and size of the bars that you want! The bars will bake for 20-25 minutes in the preheated oven, depending on how crunchy you want them. If the bars are lightly browned around the edges, they’ll be sure to have a chewy and moist center. Let the bars cool for five minutes before serving or storing.
Now you’ve got an easy homemade snack that can give you a quick energy kick during a long fishing trip, or an intense afternoon hike!
This combination of beans, smoked sausage, and vegetables can be thrown together right over your own campfire! It’s a quick and easy dinner option, not to mention it’s a healthy substitute for the traditional camp hot dog. Served with a green salad and French bread, this “cassoulet” will taste like a five-star meal under the stars!
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- ½ pound smoked sausage, sliced
- 1 15-oz can of rinsed and dried kidney beans
- 1 15-oz can of rinsed and dried cannellini beans
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 14.5-oz can of diced tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
When you begin, heat the oil in a large skillet over your campfire. Toss in the carrots, celery, onion and garlic, then cook and stir for a few minutes until your onion is transparent. Next, add your sausage to the skillet and cook through until the meat has turned a golden brown.
Add the kidney beans, cannellini beans and tomatoes, and use the bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper as seasonings. Cover the top of the pan and keep an eye on the size of your fire – ideally, the flames will have died down by now, having the same affect as reducing an oven to low heat. Allow the mix to simmer for approximately 10 minutes, stirring occasionally under the vegetables are tender.
Once you’ve simmered, remove the bay leaves from the pan and plate the mix accordingly. Sprinkle the parsley on top, pair it with the salad and bread, and you’ve got yourself a gourmet campfire dinner!
Looking for a substitute for boring old s’mores? Look no further than a classic banana splits with a twist – over your own campfire! This is a tasty dessert that can be cooked on a weekend campout, or over your own fire-pit in the backyard. Easy to make, hardly any prep time, and yummy as anything!
- 6 large unpeeled bananas with the stems removed
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 10.5-oz package of miniature marshmallows
- Aluminum foil
- Cooking spray
To cook these splits, you’ll put a propane grill on high heat, or you’ll prepare when your fire has reached its hottest point. Break off four sheets of aluminum foil that are sized large enough to wrap the bananas, and spray them with your cooking spray.
Slice the peel of the banana from stem to bottom, while slicing the inside of the banana lengthwise. For easier handling, you could cut the bananas into slices (while inside the peel!) if you’re looking for a slightly less messy serving process. Carefully, you’ll open the banana just wide enough to slip the chocolate chips and marshmallows inside while the peel still remains on the banana.
You can fill the banana with as many chocolate chips and marshmallows as you desire, as long as they are not spilling out of the peel. Next, wrap your bananas with aluminum foil and place them on the grill, directly in the coals of the fire. After approximately 5-10 minutes of being left in the fire, the bananas should be cooked enough for the treats inside to have melted.
Remove the grill from the flames, unwrap your bananas, and eat the gooey insides with a spoon or fork (allow to cool for a couple of minutes first.) And there you have it, a unique and scrumptious dessert option for your campout!
After you’ve tried these easy yet delicious campfire cookouts, you’ll never want to eat another boring hot dog again! With minimal prep time, easy cleanup and yummy results, you’re sure to upgrade your camping trips this summer!
What do you think of these summer camping recipes? Add your favorite in the comment section below!
Editor's Note: This was first published on July 6, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.