Bye, bye canned beans. Hello sun cooked, nutritious meals!
We’ve all been there, the brief weekend camping trip where you only pack the essentials and pass on the extras. Instead of delicious meals cooked on your camping stove, maybe you settled for a couple cans of beans warmed up over the fire--not the best camping food in the world but it gets the job done.
The truth is: Camping without proper nutrition is a BAD idea. You never know what can happen out there, or when a nice, easy weekend trip can turn into a survival situation. That’s why you should always be prepared, and while you’re at it you should enjoy the food you’re eating as well.
This list of essentials will help get you on the right track to having the best camping food you’ve ever had, which in turn will yield some top notch experiences in the great outdoors.
Why Camp With A Solar Oven
Aside from the numerous positive environmental impacts, there are just two key terms that encapsulate all of why camping with a solar oven is awesome: Convenient and delicious.
The Solavore Sport offers you the ability to cook a wide range of food options in a safe, easy and convenient manner--removing the hassle of a gas camping stove and the safety hazards associated with a traditional fire.
When you’re out camping, the prime directive is to enjoy yourself, so the best thing to do is have equipment that is as worry free as you are. The Solavore Sport is made out of rugged, recyclable plastic, the oven is essentially gorilla proof (:
As for the deliciousness aspect, nothing beats nomming on some crock pot style pot roast while you’re looking out over your landscape of choice.
These are the kinds of eats you just can’t get out of traditional camping equipment.
Best High Yield Ingredients: Small Package, Big Nutrition
The best camping food gives you the most nutrition in the smallest package. If you or someone you know is a foodie, you have probably heard the term “superfood” used to describe foods like these.
Sure, garlic and kale top the list as far as superfoods you can use to cook with, or have a salad, but what about nutrient dense ingredients you can actually take with you and enjoy while camping?
Check it out:
This and other types of fatty fish contain the highest amounts of Omega-3s. Authoritynutition.com says Omega-3 fatty acids are extremely important for the optimal function of your body. They’re linked to improved wellbeing and a lower risk of many serious diseases.
Although salmon is mainly prized for its beneficial composition of fatty acids, it also packs a massive amount of other nutrients.
Between their nutritional benefits and easy storage, potatoes may just be the best camping food you can get. Authority Nutrition says a single large potato contains lots of Potassium, Magnesium, Iron, Copper and Manganese--with plenty of Vitamin C and most of the B Vitamins. This makes the potato a powerful ingredient to add to a stew, or simply eaten by itself after baking in the Sport.
Creamy, succulent avocados not only contain the best kind of fat, according to Oprah.com, but also help your body block the absorption of bad fats (cholesterol). They're high in Lutein, which aids eyesight, and in Potassium and Folate. These reduce the risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease, and they're low in pesticides. Eat this item straight or add it to an existing recipe for an excellent, nourishing result.
This seedy fruit is high in antioxidants. In fact, one pomegranate can have as much as seven times the antioxidants of a serving of green tea. Just like avocados, pomegranates can be enjoyed as an addition to a dish, or completely on their own.
This “super grain” is high in fiber, filled with protein, skinnyms.com says, and it offers a pleasant nutty flavor. It cooks up like rice and is naturally gluten-free. This food is easy to store, and cooks up well in a solar oven!
Best Camping Food Ideas That Require No Refrigeration
A common issue campers run into in trying to enjoy good camping food is what to bring that is good but also doesn’t require refrigeration. At first it can feel very limiting, but with a little research it's obvious some of the best camping food out there isn’t restricted by the confines of a refrigeration unit.
Corn On The Cob
Solar oven corn on the cob requires no water, just place it in the pot and cook! You will need 4-6 ears of fresh corn for this. Break ears of corn in half and place in the Sport cooking pot.
Cover pot and place in the Solavore Sport. Let the corn cook approximately 2 hours. Serve as is, or brush on an herbed butter or flavored oil
Stuffed Poblano Peppes
- 1 cup corn
- 1 15 oz can black beans, drained
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/2 cup chopped red pepper
- 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp cumin
- 6 poblano peppers
Wash the poblano peppers. Cut the stem end off and slice the pepper lengthwise, halfway to the bottom. Remove all seeds. You may want to wear gloves while you work on the peppers to keep them from burning your hands.
Place all remaining ingredients in a bowl, and stir to combine.
Stuff each poblano with filling, and place in a dark pan that has been oiled or sprayed with cooking spray. Place the pan in the Solavore Sport and let them cook in the sun! Cooking time will be approximately one hour and 20 minutes.
Roasting vegetables in the solar oven is a great option for a refrigerator free camping food. This roasted cauliflower recipe can stand alone as a dish, or be added to one of these five camping food recipes.
- 1 head of cauliflower cut into florets
- 1/2 a large onion cut into large chunks
- 1 T olive oil
- 1/2 a lemon
- fresh thyme
Toss the cauliflower, onion, and olive oil together, then place it all in your Sport graniteware pot. Add kosher salt and black pepper to taste. Place your covered pot in the Solavore Sport. Let cook for about two hours until nicely browned and tender. Once you remove the cauliflower from the oven, sprinkle chopped fresh thyme and the juice of half a lemon on top.
There you go, you have a side dish ready to eat! Or toss it with pasta or quinoa for an entree.
Southwestern Quinoa with Sweet Potato and Black Beans
The base camp population is higher than normal. Some extra pals came along this weekend and you’ve got to whip up some grub for your hungry constituents but time is running short. Quinoa to the rescue--this one pot dish is easy and feeds a crowd.
- 1 can of black beans, drained (15 oz)
- 1 large sweet potato cut in 1/2 to 3/4 inch dice
- 1 cup uncooked, rinsed quinoa
- 1 cup corn, fresh or frozen
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup water or broth
- 1 cup salsa
- 1 1/2 T taco seasoning
- optional chopped fresh jalapeno
- salt and pepper to taste
- green onions and cilantro for garnish
Place all ingredients in your Sport graniteware pot and give it a stir. Place the covered pot in the preheated Solavore Sport and let cook for 2.5 to 3 hours. Once the sweet potatoes are cooked through and the liquid has been been absorbed, it is ready to eat. Garnish with the cilantro and green onions and use salt and pepper if desired.
Moroccan Chickpea Tagine
A tagine is traditionally cooked in a cone shaped earthenware pot over hot charcoal. This version of the moroccan dish translates easily to the solar oven. It is very flavorful and uses an interesting blend of spices. Serve it on a bed of rice or couscous.
- 1/2 cup finely diced onion
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3/4 cup carrot sliced in thin rounds
- 15 oz can chickpeas, drained
- 15 oz can diced tomatoes with juice
- 1/4 cup raisins or currants
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp cayenne
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- juice of half a lemon
Place all of the ingredients except the lemon juice in your graniteware pan, stir well and cover. Place the pot in your Solavore Sport and let it cook for about 3 hours. Remove from the oven and squeeze the lemon juice over the tagine. Stir again and it is ready to serve. If desired, you can top it with a dollop of greek yogurt and some chopped parsley.
Best Camping Food Make Ahead Meals
Foods that keep well are what you need to keep in mind when it comes to the best camping food you can make ahead of time. Foods like pizza and french fries tend to not recook well, while chili, soup and pasta can be even better on the second day.
The key here is to avoid doughy recipes or ones with prepared potatoes because these items tend to lose their texture and consistency in the reheating process. Here are some recipes to keep in mind with your camping meal prep:
- 2 whole eggplants
- 4-6 fresh tomatoes
- 1/2 onion, finely chopped
- 2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped.
- 1/4 - 1/2 t. chipotle chili pepper, or to taste (Chipotle adds the smokiness that comes from the traditional method of fire-roasting the eggplant.)
- 1/2 t. garam masala
- 1/2 t. turmeric
Pot 1: 2 eggplants, peeled and cut into 1/2" slices. Arrange around the bottom of a Sport pot, overlapping so the slices are not sitting flush with the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle generously with Kosher, sea, or other coarse-ground salt. Repeat layers until all eggplant is used.
Pot 2: 4-6 whole tomatoes, peeled. After cooking, mash into a pureed consistency
Place both pots into the solar oven for 3-4 hours (or all day. Overcooking will not harm this dish.)
Saute onion, garlic, chipotle, garam masala and turmeric in olive oil, or include in the tomato mix in the solar oven if you don't want to use your stovetop. On a cutting board, coarsely chop eggplant. stir in tomatoes. Serve warm or at room temperature with brown rice or naan bread.
Made with the recipe on the Bob's Red Mill lentil package, we simply reduced the liquid by 25 percent. Set it out in the Solavore Sport for a couple hours and voila!
- 2T olive oil
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1/2 cup diced carrot
- 1/2 cup diced celery
- 1 t salt
- 2 1/2 cup lentils
- 15 oz canned diced tomatoes
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 t ground cumin
- 1/2 t ground coriander
- 1/4 t black pepper
- 1/4 t ground cardamom
Heat oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, celery and salt. Let cook until soft, about 5 minutes. As always, if you wish to do this step in the solar oven, just add the first five ingredients in your graniteware pot and let cook in the preheated Solavore Sport for approximately 30 minutes.
Sort and rinse lentils, then add the onion mixture, lentils, tomatoes, broth and spices to the graniteware pot. Cover and place in the Sport to cook. The soup will be done in approximately 2-3 hours depending on conditions. To test for doneness, make sure your lentils are tender.
Solavore Oven Vegetarian Chili
The totally sweet thing about this recipe is you can add to or take away from this as you please. It’s chili, not rocket science! Make this with the listed ingredients or swap out with some alternate items you have on hand--either way it’s a good dish. This recipe cooked all day and made a high protein, flavorful dinner that everyone enjoys.
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 jar of roasted red bell peppers, chopped
- 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup dried lentils
- 1 15 oz can black or pinto beans
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 teaspoon salt
Place all ingredients in your graniteware pot and stir well. Place the covered pot in the preheated Solavore Sport. Let the chili cook all day, do not use reflectors if you have a lot of sun. Slow cooking temperatures between 200 and 250 degrees are ideal for this recipe. Ours cooked from 10:30 to about 5:00.
Serve chili with your favorite toppings: shredded cheese, sour cream, avocado, green onion and cilantro.
Solavore Turkey Enchiladas
When you’re up to here with turkey leftovers, your Solavore Sport comes to the rescue with an unexpected variation – cheesy, spicy enchiladas that your family will love. A 7 ½” wide oblong Pyrex baking pan fits perfectly in the bottom of the Solavore Sport – just right for 6” tortillas.
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 c. cottage cheese
- 1 t. salt
- 1 t. cumin
- 1 small can diced green chiles
- 2 c cooked turkey, shredded or diced
- 2 c cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 can red enchilada sauce
- 8 - 6” tortillas, corn or flour
Brown onion and garlic in a sauté pan. In a bowl add to cottage cheese. Stir in salt, cumin, and green chiles.
Heat 1-2 T. oil in sauté pan. One at a time, lightly brown tortillas, stacking between paper towels.
Wipe out the sauté pan and use it to warm the enchilada sauce. Shred turkey and grate cheese.
Spray desired baking dish with cooking spray, or lightly oil by hand. A clean dinner plate will be your assembly station.
For each enchilada, dip the tortilla into the enchilada sauce, coating both sides of the tortilla. Lay flat on dinner plate.
Across the center of the tortilla, spread the turkey, cottage cheese mixture, and grated cheese, approximately 2-3 tablespoons of each. (Reserve ½ of cheese for the top.)
When the baking pan is full, pour remaining enchilada sauce over the top of the enchiladas, and top with any remaining cheddar cheese.
Place in your Solavore Sport. Covering with a dark cookie sheet (as opposed to aluminum foil) will accelerate the cooking process. Bake for 2-3 hours at 225º-250º.
Serve with sour cream and chopped cilantro or scallions
Sriracha and Honey Glazed Brussel Sprouts
This sweet, sour, spicy mix adds a unique and flavorful punch to brussels sprouts. Serve them as a side, add to a salad or use them as a pizza topping. Delicious!
- 2T honey
- 1T sriracha
- 2T lemon juice
- 1/2 t kosher salt
- 1 lb brussels sprouts
Place your Solavore Sport in the sun to preheat.
Trim your Brussels sprouts and cut them in halves or quarters depending on the size.
In a small bowl, whisk together honey, sriracha, lemon juice and salt. Place Brussels sprouts in the pot and pour the glaze over the sprouts. Lightly toss to coat.
Cover the pot and place in the Solavore Sport. Let cook for approximately 3 hours, depending on how well you like them cooked.
Easy Camping Meals For Kids
While camping with kiddos can be a lot of fun, they can also add a certain level of pickiness to your trip--and food is no exception. Kids can be finicky eaters, so let’s get you fixed up with some dishes that work for your whole squad.
Lime Pepper Chicken
For some reason kids love fast-food chicken fingers. Here's a healthy version that cooks up in a
snap in the Solavore Sport. Simple and moist, tenderized by slow cooking in lime juice. Let the
kids use their fingers and dunk in their favorite sauce - you'll have a new go-to favorite.
- 2 lbs chicken breast
- 1 lime
- black pepper
Cut chicken into 1 inch strips and place in one Sport pan. Put one teaspoon of pepper over the chicken. Cut the lime in half and squeeze both halves over the chicken. Place the lime halves in the quart pan for added flavor. Place in the sun until it has been at 300 F for 3 hours.
Pulled Pork Sliders
Slide right on into a successful camping trip with these Solavore pork sliders. Slightly sweet and just the right size for little hands!
Boneless pork loin, 2 to 2 1/2 pounds
Bottled barbecue sauce
Spice rub: Combine the following Ingredients to make the rub, purchase one, or make up your own.
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp chipotle chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
For a free PDF download of the best camping food for kids, visit solavore.com
So you’re well on your way to earning your best camping food merit badge. We’ve covered all your nutritional needs from tip to tail--and even made sure the kids are taken care of! But what about snacks? When you are out on a hike, or not ready for a full meal but you have that tinge of hunger, you need something small and accessible.
We totally know what your thinking. Tuna is not exactly the first thing that comes to mind when you want a tasty snack that helps get you through to dinner. Yellowfin tuna packed in oil, on the other hand, is a completely different story.
This one does kind of speak for itself, but trail mix got its name for a reason. It is an easy, simple way to get some good nutrients on the go. You can build your own trail mix with your favorite ingredients at your local grocery store. Put the mix in a sealed bag, toss it in your ruck and you are ready.
Some may think of this item more as a treat than a snack, but keep in mind beef jerky does have nutritional value. This dried meat is very easy to keep on your person and with 116 calories per ounce it packs a big caloric punch in a small package.
Sugar & cinnamon almonds
If you want a "make it yourself" option this is the one. All you need is a large frying pan, water, almonds, cinnamon and sugar. Put sugar and water into the pan, boil until almost all the water evaporates, add almonds and let cook until the sugar sticks to the almonds--remove and let sit for five minutes.
You can do this
Getting the best camping food really isn’t all that hard. The Sport makes this venture a lot easier by being a self contained, powerless cooker all in one.
With a little attention and planning, you can find yourself enjoying the best camping food you’ve ever had, as opposed to the typical ham and beans you’ve been getting by on while you’re out there.
So this time around, when you’re reaching for those sodium bombs disguised as spaghetti-o’s--rethink it. Come back to this guide, and have yourself a camping weekend where the food is just as good as the rest of your experience.