As the weather warms up, my family loves to immerse ourselves in nature. One of our favorite ways to do this is camping!
From juicing, clean meals, and chemical-free protection from bugs and sun, I give you my best tips & easy camping recipes for simple, clean, vegan camping. Enjoy!
The idea of camping is to create a home within natural surroundings – and that means limited supplies. What we take with us definitely depends on the type of camping we are doing – if we are hiking to our campsite and carrying all our gear with us, what we bring will shift. However, with three younger kids, the type of camping we’ve done as a family most often is driving to our campsite. This allows us to bring more of our creature comforts and equipment! Below are a few of the appliances we pack to keep our clean, vegan diet easy while enjoying nature.
I use our Vitamix several times daily, and camping is no exception! In the recipes below, you’ll see ingredients such as nut/seed milk, sauces, etc. and our Vitamix helps us immensely with that. I also just love smoothies for my morning breakfast or a pick-me-up snack in the afternoon to keep my body refreshed with vitamins and minerals. We will also revitalize ourselves throughout the day with lemon-honey-ginger water and/or parsley water!
A high-speed blender could potentially double as a juicer, but for our family of 5, it’s way easier to just bring our Hurom for how much we juice! We all drink celery juice in the morning, which means at least 5 whole heads of celery are going through that juicer each day. We also stay hydrated throughout the day with other juices (especially cucumber juice!) as we tend to be active in nature.
BERKEY WATER FILTER
This is an easy way to make sure we have clean water! Our water filter sits right on top of a table and everyone in the family can easily refill their water bottles! We also make sure to bring a case of coconut water to deeply re-hydrate throughout the day.
Some meals or treats we make necessitate the use of hot water (i.e. for steaming potatoes or other veggies) or warming up almond milk for a hot cocoa treat around the fire at night.
Our focus while camping is not gourmet dining – we relax, play, and enjoy our surroundings and create memories together. And with 3 boys, things have to stay simple – otherwise the flow of our family gets interrupted. Here are some easy plant-based camping meal ideas and recipes that are totally doable in the “wild”!
Before we leave, I bake 6-8 dozen muffins and freeze them, and take 1-3 dozen with me (depending on the length of our trip). I let them thaw out in the cooler or in the open air. I have many different muffin recipes but we love the banana buckwheat muffins in the recipe below. We also love smoothies for an easy breakfast! I will typically make the Heavy Metal Detox smoothie for myself every day, and the kids will either have the same or another smoothie of their making. For colder-weather camping, we also make millet porridge for a warm, nutritious breakfast!
Banana Buckwheat Muffins or Bread
- 2 cups unhulled organic buckwheat
- 2 tbsp flaxseed as a binding agent
- 1 tsp Himalayan salt
- 1 cup rapidura or turbinado sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda½ cup walnuts or pecans optional
- 2 cups water3 organic bananas
- 2 tbsp lime or lemon juice
- 1 cup walnuts optional
- Optional fold-ins: cinnamon wild blueberries, raw sprouted sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, grated apple, and/or diced cranberries to bring in different flavors
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Blend the buckwheat and flaxseed in a high-speed blender. Dump into a mixing bowl.
Blend salt, sugar, baking soda, optional walnuts/pecans in a high-speed blender. Dump into the mixing bowl.
Add water, bananas, lime/lemon juice, and optional walnuts into a high-speed blender and pulse until gently mixed. Pour into mixing bowl.
Stir all the ingredients together in the mixing bowl, and add any more optional fold-ins at this point. Pour into muffin tins or bread pan. I use organic parchment muffin liners for easy clean up.Bake 25 minutes, let cool, and enjoy! Or let cool and freeze for another day!
- 1 cup millet
- 2 cups nut/seed milk
- 1 cup water
- 2 tsp cinnamon optional
- 1-2 tbsp pure maple syrup optional
- Fruit topping of your choice optional
Begin to warm a dry small or medium saucepot over medium-high heat.
Pulse ½ cup of the millet in a blender so it becomes a sandy-grain texture. Add the remaining half cup and pulse again, leaving a fair amount of whole millet seeds.
Add the millet to the dry pot and toast the millet for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, until fragrant.
Add the nut/seed milk and water, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the whole millet seeds are soft.
Remove from heat and add cinnamon and pure maple syrup if you wish, and top with fresh fruit of your choice (or fruit puree - pictured is persimmon puree and coconut flakes). We love to stir in frozen wild blueberries to help it cool down faster! Enjoy!
The night before we leave, I’ll typically make a big batch of soup for dinner. After we eat, I’ll throw the leftovers in big mason jars and freeze them. When we pack up, I toss those jars in the cooler to help keep our food cold. We’ll enjoy the thawed soup for either dinner the first night camping or for lunch the following day. Having a ready-made meal to reheat is a super easy way to ease into camping set-up! Then I use those empty jars to store leftovers from throughout our trip.
Before we leave to camp, I will make large batches of sauces to take with us so they are ready to mix in or drizzle with some yummy veggies. I love a sweet and spicy mustard sauce (recipe below), cranberry drizzle, a simple lemon-tahini sauce (recipe below), and/or my favorite Cilantro Avocado Dressing (my favorite!) to use creatively with our lunches and dinners!
Sweet Mustard Comfort Dipping Sauce
- 7 organic medjool pitted dates
- ¾ to 1 cup water3 cloves of garlic
- 1 ½ tsp organic mustard powder
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 3 tbsp of tahini or raw organic almond butter if avoiding fat, use 1 steamed small white potato
Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend and enjoy!
You can easily use any of these sauces, or ones of your own creation, to throw together a raw veggie slaw on romaine boats.
Veggie Slaw Romaine Boats
- Various raw veggies and herbs such as: carrots, jicama, radishes, beets, tomato, parsnips, cilantro, parsley, bell peppers, green onion, asparagus, etc.
- Sauce such as: Sweet Mustard Sauce, Lemon-Tahini Sauce, Cilantro Avocado Sauce, Cranberry Drizzle, etc.
- 2 heads romaine lettuce
- Optional toppings: sprouts cilantro/parsley, avocado (if not avoiding fats), steamed or roasted potato
Chop up the veggies into whatever sizes you like. I like to cut them small so it makes a less big chunky texture and more like a slaw or salsa.
Mix in your favorite sauce so it is well combined with the veggies.
Wash and separate romaine leaves. Spoon the veggie slaw/salsa mixture into the middle of the leaves.
Eat like a raw taco or “boat” and enjoy!
Other easy, camping meal ideas:
- Salads – chop up veggies, lay them on a bed of greens, and drizzle a sauce or dressing over it!
- Homemade vegan veggie burgers – make a ton at once and freeze the extras for a lazy night!
- Steam potatoes and veggies and drizzle a sauce or dressing over it.
This is probably the easiest category for us, because we love fruit and dipping raw veggies! I always bring boxes of fruit and veggies and we snack as much as we like, usually dipping things into some of the above sauces. I also usually make a hummus to bring with us if we haven’t had chickpeas in a while – the kids love it.
A campfire just isn’t the same without a yummy treat. Try this roasted dessert and warm drinks below for the perfect vegan campfire experience!
- 1 banana
- Various toppings: raw almond butter nondairy chocolate chips, cinnamon, pure maple syrup, raw sunflower seeds, tahini, chopped walnuts, shredded coconut, etc.
- Optional: homemade ice cream or clean store-bought brand such as Vixen’s Kitchen
Peel one piece of the banana peel down, but don't detach it. Slice the banana open and add any combination of toppings you wish! My favorite combination is chopped walnuts, pure maple syrup, and raw almond butter… yumm!
Close up the banana peel and place near the campfire to warm up and melt the toppings. The amount of time you let it sit depends on how hot your fire is and how close you place it, so do your best guess. You want the banana to be heated through and any toppings to be warm and melty.
Carefully remove the banana from near the fire, place on a plate, open up and enjoy with a spoon! Add ice cream to make a yummy cobbler-like combination of warm and cold!
Vegan Hot Cocoa
- 2 cups nut/seed milk
- 1 tbsp powdered chaga extract
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground cardamom
- Pure maple syrup to taste
Add the nut/seed milk to a pot and gently warm.
Add the chaga, spices, and maple syrup to taste. Either stir well to combine, or briefly blend in a blender.
We also love a round of herbal teas at night around the campfire to nourish our bodies after a day of adventuring. Our favorites include:
- Nettle leaf tea (nourishes the blood, detoxes, and more)
- Lemonbalm tea (calms the nerves, soothes the adrenals, prepares the body to relax, and more)
- Chamomile tea (aids the body for a restful sleep, reduces inflammation, and more)
- Rose hip tea (strengthens any other herb when paired with it)
Sunscreen & Bugspray: Our Natural Protection
A camping trip means being exposed to nature’s finest elements: ticks, mosquitoes, and the threat of too much sun. How do we protect ourselves without using toxic bugspray or chemical-laden sunscreen?
Non-toxic Natural Bug Spray
- 6 oz bottle of witch hazel
- 30 drops of Le Away oil by Butterfly Express
Add the 30 drops of the Le Away oil to the 6oz of witch hazel in a glass spray bottle.
Spray directly on the skin to avoid all insects.
As far as sun exposure goes, we welcome its rays! I’ve written extensively about the sun in another blog post. The real protection begins before our trip by increasing our chlorophyll in our skin from eating chlorophyll-rich foods. While camping, we spend almost all day outside, so we are very aware of when our bodies need some rest from the sun in the middle of the day when the sun is hottest. We also use my homemade sunscreen recipe, which I talk about in detail in the Goddess Glow online course.
I hope this post has been helpful in preparing you for a practical, plant-based, back-to-the-earth way to reconnect with nature! Cheers to a camping trip full of nature’s nourishment!
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