FOOD TALES of a HAPPY PLANT-bASED CAMPER
Camping season is in full swing and with the few weeks left of warm trickling sunshine, what better way to spend them than in the cozy outdoors? Embrace the tales around the campfire, refreshing swim by the lake and feeling of connection with nature.
Of course, no camping adventure is complete without a selection of nutritious munches. For plant-based foodies, this can be a challenge when there are seemingly few options. Not to fear, we’ve got you covered with some meal inspiration along the way!
Keep reading to find some tips and ideas for making vegan camping meals planning easy, fun and of course, delicious!
Planning in Advance
Before braving the outdoors, it is a good idea to do some advance planning and create some checklists for your trip. Although we will focus on the meals and recipe inspiration for the plant-based camper, we also recommend reviewing this extensive camping checklist from REI for all your camping needs, including equipment and supplies.
Make some snacks and quick meals before your trip: This will help save some time, especially during the first few days of camping when you might be diving into many activities and just want to relax! Preparing snacks in advance (if you like!) will also be handy for when you need a quick boost of energy during a hike. Here are some quick ideas of things you can make in advance (see recipe suggestions below!)
Breakfast - Overnight Oats, Chia Pudding
Meals - Pot of Chili, Sandwiches/Wraps
Snacks - Energy Bites, Cookies, Granola Bars
Plan out some meals in advance and prepare a grocery list: While you might be craving different foods when the time comes, having an idea of the meals you want to eat will help you create a grocery list and avoid carrying too much. Of course, meals should also be flexible so bringing some essential staples that quickly come together will satisfy any immediate hunger. Here is a handy checklist of staple ingredients that can be used to whip up a hearty camping meal with little or no fuss (see accompanying ideas below)!
A simple checklist can save time and make sure meals are nutritious! Tailor the quantity you need to your length of stay.
The most important meal of the day and especially for fuelling your camping activities! The best part is that these options are easy, quick and come together in minutes so that you’ll have more time to spend under the sun. Rise and shine with an energizing breakfast and a cozy cup of coffee or tea by the lake.
Camping staples used for breakfast: Oats, Fresh Fruit (Bananas, Apples, Oranges, Peaches), Nuts, Seeds, Dried Fruit (Raisins, Prunes, Cranberries, Apricots), Plant-Based Milk, Peanut/Nut Butter, Dairy-free yogurt, Granola/Granola Bars, Extra-firm Tofu/Smoked Tofu, Spices/Seasoning Mixes, Whole Grain Bread, Tortilla, Coffee, Tea
If simple is best, plant-based camping cannot get any easier than a bowl of warm oatmeal. Plus, it is probably the most customizable of all the options to satisfy different taste buds (great for camping with friends!). For each serving and in a small pot, heat about 1/3 cup of oats with 2/3 cup of water of plant-based milk until you get to your desired consistency. Then load with your favourite toppings!
If you have some time before your trip or the day before your next breakfast, try an overnight oats variation which can be enjoyed cold (no-cook option) or heated. My simple base for 1 serving is usually 1/3 cup of oats with 3/4 cup of plant-based milk. Add these to a mug with a lid and then throw in some fresh fruit, peanut butter, nuts, dried fruit, and anything else to your heart’s content! It keeps well in the cooler and you’ll have a delicious breakfast ready to enjoy the next morning.
Yogurt Parfait OR BOWL
This is the next breakfast upgrade without the fuss of ANY cooking (did we mention we are all about easy?). Meals for the plant-based camper do not have to boring and this option also makes for a happy gut.
We really love using Yoggu yogurt which is dairy free and includes all the great probiotics of a traditional yogurt. It’s dreamy, creamy and oh so good! You can eat on its own or add some granola and fresh fruit. To make it even easier, try Granola Girl’s tasty Original Mix (vegan and gluten-free). It is made with a hearty blend of goji berries, cranberries, hemp hearts, coconut and organic pumpkin seeds.
This isn’t limited to breakfast but also doubles as nutritious snack option between meals!
These are a great satisfying and protein-filled option for those camping days when you will need an extra boost of energy. If you have leftover veggies from making sandwiches or wraps for lunch (see ideas below), simply toss them in an oiled pan with some extra-firm tofu or smoked tofu that has been crumbled and any desired spices.
There is no going wrong with flavours but a few spices like turmeric, garlic powder, paprika, cumin, pepper and nutritional yeast for the unami and Vitamin B12 might do the trick! You can even purchase or prepare a few homemade seasoning mixes that will also handy for other meals like chilli and soups at lunch. For a complete meal, serve over some whole grain bread or make it into a breakfast wrap with a tortilla!
LunCH & Dinner
Perhaps lunch could be the easiest meal of the day so that you have the most time to spend kayaking, reading, swimming, hiking or doing your favourite activity. These options come together in a breeze and do not need much clean up (the best)! You can switch these up to be served at either lunch or dinner.
Camping staples used for meals: Whole Grain Bread, Pasta, Pasta Sauce, Tortillas, Buns, Peanut Butter, Jam, Bananas, Smoked Tofu, Vegetables, Hummus, Lettuce, Tomato, Avocado, Veggie Burgers, Tomato Sauce, Canned Tomatoes, Water, Spices/Seasoning Mix, Canned Chickpeas or Beans, Dairy-free Cheese, Rice Crackers, Tortilla Chips
Sandwiches, Wraps or burgers
We believe all good things come in between two slices of bread (or tortillas or buns). Whether you have it as sandwich, wrap or burger, try these all-time classics for a satisfied stomach.
1. Peanut butter with jam and sliced bananas
2. Smoked tofu, roasted peppers (or any roasted vegetables) with garlic hummus
3. Veggie patty with classic lettuce, tomato and avocado
I like to think pasta is the queen of all comfort foods that makes everyone happy no matter the occasion. On a camping trip, a simple pasta can come together in just one pot! After your dried pasta is cooked, toss with a homemade tomato sauce or storebought sauce of your choice. Then enjoy with some more spices or roasted vegetables.
For a gourmet (but easy!) sauce option, try our Walnut Mushroom Bolognese Sauce. It has all the spices and a wholesome medley of vegetables that will take the guesswork out of finding the perfect flavour profile.
SOUP & CHili
Especially on those CHILLI-er camping days, nothing beats a warm and soothing bowl of soup or chilli. Bring the kitchen to your campsite and drop all your favourites into a pot to simmer. You can start with a tinned can of tomatoes, water, spices (or homemade spice mix), your favourite vegetables and some canned black beans or chickpeas. My favourite way to serve a good soup or chilli is with some rice crackers or tortilla chips which add a nice crunch!
Tacos are an absolute crowd favourite and you can definitely have them by the campfire! They’re as versatile as sandwiches and can be easily made with some canned beans, spices, salsa and dairy-free cheese. If you’re looking for a hearty, savoury, smokey filling that will make taco prep even easier, let our plant-based BBQ Mushroom and Lentil Taco Filling be your guest. The filling is smokey, hearty and SO delicious. You won’t have to worry about finding the perfect spice and flavour combination for this meal. Check out more taco filling recipe ideas here that can also be made during your camping trip. Taco-bout deliciousness.
The ultimate camping taco bar featuring our plant-based BBQ Mushroom Lentil Taco Filling
Keeping fuelled throughout your camping trip is important! Especially if it isn’t convenient to stop to prepare a meal, you’ll want some snacks to tag along for your trip. A bonus is if you prepare or buy some snacks in advance, you won’t have to give these a second thought. That way, you can truly savour your camping experience. Fill any craving between meals whether it is salty or sweet.
Some of my all-time favourite recipes that won't disappoint!
PaCKAGED SNACK OPTIONS
For when life hits and we don’t have time for meal prep (I am also guilty as charged!)
Camping staples used for dessert: Vegan Marshmallows (Dandies), Gluten-free Graham Crackers (Kinnikinnick), Vegan Chocolate, Peaches, Brown Sugar, Nuts, Vegan Granola (Granola Girl), Dairy-free Yogurt (Yoggu)
The true essence of camping would be not be complete without s'mores! Singing by the campfire and seeing marshmallows melt on roasting sticks as they hover above the flames, this is the perfect way to end any camping trip. For a plant-based and gluten free version, we recommend Dandies marshmallows and Kinnikinnick S’Moreables Graham Crackers. From here, fill with your favourite dairy-free dark chocolate or try Camino’s selection of vegan friendly options.
Grilled Fruit (Peaches)
For a more adventurous take on dessert, grilled fruit 'crisp' is another comforting option. You can choose any fruit but summer’s superstar fruit, peaches, are a perfect option for grilling. Slice each whole peach in half, remove the pits and sprinkle with some brown sugar, cinnamon, nuts and a pinch of salt. Place them onto some aluminum foil, wrap to create covered packets and grill them over a fire until slightly softened. Then top with some granola and dairy-free yogurt for the most scrumptious option.
HAPPY PLANT-bASED CAMPER ACHIEVED
A vegan camping food experience can be so much S’MORE fun with some preparation and meal ideas. These well-rounded and nutritious recipe options allow you to be fuelled for your outdoor activities. We hope this easy vegan camping food guide will help you embark on your next adventure with confidence!
At Komo, we’re on a mission to share the love of plant-based foods and make plant-based meals a staple at every dinner table. We believe change can start with a single bite and through our comfort foods, we aim to make plant-based eating easy, wholesome and hearty. We recently launched our shareworthy plant-based Lasagna, Shepherd’s Pie, Chick’n Pot Pie, Bolognese Sauce and Taco Filling locally in Vancouver, BC.