Cooking at a camp­site: the healthy way

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Cooking at a campsite doesn't need much time or equipment. After all, just a few ingredients are enough to produce a number of tasty and healthy meals.

Cooking when camping

After an adventurous day on holiday, the fast food option from the campsite restaurant will often feel like the most tempting alternative to cooking, washing up and tidying up. However, as soon as mouth-watering cooking smells from the campers next door start wafting in your direction, it's easy to regret the decision for a hamburger and fries. So how can you cook good food with little effort?

It’s all in the preparation

  • Pack staple ingredients
    We all remember from our schooldays: good preparation is half the battle. This doesn’t only apply to the kitchen at home, but to camping life too. With a good store of staple ingredients, you’re well prepared for a range of meals without having to go shopping.
  • Herbs and spices
    Dishes always taste better with the addition of herbs and spices. Make sure your store includes salt, pepper, stock cubes, paprika and dried herbs of your choice. In terms of food, the following staples are worth taking: whole wheat pasta, whole grain rice, ready-made sauces (e.g. pesto), canned pulses (e.g. chickpeas), dried fruits, antipasti, olive oil and vinegar.
  • Pre-prepare your meals
    Many meals can also be pre-prepared at home. If you like baking bread on an open fire, for example, you can mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl and take your own prepared mix to the campsite.
  • Take containers for storage
    When packing cooking equipment, it’s easy to forget to take along a few empty containers and bags for storing food. These are extremely important, even if they at first appear to be a waste of space, for they allow you to eat any leftovers the next day – which saves cooking time and avoids food waste.

Storing food properly when camping

If you're travelling with a caravan or camper van with a good fridge, then you don't have to worry about keeping food cool. The only concern is the space in the fridge. This means that it’s more sensible to go shopping more frequently and buy smaller quantities. Certain vegetables that we often put in the fridge at home don't actually need to be cooled. These include aubergines, tomatoes and bell peppers.

When camping in a tent, food storage is another matter. Many campsites offer the chance to rent a fridge in which to cool food. As an alternative or addition, you could take an electric coolbox with you and cool it using the power source next to your tent. But be careful: on really hot days, the cooling capacity is insufficient. In such an event, it helps to put the food in the coolbox already pre-cooled, not to pack the box too full and to cool it with additional cooling elements.

Cooking healthily at the campsite

What's healthy at home is good for us at the campsite too. This includes using rapeseed oil or olive oil as an alternative to cooking with butter. The unsaturated omega-9 fatty acids in these oils have an anti-inflammatory effect and are valuable for our blood lipid levels and cardiovascular system.

Couscous salad with antipasti

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Couscous salad is a great idea for warm summer evenings.

Basic ingredients for 4 persons

  • 800ml vegetable stock (3 cups)
  • 400g couscous (1.5 cups)
  • 200g feta
  • antipasti (e.g. olives, dried tomatoes)
  • raw vegetables (e.g. cucumbers, bell peppers)
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil (If the antipasti are preserved in oil, use this oil instead)
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • dried herbs
  • pepper and chilli powder

Method

  1. Pour the vegetable stock over the couscous and let it sit until the liquid is absorbed (approx. 5 minutes).
  2. Cut the antipasti, raw vegetables and feta into small pieces and mix into the couscous.
  3. Mix a dressing of olive oil, lemon juice , herbs and spices into the salad.
  4. Leave the salad to develop its flavours (approx. 10 minutes).

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