5 camping meal ideas to build eco-friendly habits


July 13, 2023


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camping meal ideas

Food planning is an essential part of any outdoor outing, and it can make a big difference in the overall enjoyment of your experience. Being out in nature often means putting your body and mind to the test, and there’s nothing like quality food to keep energy reserves up. In this article, we share with you 5 camping meal ideas that are all good for your body and the health of our planet – and that will give you plenty of outdoor cooking inspiration.

This article was written in collaboration with Earth Day Canada.

Earth Day Canada

In this article, you will find food inspiration for your outdoor pursuits:

  1. Anti-waste wrap sandwiches
  2. Practically-zero-waste meals with quinoa
  3. All-in-one dinners for minimal dishwashing
  4. Sustainable sandwiches
  5. Sensible homemade snacks

Anti-waste wrap sandwiches

Wraps are one of the most versatile hiking meals you can make, plus they allow you to use up any leftovers in your fridge to avoid wasting them (food waste is one of the main causes of greenhouse gas emissions). Just grab some whole-wheat tortillas and build your own creative and nutritious wrap with these basic elements:

  • A source of proteins: your leftover meat, fish or legumes
  • A sauce: the bit of pesto or salsa left at the bottom of the jar, some leftover hummus or yogurt with a dash of hot sauce straight out of your fridge door.
  • Some vegetables for freshness: lettuce, carrots, tomatoes… Look for the ones that need to be eaten soon.
  • Anything that inspires you: some leftover cheese or half an avocado, for example, will add a welcome touch of healthy fats!

This anti-waste sandwich can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch or dinner, or even as a snack (cut it in half if necessary). If you have a frying pan and a portable stove, you can also try warm burrito- or quesadilla-inspired variants!

Practically-zero-waste meals with quinoa

A favourite of sports enthusiasts due to its nutritional value, quinoa is a grain that can be used for a variety of healthy meals. It also packs light and helps you cut down on waste. Thanks to its protein, mineral and easy-to-assimilate carbohydrate content, this complete (and gluten-free) grain alone is almost enough to recharge you completely, so you don’t have to bring several packages of starches and protein.

Prepare your portions of quinoa in a reusable container, add some spices and a few dehydrated vegetables (buy them in bulk, it’s cheaper!), and voila: you’ve got an easy, delicious and nutritious meal. You can also eat quinoa like oatmeal for breakfast, with a few dried fruits and a bit of peanut butter or sweetener. It doesn’t get more versatile than quinoa!

All-in-one dinners for minimal dishwashing

All-in-one meals cooked in a single pot are definitely a hit with campers. They make cooking and dishwashing easier, and they help you produce less wastewater that can harm the surrounding ecosystem. Nutritious options include ramen soups, traditional and vegetarian chilis, and lentil curries. If you want to travel light, consider dehydrated versions of these meals!

Sustainable sandwiches

Sandwiches are an easy and nutritious meal option out on the trails, and they taste even better when filled with local products that benefit both your health and your region’s biodiversity. Instead of choosing foods that have travelled thousands of kilometres to get to you, load your sandwiches with seasonal, environmentally-friendly vegetables, and buy locally-produced bread, cheeses, pâtés or shrimp. Here as well, you may consider adding in some of your leftovers for an anti-waste touch; eco-friendly camping cooking is all about building new habits!

Sensible homemade snacks

There are plenty of quick homemade snack recipes you can whip up to make sure you get all the calories you need when you’re out in the great outdoors. From energy balls to granola bars and trail mixes, they are a good way to choose unprocessed foods, control the amount of sweeteners, and plan portions to suit your needs while limiting the amount of packaging. For inexpensive, quality ingredients, consider buying in bulk. If you have more of a salty tooth, consider spicy roasted chickpeas or multi-grain crackers with homemade spreads.

One more tip for the road: make sure you carry a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated during your outdoor activities, and opt for durable camping cooking equipment!

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