Love camping but haven’t done it since going gluten free? Well, we have – twice now(it only takes twice to get ideas). Through trial and error we have come up with some good ideas. And of course, through the next camping season we will come up with more.
Often, gluten free food or unprocessed food doesn’t hold up the same as “regular” food, especially bread. So instead of mourning your favorite things, all those things you can’t have now, think of what you can have.
Baking potatoes – They are simple, just wrap in foil and throw in the fire. Turn at least once. They are amazing cooked on the fire! All you’ll need is butter, salt and pepper, and cheese if you want.
Spices – Salt, pepper, and paprika. Those are my favorite. They work with just about everything. If you want, add cinnamon to the list.
Butter – It works on potatoes, any treats you might make before hand (i.e. gluten free zucchini bread), to coat a pan for frying etc.
Fruit – Duh! Bring your favorite fruits, if left in a cooler they’ll stay nice and fresh for some time. We bring apples, pears, pineapple and bananas. Just make sure to pack them on the top so they don’t bruise.
Veggies/Salad Stuffs – Bring your favorite veggies to munch on. Also, pre-made salad can make your camping life easier!
Cooked Quinoa or Rice – Both of those grains can work for any meal. As breakfast with honey and that cinnamon I mentioned. As lunch plain or with tamari.
Eggs – Hard boiled and raw for frying. They are simple, nutritious and easy to pack around. And if you are a vegetarian, they can provide another way to get the protein you need.
Hot dogs – You can find hot dogs without all the nasty additives such as high fructose corn syrup and nitrates. If you are a vegetarian, beware of some of the veggie dogs. Often they are not gluten free.
Gluten Free Cereal – We’ve brought Nature’s Path cereals before. They have tasty gluten free options.
Fish – Yup, it’s easy to cook, usually just needs a couple of seasonings. Wrap it in foil and toss on the fire. It only needs a few minutes. Remember though, fish is delicate. Don’t wait too long in the trip to use it.
Hummus or Salsa – Both compliment camping simplicity and need only chips, which don’t need to be kept cool. I make my own. Eventually I’ll get the recipe up, so check back periodically.
Chips – You can find chips anywhere. Something I’ve noticed with chips is often they are labeled as being packaged in a facility that handles wheat etc. I’ve been reading that companies are putting that one to protect themselves, regardless if they package these “contaminants” within the same room or building. Use your judgment. Do research if you are worried. Or look for those labeled “gluten free”. If you are really brave you can just make your own.
Drinks – They make gluten free beer now. Red Bridge is one. We are not beer drinkers so we bring hard alcohol(distilled) or StrongBow Cider, and the usual juices if we want. Water, remember, the simple stuff like water does not contain gluten!
Gluten Free Breads etc – Bring the stuff you learned to make! The gluten free zucchini bread, the gluten free corn bread, or brownies. Whatever you have learned to bake, make a ton and bring them. They will taste amazing and you’ll be full of pride, because you did it! You stepped beyond your comfort zone and make a tasty treat that isn’t usually thought of as gluten free!
Trail Mix -You can find it gluten free. Or you can make your own. I look for stuff that has lots of nuts and not a lot of sweets, like chocolate. If you are very sensitive, beware of dates. They usually have oat flour in them. Oat flour is commonly contaminated and some people can’t tolerate it when it’s produced gluten free anyway.
Gluten Free Granola! – Depending on whether or not you can tolerate oats, (not every celiac or gluten sensitive person can) you can find gluten free granola. We are lucky enough to have a company right here in Bellingham that specialized in gluten free things like muffins and granola. Flax 4 Life has muffins you can order online. They recently(not sure how recent), started providing granola to some of the local co-ops. If you don’t live near here, give them a call and ask! Who doesn’t like granola while camping. You can of course, learn to make it yourself! I’ll be sharing a recipe in the next couple of months.
Tea or Coffee – Both are naturally gluten free. There are lots of lovely organic varieties out there. We enjoyed English breakfast tea and green tea. Because we advocate eating as healthy as possible, while still having fun, I won’t recommend creamers. But almond, rice and hemp milk are good options if you need something that lasts. My favorites are almond and hemp milk, hemp being the creamiest.
Hamburger, chicken, bacon, etc. – Use your imagination! You can do anything you want!
Camping is meant to be a fun experience. Don’t get too worried about the food if this is your first time. It’s just a little different from being at home. Plus, in my mind, I see camping as a way to sneak in more fruits and veggies and get away from the sugary desserts I make or buy from the co-op. If you are overly hung up on camping “traditions” like marshmallows and graham crackers, there are recipes for those(eventually I’ll get around to trying a couple), and if I remember correctly, there are store bought options as well. Though I have yet to try them. I’m not missing them too much. All the other options are so appealing I forget about some of those “traditional” camping items. Remember, don’t get overwhelmed! Go back to basics! Basics are usually things you can take with you and are easy to make while camping!