Roughing it: Healthier Snacks For Happy Campers
The Victoria Day May long weekend typically marks the “official” kickoff to camping season as campgrounds across the province gear up for the busy season ahead.
There are so many hidden health benefits when it comes to camping. We breathe in fresh air. We remove ourselves from the daily stresses of work and home life. We hike, laugh, bike and play. Some of us even sleep better than we do in our own beds.
Family camping doesn’t always call for hot dogs and s’mores. Here are some healthier alternatives to prepare before and during your camping trip that will keep you happy – and nourished – in the great outdoors.
Combine your favourite nuts, dried fruit and seeds and pre-portion jars of trail mix for snacking. When choosing dried fruit, look for fruit that does not have any added sugar. Peaches, apples, raisins and apricots are all good choices.
Breakfast in a Jar:
This is a great back-pocket recipe that almost requires no recipe at all! Wide mouth mason jars are best for this easy make-ahead breakfast. Combine these ingredients in a wide-mouth mason jar, give it a good shake and refrigerate overnight.
- 1/2 cup steel-cut oats
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 banana, sliced
- 1 handful blueberries
- 1 tsp maple syrup or honey
- 1 pinch cinnamon
- 1 tsp chia seeds
Oats are high in zinc and “beta glucan” which can help win the fight against viruses and bad bacteria. Tip: Choose steel cut over instant, which are often high in sugar.
Bananas are a great source of Potassium, Magnesium, Dietary Fibre, and Vitamin C that can help improve your mood, lower your blood pressure, aid digestion and keep you alert and energized. Bananas also help alleviate the unpleasant symptoms of nausea often associated with morning sickness.
Healthier Homemade Marshmallows:
These homemade marshmallows have all of the gooey, chewy fun of store-bought marshmallows without the corn syrup and refined sugars.
- 5 tbsp water
- 1 tsp gelatin
- 1/3 cup raw honey
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 pinch salt
- egg white from 1 small egg
- 70% or darker chocolate
In a bowl, mix the gelatin with 2½ tablespoons of water (reserve remaining water). While the gelatin is dissolving, add the other half of the water to a saucepan and mix in the honey and salt. Place a candy thermometer in the saucepan and heat the mixture slowly, stirring constantly until it reaches 240°F (115°C). Once the mixture reaches this temperature, immediately remove from the heat. Using a stand or hand mixer slowly add the honey to the dissolved gelatin and whip until it thickens. In a separate bowl, whip the egg white until it forms soft peaks, then add the vanilla and marshmallow creme and continue to whip to combine ingredients. Transfer the marshmallow to a 7×5-inch dish lined with parchment paper and let it set at room temperature or in the fridge. Cut into squares.
Honey is a great natural sweetener that has antioxidant and anti-bacterial properties to help fight illness. When choosing honey, look for a pure, locally-produced honey from the local farmer’s market or from a merchant that buys from the farmer directly.
Here’s to happy campers!