It is that time of year – hot days, warm nights, longer light, vacation break, lake time, and road trips. It is time to go camping! We have so many beautiful parks in B.C., why not pick one of these great destinations to make a camping holiday with family and friends. It is the type of holiday that kids will remember for a lifetime, and as adults you will cherish these memories too. So get cozy in your sleeping bag inside your tent; star-gaze; sing songs, play games, share stories, and roast marshmallows around a camp fire (when they are allowed! Or opt to get a propane ‘fire’ pit); jump in the nearby lake to cool off or go for a paddle; explore the hiking trails in the surrounding park; go for a pleasant bike ride; immerse yourself in a book or two; enjoy good food with family and friends; learn about the nature and wildlife particular to that specific park; enjoy fresh, clean air! We can remove ourselves from the everyday stress that our lives tend to create….laugh and play! You are bound to get a great sleep with all of the outside time and activity.
Family camping doesn’t always have to 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!