We’ve preached several outdoor cooking methods (dutch ovens, grilling, foil packets) and, while we’re advocates and avid users of all, sometimes the best camping meals are those that require little to no cooking at all. Fans of the outdoor meal: it’s time you leave the culinary accouterments home and streamline your pack. Here are some easy, no-cook camping meal ideas to take for a test run next time you find yourself ravenous in the wild:
Go Nuts for Nut Butter
Sometimes the unknown can be more fun than the traditional. Swap the jelly in your PB&J for seasonal fruits, such as a peanut butter and apple sandwich in the fall or peanut butter and banana during more temperate months. If you’d rather keep the jelly but vary your nut butter, try almond butter or cashew butter for a hearty, protein-packed meal. Just because peanut butter is a staple doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get creative!
Be a Vegetable Hoarder
While your family and friends are all trying to rip open the beef jerky, you can smirk with satisfaction that your meal practically requires no unwrapping at all, as nature’s already done the work for you. Take a cue from stuffy cocktail parties and feast on a platter of crudité, which in French basically means raw vegetables. Again, you can load up on seasonal offerings or choose your favorites, including carrots, zucchini, sweet potato and broccoli. Bring along your favorite mustards or other nonperishable spreads and you’ll have quite the, er, spread.
Rip and Dip
Peal and open entrees that may (or in our case may not) require heating are great go-tos for the outdoors. TastyBite makes great, all-natural vegetarian Indian dishes that transport easily and don’t take up very much space. Starkist’s ready-made tuna salad lunch kit is also a venerable alternative and provides an extra dose of protein for bonus energy. Eat right out of the bag and you’ll keep from packing extra plates and silverware.