July 9, 2021

Van Life and Camping – Snacks and Recipes for Your Home on the Road

A longing for adventure and the freedom to go wherever the heart desires fuels the van life movement. Whether as a long-term lifestyle choice or a unique once-in-a-lifetime experience, living in a van or camping outdoors is a popular way to travel the world and gain new experiences. As freeing as the nomadic experience may be, the simple act of cooking can suddenly seem like quite a challenge. With the right snacks and recipes, life-on-the-go can be enjoyed just as deliciously as at home! Keep reading and learn how you can easily prepare tasty food while on the road.

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Venturing off the beaten path 

Converting vans into mobile homes has always been a popular path to adventure. With the travel restrictions in the past year, more and more people are choosing to leave their traditional homes behind in exchange for a remote everyday life. Living or traveling in a van, camper, or other vehicle allows for a flexible change of scenery, the opportunity to explore new places, and to spend more time in nature. Whether it’s the legendary Route 66 that connects the Great Lakes area around Chicago to the Pacific Ocean or a road trip down the California coast on the Pacific Coast Highway, many claim that the best way to discover the United States is by camper. Van life culture is also popular throughout Europe with travel enthusiasts exploring the Swedish mountains and lakes in summer and enjoying the sandy beaches of Spain and Portugal in winter. 

Although van life allows travellers to bring their homes with them, mobile homes are typically a minimalist version of a traditional house. Common kitchen items are sudden luxuries in most vans, caravans, or campers, which may or may not even have a hot plate. This shouldn’t stop travellers from having tasty “home-cooked” meals. 

The following recipes are ideal for van life or camping, showing that it is possible to enjoy delicious and creative meals with few ingredients, equipment, and effort.

Camping recipes – more than canned ravioli and soup

No matter how you travel, there are tons of recipes for refined meals on the road. The following dishes require just a few ingredients and are mostly prepared in a single pot or pan – so you can easily prepare them on a small stove. Don’t have a portable cooker? Keep reading to find some cold, but equally yummy alternatives to explore.

Snacks for on the go

When traveling long distances, sudden cravings or wanting to grab a bite to eat is inevitable, but, depending on where you are, options can be few and far between. Before driving through the middle of nowhere or places that only offer fast food and gas stations, make sure to pack simple snacks that are easy to eat in the car and will keep you happy kilometer after kilometer. California Walnuts or crunchy salted American Pistachios are not only healthy, but ideal as a quick snack, especially when the cravings arrive, but you have no time to cook. These smart snacks can be turned into trail mix or combined with sweet flavors such as mini marshmallows, chocolate chips, or cookie pieces. If you prefer sweet, but healthy variations, dried fruit such U.S. Cranberries and California Raisins add a naturally sweet note and keep the hunger at bay. Nuts and dried fruit are not only a great snack, but can be stored for longer periods of time and added as a topping to porridge or muesli in the morning. 

Another travel trick is to prepare and pack savory dips such as Guacamole with Poached California Prunes or basic hummus. Both the avocado in the guacamole and pulses, such as chickpeas, in the hummus, are ingredients that can leave you feeling satisfied longer. The dips go well with vegetables such as cucumber or celery sticks, as well as with nachos or bread. To make sure you are properly prepared for long journeys where you can’t just stop and buy food on the way, check out this trail mix with California Prunes. Trail mixes are the perfect snack for travelers!

Breakfast Alternative to Muesli and Porridge

When you grow tired of oats in the morning, you should try this Ricotta Toast with California Prune Jam. The creamy ricotta is garnished with chopped American Peanuts and served on a crunchy toast. This simple delight feels like the most decadent, open-faced peanut butter and jelly sandwich ever.

No Cook Recipe – Satisfying Salad

Salads are easy to prepare, can often last longer even without a refrigerator, and don’t have to be boring. 

This Pear Barley Salad made with USA Pears is loaded with barley, chickpeas, walnuts, feta, arugula and green Anjou pears. Tossed in an apple cider vinegar maple dressing, this salad is a game-changer for those on the go. The beauty of the salad is that it is completely customizable based on the ingredients available to you.

Don’t have chickpeas? Try it with other pulses such as white beans or lentils. Only have spinach on hand? Swap that in for the arugula!

One Pot Dish

When on the road cookware is often rare and washing up is something we try to avoid, one pot recipes are the way to go. 

The Broccoli Quinoa Skillet is ready to eat within 30 minutes and makes a great dinner after a long day on the road. Quinoa has been considered a staple food rich in nutrients and energy for centuries. The simple ingredient has continued to increase in popularity and is considered a gluten-free superfood today. 

If you want to indulge in some meat, the One Pot Chicken Wonder recipe from Peter Sidwell is outstanding: it’s easy to make and full of great flavors. Perfect for a midweek meal for the family – and light on the washing up too!

Portable Dessert 

A sweet ending to a meal is a must for so many of us! But it can definitely be a challenge to make great desserts without the use of gadgets or other kitchen equipment.However, this delicious Grapefruit Yogurt To Go will always work. Prepared in a small Mason Jar, this refreshing dessert made with Florida Grapefruit can survive the bumpiest of roads. 

Also made with the pink citrus fruit, the Florida Grapefruit dessert has an extra special texture and taste thanks to the combination of whipped cream, Amaretto cookies, and chopped American Pistachios. Enjoy!