Brrrr! It’s cold out there! While we are toasty and warm inside today, we know it’s always a bit colder out on the trails without the heat of a hundred humans burning up the path. Even in the warmer months it can get a little chilly after dark, especially when all that stands between you and the elements is a little bit of nylon and fleece. Needless to say, we could all use a little warming up after a long day of hiking or upon waking up to a dewy campsite, so we’ve cooked up some belly-warming campfire recipes to banish goosebumps and give chattering teeth something to bite into.
Sweet and Spicy Oatmeal
Whether you’re pent up in the office or rising and shining outdoors, oatmeal is great way to start the day off on a tasty note. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day even if you’re waking up in a sleeping bag, so a hearty bowl of oatmeal is sure to warm you from the inside out, while giving you the sustenance you need to continue on your trek. Here’s a recipe for campfire oatmeal that can be enjoyed just about anywhere, just as long as you have a spoon and appetite handy! Jazz up these wild oats up with fresh or dried fruits for a natural indulgence few can resist.
3 cups rolled oats
3 cups whole grain cereal flakes
1 cup dried dates, raisins or cranberries
1 cup dried apples
1 cup chopped nuts
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon each of ground ginger, turmeric and cloves
In a 3 quart container with a lid, combine all ingredients. For a single serving, bring 1 cup of water to a boil over campfire. Stir in 3/4 cup of oatmeal mixture until well-combined and thoroughly heated, about 5 minutes. Remove pot from heat and cover, allowing to stand for 5 to 10 minutes, or until thickened. Serve warm, topped with fresh fruit or apple sauce.
Bangin’ Breakfast Bowl
We can’t stress enough how important a good, hearty breakfast is, which is why we’re including more early morning eats for the campfire. If you’re more of a meat and potatoes kind of mountain man or ma’am, and fruits and grains don’t really get you going, then this next dish is for you. Packed with all sorts of breakfasty goodies, these Egg Bowls pack a mean, morning punch.
6 large eggs
1/3 cup milk
1/8 teaspoon each of salt, garlic powder and ground black pepper
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup green bell pepper, chopped
4 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
4 links brown-and-serve sausage, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 green onions, chopped
On a small skillet, brown sausage pieces, set aside. In a small bowl whisk together eggs, milk, salt, garlic powder, and pepper. Pour mixture into greased disposable foil tart pans and top with cheese, bell pepper, sausage, bacon and onions. Cover pans with aluminum foil and place over heat for 20 minutes more until eggs are firm.
Killer Kabocha Squash Soup
Don’t put away your bowl just yet, ’cause lunchtime brings even more gut-warming meals like this recipe for squash soup. Don’t be fooled, this is no weak broth. Kabocha squash lends its full-bodied flavors and rich texture to this creamy soup, making it a meal all on its own.
1 medium kabocha squash
14 ounce can white beans
1 small onion
1/2 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 teaspoons vegetable bouillon
1 tablespoon harissa spice mix
1/2 cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced
Red pepper flakes, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
Wrap the squash in aluminum foil and place directly on the fire. Allow squash to roast until tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Carefully remove with tongs and set aside.
Cut onion in half, setting one half aside for later use, and fry in 3 tablespoons of olive oil until brown and crispy. Remove from heat and set to the side. Fry mushrooms in 3 more tablespoons of olive oil.
Once squash has cooled unwrap, slice in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Note: seeds can be saved and roasted for a quick and tasty snack. Scoop the squash’s flesh out into a small bowl and set aside.
Finely chop the remaining half of onion and add to a large stockpot along with the last two tablespoons of oil and garlic cloves. Sauté until garlic has softened and onions appear translucent.
Stir in beans along with their juices, squash flesh, bouillon, spices, and 4 cups of water. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for about 10 minutes. Using a potato masher or wooden spoon, mash mixture until creamy and well-incorporated. Spoon into bowls and garnish with shiitake mushrooms and fried onions.
Marvelous Mashed Potatoes
Nothing says warmth and comfort quite like a heaping plate of mashed potatoes, and this campfire twist on the American favorite is sure to bring the feeling of home to your tent or cabin. Serve with a hearty meat or veggie side for an extra helping of home.
5 medium Yukon gold potatoes, washed, peeled and quartered
2 medium yams peeled, and quartered
2 turnips, washed and quartered
5 carrots washed, peeled and chopped
1 white onion, quartered
2 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper, to taste
Bring 5 cups of water to a boil in a Dutch oven. Place all vegetables in a mesh bag and tie shut. Drop bag into water and cover Dutch oven with lid. Bag should not float to top, if you notice it is use a weight such as a rock to keep it fully submerged. Allow to cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until ingredients are thoroughly softened. Remove bag from pot and drain of any excess water. Pour vegetables into foil pans or aluminum pie plates. With a wooden spoon or ricer mash ingredient until desired consistency, season with butter, salt and butter. Serve hot.