By Chef Lauren Cox, Closer to Your Food

June is National Camping Month and we fully support getting out into the great outdoors and soaking up as much “nature time” as you can. When camping, many people find it easy to resort to packaged, processed foods at every meal, resulting in feeling unwell at the end of their trip. To get the most of your time in nature and to really nurture your body while you’re out there, try to eat clean meals to get the most out of your experience. With a little bit of planning, we have some great one-pot recipes that stick to your ribs and will keep you nourished and satisfied while you’re exploring the great outdoors. The best part is that these ingredients will fit into one big cooler and you just need one large pot or skillet and aluminum foil.

Print these Clean-Eating Campfire Recipes here: Campfire_Recipes

Pirate Oats

¾ cups quick cook rolled oats
1 cup assorted organic dry fruit of choice
2 tablespoons flax or chia seeds
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 pinch sea salt
2 cups water or nut milk of choice
2 tablespoons nut butter of choice

In a large plastic bag, mix together the dry ingredients, squeeze any air out and seal. You can make up as many of these oatmeal bags as you’d like, depending on how many breakfasts you will need, and pack them with your dry food.

To cook, add the oatmeal mix and nut milk or water to a pot, bring to a boil and stir about 5 minutes or until the oats are tender. Serve with a scoop of nut butter. I also like to add a splash of cold milk and a little drizzle of honey.

TIP: If you like sweetening your oatmeal with honey, pack honey straws instead of a jar.

Ash-Cooked Apples & Coconut Streusel

4 large apples, cored
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon honey
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 bag dry pirate oats (see recipe above)
¾ cups coconut flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes
¼ cup coconut sugar
6 tablespoons butter (slightly chilled)

Prepare the streusel mix before you leave for your trip. Add the coconut flour, coconut flakes and sugar to a plastic bag, compress out any air and seal.

To prepare your apples, sprinkle them evenly with the salt, honey and cinnamon.

To the bag of pirate oat mix, add the streusel mix and combine evenly. Add in the 6 tablespoons of butter and close the bag. Pinch the butter in the bag until the texture of the streusel is mealy or like fine gravel.

Stuff each apple with the streusel/oat mix and pack well. If there is any extra, pile it on top of the apple. Wrap each apple individually and firmly in 2 layers of aluminum foil.

Because this is a recipe cooked in ash, it’s best to eat it on your second morning or thereafter. After you cook dinner the night before and put out your fire, dig an 8-12” deep hole in the hot ash. Bury the apples in the ground and cover with the hot ash and maybe a few coals on the very top.  Allow the apples to cook underground in the ash overnight.

In the morning, carefully remove the apples from the ground and unwrap from the foil. Enjoy hot!

Trout Meuniere & New Potatoes

2 cups fingerling or small new potatoes
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon fresh pepper
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil

4 filets of fresh trout, skin on, deboned
2 tablespoons flour of choice
4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lemon, sliced in wedges
¼  cup fresh chopped parsley

In a skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil on medium-high heat. Add the potatoes and garlic and stir. Season with the salt and pepper and continue stirring. Depending on the size of the potatoes, cook about 5 minutes or until they start to soften. Using the back of a fork, lightly smash the potatoes. You want them to stay in one piece so don’t go crazy. Continue to stir potatoes another 10 minutes or until fork-tender. If the potatoes start to dry out, add a little more oil to the pan. Transfer the potatoes to a container and keep them by the fire to stay warm while you cook your fish.

In the same skillet, add 4 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil and bring to medium-high heat. Lightly cover each filet of fish with flour on both sides and gently pat off any excess. Lay the fish skin-side down in the hot pan. Cook about 3-4 minutes per side or until the flesh pulls away from the skillet. Squeeze one wedge of lemon over each piece of fish.

To finish, place the filet of fish on top of a serving of potatoes. Return the fish pan back to the fire. Squeeze the rest of the lemon into the pan with the parsley and swirl. Cook another minute until the pan juices slightly condense, and pour the hot liquid over the fish and potatoes. Season with sea salt if necessary and enjoy!

TIP: Of course, this dish is best with fresh-caught fish, so you don’t necessarily have to use trout. Not a trout person? This dish is still delicious with shrimp. Just bring with you a bag packed with frozen, peeled and deveined wild shrimp.


Charcuterie Board

4 whole pieces of different cheeses
1 roll artisan salami, sliced
¼ lb fresh shaved turkey breast
¼ cup almonds (we love marcona almonds)
¼ cup walnuts
1 jar preserves (we love quince or orange marmalade)
1 small jar grainy mustard
1 bunch fresh grapes
1 cup assorted fresh berries
1 orange, sliced
1 loaf French baguette, sliced

Arrange the cheeses, meats, fruit and nuts as you see fit. Serve with the mustard and preserves along with the baguette.

Charcuterie is not mind-blowing or difficult to make, but it is so great for a light lunch, especially when you have a busy group of people who just want to sit back and relax with a glass of wine and nibble.

TIP: Find a big flat rock to use as your serving platter! Simply pour boiling water on the surface to clean away any debris. Then season it by rubbing in some sea salt and lemon, and voila – you have a clean, naturally beautiful serving platter. This way, you don’t have to bring a heavy cheese board with you.

Ash-Cooked Spaghetti Squash “Elksketti”

1 large spaghetti squash, halved and cored
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 lb. ground elk, bison or beef
1 container Bolognese sauce (make ahead) Recipe Below

In the morning after you cook your breakfast on the fire, prepare your squash. Drizzle each half with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt. Wrap tightly in 2 layers of tin foil and bury the squash in the ashes, about 6-12” deep.  Allow the squash to cook all day in the ash.

In a skillet, brown the ground meat. Cook through, about 10 minutes, and add the Bolognese sauce. Allow the meat to simmer in the sauce while you are preparing the squash.

Dig up the squash carefully and unwrap from the foil. Use large spoon to scoop out the meat and transfer to a large serving bowl. Sprinkle with sea salt and olive oil. Top the squash with the Bolognese sauce. You can garnish with basil and parmesan, but we love it simple too.

Bolognese Sauce Recipe:

3 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup white onion, minced
¼ cup carrot, minced
¼ cup celery, minced
1 tablespoon garlic minced
1 pinch nutmeg
2 tablespoons fresh basil, minced
1 teaspoon fresh oregano, minced
¼ teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cans or 1 big can crushed San Marzano tomatoes
Sea salt and fresh pepper to taste

To cook the sauce at home ahead of time, add 3 tablespoons olive oil to a pot on medium high heat.  Add in the onion, carrot, celery and garlic and saute until tender. Add in the spices and stir. Add the tomatoes and season with sea salt and pepper. Reduce heat to a simmer and stir 30-60 minutes, or until the sauce is balanced and smooth. Transfer to an air-tight container and freeze or refrigerate.

Banana S’mores

4 large bananas, peeled and sliced 2” thick
2 bars dark chocolate
1 bag gluten-free cookies or crackers of choice

S’mores do not really need instructions, but with this recipe, we’re just replacing the super sugary marshmallow with banana. Gently roast the banana on a stick over the flame and you’ll find it softens and caramelizes. Eat plain or serve with a piece of 70% dark chocolate atop your favorite gluten-free cracker.

Pan-Roasted Grapes and Crème Fraiche

1 bag red organic grapes on the stem
¼ cup or 1 small container crème fraiche
2 tablespoons liquor of choice (we love dark rum or Grand Marnier)
2 tablespoons coconut sugar

Get your skillet very hot on the fire. Place a whole bunch of the grapes on the pan and cook about 1 minute per side. This lightly “sears” the grapes and gets their flavors smoky and caramelized.  Remove from the heat and transfer into serving bowls.

Top small bunches of the grapes with a dollop of crème fraiche, a sprinkle of liquor and a little sprinkle of the coconut sugar for each serving and enjoy!

Print these Clean-Eating Campfire Recipes here: Campfire_Recipes

Closer to Your Food is a wellness blog focused on eating and cooking for health and sustainability with recipes and lifestyle tips formulated around a plant-based diet and home-grown local foods. Chef Lauren Cox holds a B.A. from the le Cordon Bleu in Culinary Management with over 8 years of fine dining experience in private dining, catering and Michelan star restaurants. For more information, please visit and follow Closer to Your Food on Twitter and Facebook @Closer2YourFood. 

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.