Planning a camping trip this summer? Check out these fireside ideas

Camping trip food prep

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - Are you planning a camping trip this summer? Here are some great ideas to help you prepare. Gina Fewerda is a local food blogger.

Here are Fewerda's Top Ten Camping Food Ideas: 

Campfire Eggs
This is the best egg hack that I have ever found (Pinterest is amazing). I have been using this for a while and I even use it at home on the stovetop. The eggs are great and it's also an easy meal prep at the beginning of the week. I can also customize the egg bags for different days and different family members.

Add the egg mixture to a quart size zip top bag and add whatever add-ins that I want. Then, label and date the bag and throw it in the refrigerator. Keep eggs cold in a cooler or refrigerator until ready to use. Simply boil water in a campfire safe pan and add the egg bag. Keep at a rolling boil for approximately 15 minutes, or until eggs are no longer runny. I like to add the cooked eggs into a taco or burrito shell and add some avocado, tomatoes, salsa and cilantro.

The egg mixture can be frozen as well. Simply freeze the beaten eggs without all the extra veggies. When ready to use, simply thaw the eggs and then add in the extra ingredients.

Loaded Baked Plantain Boats 
Everyone knows how to make a banana boat! Simply slice the banana lengthwise and add some mini marshmallows and chocolate chips inside the banana. Wrap in foil and grill until warm and gooey, Then top with some crumbled graham crackers.

Here's a new take on that concept. Plantains, when cooked, are very similar to mashed potatoes.

Grill them and add all of the toppings that I normally would with a loaded baked potato. Simply cut a ripe plantain lengthwise and spread open. Season the inside of the plantain with some salt, pepper, granulated garlic, sriracha seasoning or sauce (if you like things spicy) and about a tablespoon of butter. Now add your favorite potato toppings, I like to add some crumbled bacon and shredded cheese. Wrap in foil and grill for 35-45 minutes, or until plantain is soft. Open and add your favorite toppings, such as sour cream and chives.

Chicken Fajita Enchilada Foil Packets
Tear off two large pieces of heavy duty aluminum foil. In the center of the foil, add cubed chicken. Season with some salt, pepper, cumin and garlic. Then add some refried beans and cooked Spanish rice (Meijer has Spanish rice in a can.) Next, add some sliced bell peppers, followed by some cut up asparagus. Then, add some enchilada sauce (or some taco sauce or salsa) followed by some shredded cheese.

Simply fold the aluminum foil over the mixture then fold in the other side (kind of like wrapping a gift). Then fold up the other ends and label. Grill until chicken is completely cooked (about 30 minutes or so). If you are using ground beef, then it is closer to 20 -25 minutes. 

Roasted Apples and Oatmeal 
Scoop out a well from the top portion of an apple. Add some oatmeal in the well, followed by some water. I like to use gluten-free brown sugar oatmeal in a packet but you can use regular oatmeal (just make sure to add some brown sugar and cinnamon as well). Wrap apple in 2 layers of aluminum foil and grill until apple is soft (approximately 20-30 minutes).

Sugar Cone S'mores 
Simply add some mini marshmallows, chocolate chips and other favorite items (such as fruit, shredded coconut, bananas, mini candies) inside the sugar cone and wrap in heavy duty aluminum foil. Grill over a fire until warm and gooey.

Cinnamon Rolls 
Easiest way to cook cinnamon rolls is to take a skewer and wrap a cinnamon roll around the skewer and grill (like a marshmallow). Or you can place the cinnamon roll slice inside of an orange that has been halved and the insides have been removed. Simply place the halved orange onto some heavy duty aluminum foil and add a cinnamon roll inside. Grill until the cinnamon roll is no longer doughy.

Condiments 
An easy way to bring spices and condiments along on a camping trip is to utilize things that you would normally throw away. Tic-Tac containers are great for spices and seasonings. I like to save my cinnamon mint containers and put cinnamon sugar inside. Coffee creamer containers are perfect for your whisked egg mixtures and they are also good for snacks. I like goldfish snacks and these containers are perfect.

Skewers
Easy way to grill meat, veggies and fruit. Easiest way is to use stainless steel skewers because they won't burn and you can re-use them. But if you only have wooden skewers, add them to water for 30 minutes prior to grilling (so the wood doesn't burn).

Cereal 
Add cereal (3/4 cup) to a sandwich sized zip top bag and seal. Label it with the cereal or name. When ready to use, simply open the top of the bag and put inside of a red solo cup. Drape the opening of the bag over the top of the cup and pour in milk. Add spoon and serve. When finished, simply throw away. Easy way to serve cereal at a campsite.

Pancakes 
Mix pancake batter at home and put in a zip top bag. Squeeze any excess air out and seal. Then label and date the bag. Keep on ice in a cooler or refrigerate until ready to use. Simply snip off one corner of the bag and make your pancakes in a skillet on a stove or in a cast iron pan over a fire.

You can learn more about Gina Ferwerda and some of her recipes and food hacks on her website, www.NomNews.com

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