Packing up for a camping trip can be such an involved chore, but it gets a bit more fun when food is involved! Isn't that true of pretty much anything, though? It’s just fun planning out what tasty treats you’ll bring along, and the shopping is exciting enough, but packing up the cupboards and refrigerator can get a little overwhelming at times. It’s bound to happen that you’re going to leave home forgetting something. Let meal planning and prep help keep you organized! Follow these tips on how to plan like a pro for your week-long meal prep for an RVing trip and you’ll have everything you need fresh and ready to go!
Turn Your Home Into a Chop House
No, we aren’t suggesting you open up a steak house in your home, but rather that you get out your best chopping knives and dice up any veggies, fruits, cheeses, or any other items you can! Cut up any vegetables possible; a quick Google search will give you a good idea of what will keep for a few days or more, and which will begin to wilt or rot right away. Some vegetables, like carrots, peppers, and celery, preserve well when stored in cold water. Others, like lettuce, cilantro, and other leafy herbs and veggies won’t fare so well. Invest in some special reusable produce bags, and do not wash more delicate vegetables until you are ready to cook with them or eat them.
For items such as cheeses or snack meats, these have a much longer shelf life thanks to preservatives, so if you plan to eat your portions within the week, cutting these ahead of time shouldn’t be a problem. If you’re concerned about organic or more delicate cheeses, cheese bags will help to keep your cheese fresher for longer!
The Power Of Portioning
Instead of wasting precious camping time measuring out portions for every meal and snack, do it before you even pack up the RV! Divide anything and everything you can ahead of time, and your days will be simpler than ever, no matter where you are! Better yet, portioning is a way to stay healthy and keep your diet on track, even if you tell yourself there are no diets on vacation!
When you cut veggies or cheeses, check your recipes and set aside the required amount, or just divide each item into snack-sized portions. This totally works for dried goods too! Measure out serving sizes of snack mixes, crackers, cookies, and other portable snacks. Breakfast cereal works well too! Just put portions in zipper storage bags, then place the bags in disposable plastic cups. Open the bags, place them so that the bags’ edges sit over the edge of the cups, pour in milk, and enjoy! This way, you can save the cup for a later beverage!
Freeze What You Can
Sure, camping for a week or less doesn’t give food a lot of time to go horribly bad, but freezing foods that you aren’t immediately using can prolong the life of food drastically! Admittedly, there isn’t exactly a surplus of freezer space available in most RV refrigerators, but that’s why it’s important to plan ahead!
It may take most items a day or two to fully thaw out, so come up with a meal plan so that you can start defrosting items well enough in advance so that you’ll always have something ready and won’t have to give in and call up the local pizza place for dinner.
This strategy is not only great for some ingredients, but also for whole meals! If you plan on marinating chicken or other meats, place the marinade and meat in a freezer storage bag and freeze. The meat will continue marinating as it thaws, and will be ready for the campfire when you need it! Some dishes, like soups, chili, casseroles, burritos, and many other meals will freeze well and taste fresh when the time is right!
Bake Goodies Ahead Of Time
RV ovens are notorious for not heating evenly or not having enough space for all your baking needs, so save your time and frustrations and cook up your baked goods at home before you leave! Cookies, bread, muffins, pastries, and other baked items keep well when stored in an airtight container, so spend a day or two before your trip in a baking frenzy! Many baked goods freeze well too, so keep that in mind!
Make Ahead Meal Recipe Ideas For Camping
Chili—One of the rare foods that tastes just as good, if not better, the second time around!
Casseroles—Assemble these ahead of time and just pop them in the oven or on the campfire!
Overnight oats—Portion out oatmeal into small mason jars and add yogurt, almond milk, and any additions you’d like the night before for a quick, easy, and effortless breakfast.
Burritos, breakfast burritos—Just cook up all the components ahead of time, fully assemble burritos, then store them in the freezer. Just pop them in the microwave for a quick meal!
Skewers—This is one you can get done at home before you leave! Cut up meat and veggies and slide them onto a skewer and store them in a storage bag or airtight container until it’s time to cook.
What do you think? Are you already a seasoned pro when it comes to camping meal prep, or are you excited to give it a try? Leave us a comment and let us know!
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