Camping Gluten, Dairy and Dye-Free

Camping Gluten, Dairy and Dye-Free

When I first went gluten and dairy free, it was hard to imagine taking my new GFCF lifestyle on the road. Everything seemed so overwhelming at first. Now after five years, I’ve transitioned all our essential recipes/dishes and treats to gluten and dairy free. For the most part, we don’t miss the gluten or dairy and camping is no exception. One of my strategies is to make dishes that everyone can eat including my older kids who are still gluten and dairy consumers. One day, I’ll convert them but meanwhile choosing meals that are naturally gluten and dairy free helps immensely. One of our favorite camping meals is either chicken or beef stew. I prepare it at home and take it in large glass containers (a large half-gallon size Mason jar is perfect) that can stay in the cooler surrounded by ice. All you have to do is heat it up on the camp stove or fire and you have an instant GFCF meal. I’ve included the recipe at the end of this post.

Chicken stew packed with vegetables for optimum nutritional value.

Another family favorite while camping – grilled hamburgers and hot dogs. I made these organic hamburger patties at home (recipe featured at the end of this post), froze them (with wax paper between the patties) for 24 hours before the trip and then cooked them on day two of the camping trip. Stored in the cooler on ice, they thawed perfectly for grilling on the second day. We used our favorite gluten-free hamburger buns by Canyon Bakehouse. Our favorite hot dog bun is Udi’s although it is a little dry and falls apart easily. Mariposa Bakery makes a GF hot dog bun I’d like to try someday. We used GFCF organic, nitrate-free hot dogs by Applegate. My older gluten-eating kids ate them without complaining. I think they taste very good.

Grilling the pre-made patties I prepared at home.

Dinner for Day Two…GFCF Hamburgers and Hot Dogs  Ketchup and relish by Organicville – gluten-free, organic and made with agave nectar instead of high fructose corn syrup.

We also added some organic corn-on-the-cob, watermelon and baked beans for the perfect outdoor meal.

Organic corn-on-the-cob – buying organic corn assures a non-GMO product and no pesticides.

Heating up baked beans in my new and very cool camping cookware. The handle detaches and the pots stack inside each other for compact transport and storage.

What outdoor summer meal is complete without watermelon?

The perfect summer meal. Who could feel deprived with this plate? Yummy…and gluten- and dairy-free!

On day three, the family ate leftover chicken stew while I opted to try this dry soup I found at Sprout’s Farmers’ Market. You simply add hot water. I added a simple salad made with fresh organic greens I bought from a farmer along Highway One. I used a vinaigrette dressing from Harley Goat Farm which we visited earlier in the day.

My vegan dinner…

Simple gluten-free ingredients…

Fresh local organic salad greens.

Below is a precooked organic brown rice you can buy for traveling. I opened it and spooned some into my hot instant soup. It made a hearty and easy GFCF meal.

Precooked rice which I added to the soup mixture.

Breakfast is always a challenge for me while traveling. This gluten-free instant oatmeal is perfect for away from home meals. The ingredients are simple and all you do is add hot water.

Instant gluten-free oatmeal by Simpli – just add hot water. Ingredients: Gluten-free oats, sugar, salt and apricot. They also offer a plain version containing just GF oats and salt.

I like to add nuts/seeds or fruit to the oatmeal. This seed and fruit mixture below by Enjoy Life is perfect for this. It works well in airplanes when traveling since it does not contain nuts and won’t affect anyone with nut allergies.

Seeds and fruit – the perfect easy compliment to instant oatmeal

Gluten- and dairy-free instant oatmeal with seeds and fruit. The perfect easy, gluten-free breakfast

What camping trip would be complete without S’mores? Below are the products we used to enjoy GFCF, dye-free S’mores (mainstream marshmallows contain blue dye).

S’mores time!

grahams

The new Schar Honeygrams are the best GF graham crackers on the market.

Gluten- and dairy-free, dye-free marshmallows. These are really good.

Our favorite dairy-, gluten- and soy-free chocolate by Alter Eco

Yummy…we don’t miss the gluten or dairy (or blue dye).

Now this is where I should admit that we were probably doing closer to “glamping” than actual camping. For a busy working mom (and the only one in the family that can assemble a tent), Costanoa in Pescadero is a dream come true. They offer several levels of camping. You can pitch a tent, rent a framed canvas tent with beds, park an RV, or stay in one of the cabins or the resort (hotel style). They have a spa and hot tub. A restaurant just in case you don’t want to cook and many fun activities.

Costanoa Resort in Pescadero

Our family bungalow unit at Costanoa – one tent for parents (queen size bed with heated mattress pad and down comforter) and another tent with two sets of bunk beds for the kids.

The dining hall at Costanoa – just in case you don’t want to cook.

Inside the dining hall. It even has a bar if you need some adult time.

Sammy and I, the early risers in the family, snuck away for breakfast in the restaurant the last day of camping.

They made a dairy-free hot chocolate for Sam.

The things we love about “camping” at Costanoa…

The general store at Costanoa with gluten-free, dairy-free and organic options.

The life-size chess set (checkers also available).

The comfort stations. Heated bathrooms with a blow dryer, dry sauna and a fire area for those who don’t want to build a fire yourself.

Inside the bathroom. This is a campsite restroom I don’t mind using.

View from the hot tub…

The ocean views…

Visiting Harley Goat Farm…

The goats…

Goat cheese to sample…

Baby goats…

Raspberry vinaigrette from Harley Goat Farm…

I love a simple, natural ingredient list.

Our favorite cheese with edible flowers, the “Monet.”

Visiting the tide-pools in the morning…

The sea creatures…

Playing “survivor” in a cave by the tide-pools

Beach time…there are several beautiful, sandy beaches near Costanoa

Running from the ice-cold waves…

Burying each other in the sand…

Flying a kite…

Biking (and hiking) along the trails…

Picking organic berries and sampling organic jams at the berry farm. Bring your own gluten-free animal crackers (or bread) though.

Visiting the general store in San Gregorio…

Picking out cool hats at the general store…

The French rose I picked out to enjoy on the trip…

The amazing views of the ocean from Costanoa…

Stopping off at New Leaf Community Market in Half Moon Bay on the way home…

Happy GFCF Camping!

 
 

Recipe is being revised – Coming soon! 

2 Comments

  1. Hi!

    Thanks a lot for sharing some ideas for GF food for camping. We camp a lot, so this was helpful. We also used the GF graham crackers, but I hadn’t realized there are GF marshmellows! Will have to go find them. We also pre-make a lot of our food and just heat it up when we want to eat it. Thanks a lot for the chicken stew recipe.
    ; )

    We have also visited Costanoa and loved it there as well. But, we prefer camping in the usual style as it’s not as expensive. Anyhow, best of luck and thanks so much again!

    Whitney

    • You’re welcome, Whitney. We also like the usual style of camping but have been so busy lately it was nice to have Costanoa as a quick and easy alternative. I hope you like the stew. Schar now makes an awesome GF graham cracker. It’s available at the Glutenfreemall.com or Miglet’s Bakery in Danville. It’s the best GF graham cracker I’ve had. Happy New Year!

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