Welcome back to Campfire Fuel, where nutritionally balanced, campfire-friendly recipes are featured to help fuel your outdoor adventures by optimizing energy and reducing soreness.To celebrate the launch of the Great Lakes region, we’re focusing on fish this time. Hopefully the connection is straightforward enough for you to grasp on your own.
There are far too many fish in the sea to talk about them all, so I’ve elected trout as tribune for this episode of Campfire Fuel. More American than most Americans, there are tons of different species of trout that have inhabited our lakes and rivers long before we were even a country. If you enjoy fishing or shopping for fish at the grocery store, trout is always a great option. Lake trout, native to the Great Lakes region, can weigh up to 100 pounds, which is perfect if you have a big camp family to feed! Sustainably sourced, trout is an awesome, patriotic source of protein, containing essential nutrients to FUEL all of your camptivities, but we’ll get into the nutrition specifics in a bit.
Unfortunately, the modern day seafood industry is not in tip-top ship shape. The introduction of harmful, artificial contaminants to our water systems has polluted the fish supply. From both a health and environmental standpoint it’s extremely important to know where your fish is coming from. After all, you are what you eat, so if a fish is full of harmful toxins, and you eat that fish…
Fortunately for us, the Seafood Watch, led by the Monterey Bay Aquarium, has been compiling data from leading health organizations and environmental groups for the last few years to create the “Super Green: Best of the Best” list of seafood choices that are good for you AND the environment. Check out the Sustainable Seafood Search or The Safina Center’s Seafood Guidewhen making your next fish catch or purchase. Utilize these resources to make an informed decision that you don’t have to feel gillty about (fish pun intended).
Trout is largely considered one of the safest, best and healthiest seafood options around. Seafood Watch considers farmed rainbow trout from the U.S. a “Best Choice” due to environmentally-friendly farming practices. While we can debate fish farming for days, there’s something to be said about knowing that your dinner isn’t full of PCBs.
My mind was blown a few years ago on a camping trip up the California Coast when my buddy suggested that we stop in Cayucos for some fish tacos.
All I can say is Rudell’s Smokehouse did us right, great call Jaryd. Their house-smoked fish tacos are on point. I couldn’t help but immediately recognize the genius of using smoked fish for camping purposes. Aside from its’ deliciousness, properly packaged smoked fish will stay good for 2-3 days without refrigeration, meaning you can literally haul it to the ends of the Earth for smoked fish tacos wherever your adventures take you. And it just so happens to have just what your body needs to recover from a heavy day of physical activity.
One bite and you’ll be hooked.
Assuming you’ve sustainably sourced your fish, forget about the contaminants and just look forward to the following benefits.
Protein: repairs exercise-induced damage to muscle fibers, builds muscles by promoting exercise-induced adaptations in muscle fibers, and replenishes depleted energy stores. So go play all day, then eat some fish to pump up those big muscles. Can anyone say “suns out guns out?!”
Omega 3s: these heart healthy fatty acids provide amazing anti-inflammatory benefits to the body. Reduced soreness is always a good thing.
Vitamin B: trout provides around 85% of the RDI of B12 along with many other B-complex vitamins that facilitate digestion, giving your body energy from proper nutrient breakdown. More energy = more activities.
Vitamin D: helps absorb calcium so you can build strong bones to support those big muscles! Hopefully you’ll be getting plenty of Vitamin D from the good ol’ sun, but in case you find yourself in the clouds, trout can alleviate any cravings for SunnyD.
Phosphorus: trout has roughly 20% of RDI, allowing for healthy bone formation, improved digestion, improved energy extraction, cellular repair, and more!
Additionally, as a “lean protein” trout is naturally low in fat and cholesterol, and contains small amounts of iron, copper, magnesium, manganese, zinc, potassium and selenium. These minerals perform a variety of functions to keep you running strong.
Once you’ve caught, bought, or somehow gotten your hands on some trout (or sustainable seafood of choice), whip up these tacos for some guaranteed smiles and “yummm” noises from your fellow campmates. Your body will thank you for this serious recovery meal, leaving you feeling good to get after your next camptivity of choice.
For the tacos:
1. For some coco-paleo lovin’ grab yourself a bowl and a fork. Beat the eggs and nut milk together first then mix in the flours and salt until well combined.
2. Head to your nearest camp stove or fire and heat up some oil (I used coconut) in a griddle. Once hot, pour about ⅓ cup of batter in at a time.
3. Lift the pan and swirl to make a nice thin tortilla. After about 30 seconds grab a spatula and test the edges, if it feels like it’s holding together pretty well and not falling apart, flip it over. Another 30 seconds or so and you’ve got yourself a coco taco wrapper that goes oh so well with the mango you’re about to put inside it.
Backcountry tip: These are great if you’re really trying to impress the camp crowd, but if you’re feeling lazy or find yourself 30 miles into the backcountry, maybe just bring your favorite pre-made tortillas to the table. The taco-contents, tacontents if you will, already have everything you need for a powerful recovery meal.
Once you’ve procured your taco wrapper of choice, get creative! Fill er’ up with the listed ingredients for some awesome health benefits. We already talked about trout, but cabbage adds some fiber to the mix and has been linked to cancer prevention; mango brings the natural carbs, alkalizes the body, and cleans the skin; ginger is an incredible anti-inflammatory, aids in digestion, and is just the best, seriously; cilantro is amazing for detoxification; and squeeze some lemon and lime on top for a little Vitamin C boost.
Tip for the 21+ crowd: If you’re worried about missing out on carbs from those paleo-tillas, knock back a crisp, citrusy wheat beer with your tacos. It’s truly a killer combo.
Happy, healthy camping!
Words by Taylor Zisfain
Taylor is a certified health coach and fitness nutrition advisor. She also teaches and practices yoga, climbs lots of rocks, and enjoys many adventures in both the kitchen and the great outdoors. Follow her on instagram @TheTayloredFIT, and check out her wellness website, http://www.thetayloredfit.com/.
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