Like cooking in your van? Want to know 5 cookbooks that’ll make vanlife a piece of cake? Jakob Staudal from www.headlessnomad.com takes us through his top 5!
Wait… what the heck is vanlife? It’s when you live in a van. Oh, we guess it wasn’t as complicated as we thought it was. Obviously, the sarcasm is off the charts here as vanlife is not even close to as easy as it sounds.
One of the problems can be food, and that’s what we want to focus on today. It’s not as if you’re just going to eat out for the entire time you decide to want to indulge in the van life. Finding appropriate recipes and meals to make on the road can be a difficult endeavor. However, a well-written, vanlife cookbook can make all the difference, and here are five that are just that.
1. The Clever Camper Cookbook
We have to say that even though most have heard the expression, “don’t judge a book by its cover,” we really love the cover of this book. It just has a really nice and happy camping tone. Anyway, as for the book, it’s written by Megan and Simon who are both world travelers.
What makes this vanlife cookbook both a good read and very useful is there are over 20 simple-to-make recipes that can be done with a two-burner camping stove. The recipes were created by the authors during their travels, and they decided to share what they created with the rest of the world.
It’s a relatively short book at 64 pages, but the simplicity of it makes it worth it.
2. The New Camp Cookbook
This is a much longer read and book overall, and it was made for anyone who enjoys cooking outdoors from campers to day-trippers to adventurers. Outside of just recipes, this vanlife cookbook also gets into different elements of camping such as maintaining heat in a Dutch oven and grilling in foil packs.
As for the recipes, they’re actually presented by meal, which is really a nice touch. The meals include breakfast, lunch, feasts, sweets, and snacks. Now, you’ll probably see a number of recipes that will be too complicated for vanlife, but there are also simple recipes included that are very easy.
Indeed, this is kind of a broad camping cookbook that covers many different styles of camping and adventuring. So, not everything will apply to you and your vanlife situation.
3. Hungry Campers Cookbook
Yet another vanlife cookbook that is more or less a cookbook for campers, this one gears more toward simple and easy recipes. This will be right up the alley for vanlife, and the author uses her love of camping and many years of writing to create a cookbook ideal for the entire family.
Virtually all of the included recipes will require very little cooking equipment, and some of the chapters in the book include Prepare Ahead Meals, One-Pot Dinners, and Fire Up the Barbecue. The author also does a good job of providing advice on how to eat well while camping, and this can be suitable for vanlifers, if you will, as well.
As the title of the book suggests, this book places an emphasis on recipes that are both healthy and fresh. Oh, and also those that are easy to achieve, and that is also very critical.
4. The Camper Van Cookbook
The tagline of this vanlife cookbook is “Life on 4 wheels, Cooking on 2 rings,” and it kind of says it all. We’re not picking a winner here, but this might be the best book on this list for the purposes of vanlife. Included are over 80 different and tasty recipes that can be cooked with the use of just two rings.
Of course, as great as the content is in this book, it needs to be mentioned that it takes place in Great Britain. The way the author writes, you can clearly tell that’s where he’s from, and many of you in America may not be too fond of a read such as this.
Again, the content is really great and there’s a lot of zest in the writing. However, it may be a bit overbearing for some. Hey, if nothing else, you at least can just read the recipes and call it a day with this book.
5. The Original VW Camper Cookbook
One thing we’ll say is you might just want to buy this book used as it’s kind of expensive brand-new. Anyway, off that topic, this features a collection of over 80 dishes and for the purposes of a vanlife cookbook, the dishes are designed to be prepared in many different rustic settings.
Meaning, basically, that many of the recipes aren’t going to require you to have a lot of utensils. Here’s what’s also kind of cool about this cookbook, the recipes are organized by different categories. The categories include main courses, light bites, soups and salads, sweets, and BBQ.
Additionally, some of the actual dishes include baked bananas, hot cinnamon apples, pancakes, flaming beef stroganoff, spicy lime grilled prawns, and avocado salad. There’s a really good variety here is basically what we’re getting at, and that can be very important for life in a van.
Final thoughts on Vanlife cookbooks
It’s not as if you can’t find recipes and resources online to figure out what you’re going to make on the road in a van. However, these dedicated van life cookbooks can be so much easier and more convenient for you to have at all times.
We know all we presented was a quick overview of each book, and you can always dig a little deeper to find the right van life cookbook for you and your needs. After all, not everyone will have the same utensils, resources, and even personal likes (when it comes to the types of food and things like that).Past cooking, van life might also present some nights where you want to have a campfire somewhere. And on that topic, have you ever wondered how hot an average campfire gets? Well, wonder no more as we’ve uncovered that mystery for you!
BONUS COOKBOOK – Camping Soul Food
Here at Vanlife Eats, we couldn’t let this pass without passing comment! What a great variety of books – we would love to add our own personal favourite. This vanlife cookbook was written by The Buggans, a family in Ireland who have combined their love for cooking and good music. Camping Soul Food has a really quirky feature, which allows the reader to scan a QR code. This provides a playlist for the length of time required to cook the meal in question. Simple, tasty recipes the whole family will enjoy!
This was a guest post by Jakob Staudal
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