If you’re reading this, chances are you’re already living the Vanlife, or you’re thinking more and more about taking the leap.
With Vanlife comes some huge advantages; the abundant freedom, the fresh mountain air, the community of like minded people waiting on the other side of the road. At some point in our lives, we all crave (and need) change, and Vanlife gives the flexibility to try another way of living in smaller doses. You can be part-time, full-time, or just seasonally on the road, and there’s no right or wrong way to do it!
At Bemyvan, we create comfortable, cozy homes on wheels that are equipped with the latest technology and creature comforts to ensure you enjoy the ride, even if you come across the inevitable bumps in the road!
One of the things we enjoy most about home sweet home is of course, a hot nourishing meal, and each Be-Van is equipped with a kitchen capable of making delicious meals reminiscent of Mom’s kitchen. Stock up your spice pantry, don’t forget to bring a good quality salt, and make sure there’s a selection of refreshing bevies in the fridge. We’re going to cook up some magic!
Whether you’re a renowned home cook or you’re more of top ramen type, the beauty of Vanlife is there’s room to explore, even in the kitchen! With your newfound sense of freedom, it’s easy to get inspired by the sights, sounds, and smells of whichever destination you choose. With some easy preparation before you depart, you’ll be more inclined to cook for yourself rather than hit the drive-through or overspend at a restaurant every night.
First things first, what are the essentials you’ll need?
As we use induction cook-tops in our builds, you’ll need a good quality set of stackable induction cookware. They’re easy to find in-shops and online, and you’ll want to make sure you have them before you go off-grid!
Do pick up some stackable options in favour of saving valuable cabinet space.
A pre-seasoned Cast iron skillet makes magic
Yes it is on the heavier side, but cast irons skillets can be used for your cook top, on fires (where permitted), and even for baking yummy desserts. They’re reliable, and cooking in a cast iron adds essential mineral iron to your food, too.
There’s something about cooking on cast iron that just makes food taste better. It makes grilling and searing a breeze, veggies come out soft yet crisp, and meats come out caramelized and golden. They’re great for one-pot meals like curries and pastas too. It’s a win win and an absolute do!
Only pack the essentials! Take a look at what you have at home, and cut it in half. How often do you use that potato masher in your house, anyway? Chances are you won’t need it while you’re parked near Old Faithful, either! A reliable spatula, mixing spoon, saucer – really, you only need a few to complete your on-the-road collection.
Don’t go overboard when you’re packing these things, trust us!
Avoid glass items if possible, and opt for metal or silicon options. This is a no brainer here!
Variety is the spice of life
As they say, so do bring a colorful selection of quality spices and seasonings! They don’t take up a whole lot of room, and they transform any bland dish from lackluster to restaurant quality. Make sure you pack a good quality salt (celtic salt is a wonderful form of nutrients) as well as black pepper, cumin, paprika, oregano, cayenne, garam masala, turmeric, chilli flakes (if you’re into it), garlic powder, season-all, and cinnamon.
Just because you have a small space, doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice on creativity and flavor. The trick is to keep things simple. Do experiment with curries, pastas, stir fries, all cook well with one-pot options, and they’ll store well in your fridge for leftovers, too.
One of the best things about a life on wheels is exploring the fresh, seasonal produce available in each region we park in. Do buy fruit and vegetables in smaller quantities, and locally if possible! You’ll get to experience the abundance of nature in every place you stop.
Do your dishes!
To keep clutter from stacking up quickly, do be sure to wash as you go – this saves spaces for experimentation and creation, and you’ll be happy to know our Be-Vans come with an option to add a kitchen extension for even more cooking space!
Have fun with it!
We all know that signing up for Vanlife sometimes means a bit of compromise. Whether that be on how to use the space, who to invite on a long drive, or what to pack. Just because your kitchen is a lot more compact, doesn’t mean it won’t be just as enjoyable to cook in your van kitchen, in fact, after getting the hang of it, it’s one of our very favorite things to do!
Keep experimenting, buy local, and make sure to nourish yourself. If you have any recipes to share, we’d love to hear them on @bemyvan_outdoors!