Camping on the Failsafe Diet with a Thermomix

I grew up camping it was always a wonderful childhood experience for me. I love that I can now give  my kids the same experiences. Now I am a mum, I can appreciate all the planning that goes into a trip away. I usually do up a meal plan with quick easy meals to make while away. All of the recipes I have listed below are suitable for the Failsafe Diet. There are heaps more we do, but these are the main ones we ate this trip.

We usually go 4wd-ing up the beach or through state forests without power. This last trip over the Christmas holidays we stayed in powered sites since we were away for 3 weeks travelling around the country side checking out famous landmarks, Dubbo zoo and visiting family. We had such a wonderful time! 

A snap shot of our travels

A snap shot of our travels

Since we were going for so long on this trip, we borrowed an Engel 12v fridge / freezer  from some good friends, this is on our list of things to buy one day. Fortunately we were never too far away from the shops so I could buy meat as we were going. Most of the recipes I have listed below can be done with or without power, but I do really like to take my Thermomix with me where possible when we go away. I highly recommend buying a travel bag if you do intend to take it with you. Below my husband has included so technical info on camping with the Thermomix.

One thing we noticed about the camp kitchens everywhere we stayed had BBQ’s, fridges and ovens. So I made use of those. A lot of meals we cooked on the bbq’s. Plus  I always made sure I labelled everything before putting in the fridge / freezer. Very handy to freeze ice bricks the night before a day trip.

 

Our Camp site

My Kitchen!

Breakfast / Brunch:

Pancakes – I buy the white wings pancake mixes for camping, quick and easy.
French Toast
Cereal
Toast
Cashew Butter – This is a staple in your house. I took a jar with us, but ran out very quickly. Having the Thermomix with me I could easily make more. I roasted the cashews in the Thermomix for about 15 minutes on Varoma first.
Fried eggs on toast with Deli Chicken fried like bacon.
Varoma Deli Chicken Eggs with Garlic Mayonnaise.

Lunches:

Wraps with chicken / Deli ChickenPear Ketchup and salad – take some deli chicken with you frozen and use up in your first few days unless you have a way to keep it frozen or chilled.
BBQ Fish Wraps
Sandwiches or bread rolls – great for days on the road.
BBQ Fresh fish cooked with garlic butter and chives.
Potato and Leek Pancakes

Dinners:

Beef stir fry with Udon Noodles  can be made with chicken too.
Stir Fry Rice – I do a failsafe version of Quirky Cooking’s fried rice, will get around to posting that one day too.
Chicken / Beef Koftas with cashew cream – If you are not taking the Thermomix, make the cashew cream beforehand to take with you. You can even prepare the meat before hand and take frozen in the sausage shapes separated with ‘go-between’. Once defrosted place on the skewers and cook on the bbq.
Chicken / Beef and egg burgers – For these you can either use chicken or beef mince as patties or chicken breast sliced thin and cooked on a bbq. Fry some eggs, serve in bread rolls with Pear Ketchup and salad.
Chicken Risotto – I used my recipe but left the cream out, one less thing to keep cool while camping.
Chicken kebabs – diced chicken marinated in garlic and golden syrup on skewers cooked on the bbq.
Sausages – I took failsafe diet sausages with us. Had some yummy beef and chicken, chive and garlic sausages  made especially from Yandina Butchery

 

Desserts:

Steamed puddings – I take all the dry ingredients mixed together in a zip lock bag ready to make in the thermomix.
Custard – a great quick dessert to whip up in the Thermomix, otherwise the Pauls vanilla custard is great to take.
Sorbet – Quick to make in the Thermomix. I always take a tins of pears camping (or your desired fruit). I use ice out of the esky, you can buy ice almost anywhere when camping, Sorbet a great afternoon snack on a hot day camping, reduces the expense of purchasing ice creams / ice blocks.

 

Snacks:

Cup cakes –  I take silicon baking moulds with me and can fit 12 in both the trays of the varoma. I reduce the water to 600ml rather than 1ltr as I find it bubbles through too much making them soggy. If you are staying at camp grounds with an oven in the camp kitchen, make use of the oven and do some baking. Taking the dry ingredients in a zip lock bag helps.
Carob Muesli bar – Since this recipe is no bake, it’s perfect! I took the dry ingredients in a zip lock bag except the rice bubbles as we had those with us for breakfast anyway. You can melt the marshmallow in the Thermomix, in the microwave of a camp kitchen, or in a saucepan over gas or fire. (I am also surprised by the number of people I saw with full sized fridges and microwaves at their camp sites, lol!). Once combined I poured it in a Tupperware slice container with a lid and chilled it in the Engel fridge, or you could use the camp kitchen fridge or your esky.
Philly herb dip – If not taking your Thermomix, it’s a great one to make and take with you. Can use all dried herbs instead of fresh for camping.
Christmas Tree Dip – This is so easy to do for camping. I even took all the ingredients with us on a day trip to the beach and made it up while we sat around on the picnic rug.
Plain salted chips / pretzles – great for quick easy snacks.
Peters Larry’s Lemonade Icy poles – It is cheaper to buy these in a pack of 8 from the supermarket. When we had the Engel on freezer setting, we kept them in that. Otherwise keep them in the camp kitchen freezer labelled with your name and camp site. Great for an occasional treat on a hot day. Most places we stayed had ice cream dixi cups too.

 

 

A few wise words from my husband about setting up the Thermomix for Camping:

 

So you want to take your Thermomix camping?

Simple… Stay in places with access to 240V…

Ah… You want to escape to the great outdoors, far away from suburbia, to scare wildlife whilst making sorbets…

Bit more effort, but you just need a generator (and fuel)…

Oh you can’t hear the ice grinding over the noise of the gennie and need a 12V solution…

Okay, that’s a bit harder….

Time for a bit of technical learning – but not too technical…

If you look at the compliance plate you can see that the thermomix has two power usage levels. For chopping / blending it uses 500W, and for cooking it uses 1000W. And you’ll also notice that the maximum is 1500W.

Now in reality, it would most likely consume less than the 1500W (probably between 1100 and 1200W), but you will need to setup a system that is capable of supporting the 1500W…

 

So you have 240V access – read no further and enjoy…

So the problem – 1500W is an extremely high power consumption to support in a non powered environment. It’s not a fault of the Thermomix – it’s actually quite efficient…

So if you don’t have power the best option is a generator. To support the thermomix (only) – you will need a 2Kva generator. Just make sure it’s pure sine wave output, and look for an inverter generator – they are lighter, quieter, more fuel efficient. With a 2Kva generator they are have a maximum output of 2000W and a rated output of around 1600W (check the specs) – which means it can handle the thermomix with ease.

Since you’ll have the gennie you may as well power the rest of your camp site…  But if you like the peace and quiet, you’ll only need to crank it up when needed (or recharge the batteries on a cloudy day)

Prices for generators range from around $700 and up – just remember what you’re trying to power (and how much it cost). You don’t want it to go kaboom just because you went for the slightly cheaper option…

 

Okay, so you don’t have access to 240V, and you have a thing for batteries…

So what are your power requirements?

If you already have a 12V solution – you may have already done this.

For this example, we’re going to assume that we’ll use the Thermomix for an hour a day (making dinner / dessert).

For 240V AC appliances to calculate the total amps drawn per day you multiply the watts (1500) by the running time (1) and divide by 12.

For DC appliances, you just multiple the amps by the running time…

So for the thermomix the total amps per day is going to be 125.

Just for fun, we’ll also run a laptop (70W) for 2 hours a day – total 11.7, and a phone charger (20W) again for 2 hours – total 3.3 amps.

Chuck in a fridge for good measure – total 30 amps ß totally depends on the fridge and ambient temperature.

So the total amps drawn per day would be (125 + 11.7 + 3.3 + 30) 170 amps.. For good measure you’ll need to add 10% for inefficiency giving a total draw of 187 amps.

To work out the battery capacity required, you need to multiply that by 2 (quick lesson on batteries. To do this you need to use deep cycle batteries – not your normal car battery – which can be repeatedly discharged to 80% of their capacity. To maximise the life of the battery, shallow discharging to 50% (or less) is preferred) as you don’t want to discharge your battery past 50%.

So we really need a 400 Amp hour battery.. Now I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a 400 Amp hour battery – not small – so we’ll settle for 2 x 200 Amp hour batteries.

I won’t go into the details about all the extra bits you’ll need and wiring (maybe a later post), except that again you’ll need an inverter (again a pure sine wave output), and at least rated for 2000W…

You’ll also need to be able to recharge the battery – and this is where I’m still working it all out…

You need 2 batteries just to run the thermie for 1 hour.. that leaves 23 hours to try and recharge them again 😉

So you can charge the battery in a variety of ways. 

Have your car running (charging via the alternator) – apart for the obvious issues, this method can only recharge the battery to 70% of capacity – so not very useful)

AC charger – if you could use AC, you wouldn’t be in this situation

Generator – is an option, but I’d go with the gennie to run the thermomix, and everything else on the 12V battery – and just charge the battery with the gennie as needed.

Solar – This is probably the ideal, but the most daunting to work out.. More on this as I work it all out.

So getting away from it all with a thermie – can be done – it just takes a bit of effort…

More on this as we start the design and fitout of our camper for the ultimate thermie adventures…

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Elizabeth says:

    This is FANTASTIC! Hoping to put this into practice next year. This year we just had 2 days without thermie. I did run out of food though! This will help me avoid the dreaded ‘back up chips’. Thanks DDU 🙂

  2. Carmen Franz says:

    WOW, What a great job you have done here. Lots will love this!!!

  3. Sounds good to me! But how do you make the Cashew Butter? Just like Peanut Butter?? Or do you mix them with almonds? Need some advice to make it 🙂
    Thanks Rita

  4. An option for your battery setup is a Bush Power 50amp charger and you run it off your 1kva generator for 3-4 hours a day to charge your batteries. I have been using this system for about 6 years and it works a treat with 2 x 100 amp/hr batteries. Given the power consumption you are using I would be charging the batteries while running the Thermomix so you shouldn’t need 2 x 200 amp/hr batteries.

  5. I’ve got a 120 watt solar kit, with gel battery for charging that I run my camp fridge and phone chargers etc off. Will this work for the Thermomix?

    • Hi Fiona.
      That will all depend on the amp size of your gel battery. As discussed in the post, the Thermomix requires a lot of power to run, so I think no matter the configuration, dual batteries is a must.
      I’m assuming the fridge would be taking up most of the battery life, but you must be able to recharge the battery reasonable well?
      But the best way to find out would be to set it up in the back yard, and see how long you can run it on the battery, and see how long the recharge takes… Jimmy.

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