Do you love to fish? Whether it’s for the enjoyment of the outdoors, the good company, or the pursuit of the catch, fishing has to be one of the most wholesome pastimes.
Even if you don’t have the patience for fishing, you can’t deny the nutritional value of freshly caught fish.
Although finding healthy fish at the supermarket can sometimes prove difficult, there are plenty of wild fish out there ready to be enjoyed if you know where to look.
Wild-caught fish is super nutritious
Fish that have been caught in the wild have some important contrasts to fish that have been farmed. Firstly, they have an ideal omega-6 to omega-3 ratio. Ideally this should be about 2:1.
Farmed fish on the other hand havd far too much omega 6. This variety is pro-inflammatory, which is why it’s important for the two types of omega fats to be in proper balance to provide the best nutritional profile. Wild-caught fish are also higher in minerals.
The best fish to catch in the summer
We don’t usually consider seafood to be seasonal, but if you’re an avid fisher, you’ll know that’s not true!
If you’re fishing in the fresh water lakes of North America, these are the top types of fish to catch in the summer:
- Walleye or Pickerel
Once you’ve caught your prize fish, do it justice by cooking it up extra tasty! Here’s a proven way to get a succulent and flavorful fish every time. Get your fire pit stoked up and let’s get cooking!
Campfire-grilled fresh fish with chives, lemon and thyme
- 1whole fish or filleted fish, skin on
- 3-5tbsp organic grass-fed butter
- 1tbsp fresh or dried thyme leaves
- 1tbsp ground pink Himalayan salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2cup chopped green onions
- 1 fresh lemon
- Aluminum foil
- Wooden cutting board
- Stoke your campfire so that there is a good base of embers. A little bit of flame is fine too, but we don’t want high flames licking up at the grill.
- While the fire is stoking, prepare your fish. If the fish is whole, cut off the head and tail, remove the innards and trim off the fins with scissors. Scrape off the scales with the back of a knife, moving from the tail toward the head. Cut along the spine to create two skin-on fillets. If it is easy to remove the spine now, do so, otherwise it will be easier to remove when the flesh is cooked.
- Cut a piece of aluminum foil that is 1.5 times as long as the fish. If you have two fillets, do them separately on two pieces of foil. Fold up the sides and ends of the foil to create a “boat” around the fish.
- Season the flesh side of the filets with thyme, salt and pepper. Then place a few large blobs of butter along each fillet. Now transfer them to the grill over the fire.
- Leave the fish to cook for 10 to 20 minutes, depending on how thick the fillets are and how hot your fire is. The butter should melt and pool around the fish. Add more if it looks lacking.
- When the flesh begins to turn opaque, it is almost done. A few minutes before completion, sprinkle the chopped green onions over the fish to let them soften and flavor the fish.
- Just as the fish flakes to pressure from a fork, remove it from the heat so that it doesn’t cook too much. We want to retain as much moisture in the flesh as possible. Use tongs to slide the fish onto a wooden cutting board. Slice into individual servings and dish them up hot. Squeeze some fresh lemon juice on top and add more salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!
Other fresh fish seasoning ideas
If you’d like to get more adventurous, why not try some of these other combinations for seasoning your fresh fish?
- Sprinkle chili powder and lime juice, and serve with a little organic sour cream.
- Use freshly chopped garlic and sliced mushrooms.
- Try some curry powder and a drizzle of coconut milk.
- Top with goat cheese and sweet chili sauce.
- Drizzle with raw honey and Dijon mustard.
- Mix maple syrup with hot pepper sauce for the perfect sweet-hot mixture.
Avoid commercial “fish crumb” products
Although it may seem easier to buy a bag of premade crumb mixture intended for coating fish, we encourage you to see through this marketing move. These products are geared toward the fisherman or fisherwoman trying to keep things simple, but those convenient little bags are filled with toxic ingredients.
Wheat crumbs are usually the main ingredient, which is an unwanted source of gluten. Corn flour is also a common one, which is usually made from GMO corn. Watch out for monosodium glutamate, or MSG, which is a neurotoxin. And finally, commercial crumb mixes usually contain excessive levels of sodium and/or sugar.
It’s easy to make your own healthy grain-free crumb coating with a little coconut and almond flour tossed with sea salt and pepper and dried herbs. That way you know exactly what you’re eating! We think this is the better way to do your fresh fishy catch (and your body) justice!
Side dishes for your grilled fish
Try some of these ideas for an easy and delicious accompaniment to your catch of the day.
- Wrap mini potatoes or sweet potatoes in foil and bury them in the fire. They will be done much quicker than full-size potatoes! Try slicing them in half and adding a little butter in the middle so they come out extra tasty. You can tell when they’re done by giving them a poke with your barbecue skewer. Afterward, unwrap them, smash them a little bit and season with salt and pepper.
- Buy some bagged grated cabbage or coleslaw mix. Instead of tossing it with commercial mayonnaise, use extra virgin olive oil or avocado as a dressing. Add some fresh lemon juice with sea salt and pepper for a perfect finish.
- Skewer some whole mushrooms, drizzle them with olive oil and sprinkle them with a little sea salt before putting them on the grill next to the fish.
- Chop up a watermelon and toss with feta cheese and balsamic vinegar for a simple yet sophisticated sweet, tangy salad.
- Bring along cherry tomatoes, radishes and mini cucumbers, and simply throw them on the plate with the fish. They make nutritious and colorful finger foods!
Instead of eating junky processed hot dogs and mac-and-cheese on your next camping trip, try cooking up some healthy fresh fish! With a tiny bit of extra planning and effort, you can continue your healthy eating regime while enjoying your summer holidays! Don’t fall off the wagon — stick with it!
Wondering what else to bring camping? Check out our handy survival packing list!
Liivi is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and is training to become a doula. She inspires women to find peace and personal power by taking control of health and fertility naturally. Liivi‘spassion is ancestral nutrition and primal lifestyle design. She and her partner Will live between Toronto, Canada and Queenstown, New Zealand.