Last week I took my kids camping. In the woods. With no electricity. And nary a flush toilet in sight. Those who know me were quite shocked to find out that I was VOLUNTARILY embarking on this trip: I’m just not what one would call the outdoorsy type. To add to the shock factor, I actually went out there sans hubby; Flamenco Dad wasn’t able to join us until we were well into Day 2. I packed up all our gear, loaded up the kids and the grub, and ventured out into the wilderness.
What we encountered once we made it to the campsite was not what I expected. I didn’t realize it ahead of time, but we were in for what experienced campers would call “primitive camping.” When we arrived, we were informed that we could not drive to our campsite, instead having to hike over 1/2 mile whilst schlepping our gear. By the time we made it to our campsite it was dark out, meaning I had to assemble our tent in the dark. It was the first time I ever assembled a tent on my own, never mind the fact that it was hard to see out there.
I’ll save the rest of our camping adventure for another day, but you may be wondering why I’m sharing all this. It’s because with all that packing, hiking, and tent building, I also needed to be mindful of what we were going to eat out there.
Three days of no access to refrigeration (save for a medium sized cooler) and only a small camp stove make for some unique food challenges.
Dining on the run (or away from home) can be difficult, especially when one has to be mindful of food sensitivities. It’s not like I can just walk into a 7-Eleven and grab whatever’s on the shelf. Besides Zoe’s gluten and dairy intolerance, that stuff it usually just plain icky and otherwise unhealthy. So when it came time to prepare for our camping trip, I needed to be ready with healthy foods we ALL could eat and enjoy.
What I did was modify a recipe for banana bread that I found in Carol Fenster’s Cooking Free. The result was a not-too-sweet, tasty, and healthy pumpkin bread that was out of this world. I gave myself props for not using any refined sugar and giving my kids a breakfast/snack that was chock full of Vitamin A (courtesy of the pumpkin puree).
Pumpkin Bread (recipe modified from a recipe in Cooking Free):
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1/8 tsp. baking soda
2 large eggs
3 Tbs. canola oil
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups of your favorite gluten-free flour blend (I made my own)
1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 ripe mashed banana
1 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
Preheat oven to 350. Grease 3 mini loaf pans. Combine syrup, baking soda, eggs, oil, and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, xanthan gum, salt, baking powder and cinnamon. Add flour mixture to the egg mixture, alternating with the pumpkin and banana. Divide the batter among the three loaf pans, then bake for approximately 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into loaf comes out clean. Cool thoroughly before cutting.