I didn’t grow up camping.
And I didn’t camp
a lot ever as a young adult living in Los Angeles (unless you count two weekends on a luxury houseboat floating Lake Powell with a bevy of my co-workers and friends in 1998 and 1999 … and I don’t think they count as camping since someone was there to prepare our food and supply our entertainment). (The Cowboy tells me that’s called “glamping” … glamour-camping. Okay. It was super fun.)
But now that I’ve become so rugged and out-doorsy (read: sarcasm), we go camping as often as we can during the summer.
A few days in the hills (better known as the Rocky Mountains) with the horses, dogs and kiddos …without phones, computers and the stress of having to keep up with the laundry. Ahhhhh.
But I still don’t think we’re roughing it too hard.
We sleep in the gooseneck of a horse trailer on a higher quality mattress than we have in our home.
And just because we’re in the woods, doesn’t mean we stop taking food seriously.
In fact, we often pack some of our favorite near-gourmet meals to cook over the campfire (like braised short ribs a la Ad Hoc At Home, Sonora refried bean tacos with roasted pasilla peppers and queso fresco inspired by master chef Diana Kennedy’s Essential Cuisines of Mexico, and our favorite sourdough pancakes that seem to taste even better cooked in cast iron over a fire).
Same goes for desserts and snacks, too … we bring the usual popcorn (non-GMO kernels popped in Coconut Oil), of course. And fruit galore. We pack pre-made green-smoothies in a cooler. But I like brownies on the trail … and I’m just not ashamed to admit it.
I am, however, reluctant to admit that until about a year ago, I relied on a boxed version of this treat to satisfy this camp craving. Not because I particularly love the boxed version (there’s an organic version for sale at our local Town & Country that’s totally acceptable and perfectly tasty) … I just hadn’t figured out the right homemade version, I guess. Until the Cowboy brought home a copy of Paleo Magazine and I saw a recipe for brownies made with sweet potatoes.
So based on that recipe, I started working on my own.
And here’s what’s coming with us next week:
- 1 large Yam (cooked & mashed)
- 1/4 cup Coconut Oil
- 1/4 cup Pure Grade B Maple Syrup
- 3 large Eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon Vanilla
- 3 tablespoons Coconut Flour
- 1/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
- 2 tablespoons Milk Chocolate Cocoa Powder
- 1/3 cup Chocolate Chips
- 1/4 cup soaked & crisped & chopped walnuts (optional)
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut (optional)
- Pinch of Sea Salt
First things first … wash and, using a fork, pierce the yam skin on all sides. Put the yam in the oven and set the temperature to 425 degrees. Bake for 35 minutes (or until soft and cooked through).
Reduce the temperature in the oven to 350 degrees. Take some care to remove the yam from the oven, peel and mash the yam flesh in a medium bowl. (I do this when the yam is still hot so it melts the Coconut Oil when it hits the yam). Add the coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla and mix well. Then add the eggs and whisk until smooth and well-combined.
Next, add the dry ingredients: the coconut flour, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt.
Fold in the chocolate chips (and walnuts and coconut).
Pour the mixture into a greased glass 8×8 baking dish. Bake on 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Cool before cutting and pretend there will be some left for a snack tomorrow.
(I’m probably going to have to make a double batch if we’re going to be gone more than a day … hmmm … better get another yam.)
– Camper Jeanne
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