As a kid, who didn’t love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? I did (on white bread, of course.)
I grew up in a time where processed foods were the norm. Farmer’s markets were few, even living in a farming community, or at least I did not know about them. My health journey started strong after college.
Poison. At some point in my childhood, we made the switch to wheat bread, whole grain wheat bread. My dad would tell my younger sister and I that white bread was “poison”. As a child, I thought he was silly. Now, I appreciate and agree with his thought process!
Food Allergy Fun. Since I have food allergies (wheat and gluten being some of them) I now know that white bread (and bread/anything with gluten in general) IS my poison. My dad was right (for me). I found out that I couldn’t have wheat after a healthy eating program that I did with my yoga studio years ago.
After strictly eating clean for 14+ days and avoiding wheat (and other common allergenic and processed foods), I attempted to reintroduce sprouted wheat (Ezekiel Bread) and immediately broke out into hives. Scary stuff. My body said a big NO to that in the form of hives and a terrible gut ache. After strictly taking out certain foods and eating healthy and clean for even a short period of time, your body is desensitized and is more sensitive to those foods that can be your “poison.”
After that incident (and YEARS of stomach issues prior to that with NO known answer after many years of testing and Doctor’s appointments) I decided to cut out wheat and gluten STAT. At first, I wasn’t as strict, but I learned that when I did “cheat”, I would end up with a terrible stomach ache or my skin would itch and break out either immediately or within 1-3 days. I would get terrible bloated stomachaches. I felt and looked like I was pregnant.
I then STOPPED eating gluten strictly and have been gluten free for 8+ years. I have also taken out dairy in all forms (if there is a tiny bit of dairy in something that is homemade or even the occasional dark chocolate peanut butter cup with trace dairy, that doesn’t seem to bother me, but my body is a big NO to milk, yogurt, and cheese; I’m also allergic to whey along with being lactose intolerant.) I’m also allergic to almonds, cranberries and green beans. There are more food allergies, but some I have successfully reintroduced (for example, eggs, that one sucked as I LOVE eggs, but I have since reintroduced them back into my diet.) I am always working on my gut health and testing out foods on my body.
Happy Camper. So, back to peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I do NOT eat a lot of gluten free breads, even if they are labeled as gluten free (many have way too many weird ingredients in them and little nutritional value). On occasion, I do treat myself to the brown rice bread (Trader Joe’s brand-only toasted). However, I recently found another gluten free bread made by a local Pacific Northwest company called Happy Camper.
I wasn’t looking for another gluten free bread, but one of the owners, Jan, was at Whole Foods handing out free samples. (I was on one of my Field Trip Friday excursions.) I tried all 4 kinds he was sampling, then I decided to bring home ONE loaf to sample myself. I chatted with him about his company and the ingredients; I was sold by his friendly personality and his passion for his company and health.
I had originally decided to try the Cravin’ Raisin Cinnamon Spice, but then was stopped by a random stranger, asking about a raw gluten and grain free granola that I was checking out. He then told me about Happy Camper (he did not notice the bag of HC bread in my arms). He told me he loved them all, but his favorite was the Stompin’ Good Seedy Buckwheat Molasses. So, since I had tried a sample of that, I switched it out to get some Stompin’ Good Seedy Buckwheat Molasses. I thought that would be better topped with avocado. (I love the names of all of their bread!)
Cats and Bread. I grabbed a loaf, some other new gluten free finds and loaded up my backpack to walk to catch the ferry home. That night, I took out the bread, put it on the table, fell asleep on the coach and woke up to a concerned Lita (she’s my pup). I thought she had to go potty, but she was concerned because THERE WAS A CAT on the table eating my new gluten free bread. I was sooo mad.
What cat eats bread out of a bag on the table? A NAUGHTY CAT. Luckily, she only ate the corners off a couple of pieces; I could still eat the majority of the bread. It sounds silly that I was mad at the cat right now, but we now know cats (picky eater cats) also love this bread! (Our cats and dog also love coconut oil – healthy eaters.)
My Happy Camper Thoughts. My thoughts on this bread? WIN! Honestly, I have tried it in a variety of ways (all different days, I truly don’t eat much bread, the more I do, the more I crave it).
I have tried it:
- Plain (toasted)
- Toasted with coconut oil, toasted with coconut oil and organic peanut butter
- Toasted with coconut oil, organic peanut butter and fresh figs (pictured)
- Toasted and topped with fresh smashed avocado with himalayan pink salt
My favorites are the last 2. I would definitely recommend trying this out if you appreciate high quality nutrition, enjoy great tasting healthy bread, are a healthy ingredient detective, are celiac or gluten sensitive (it is made in a gluten free certified facility), like supporting small businesses, and love trying new foods. They sell their bread online and also at select stores around the USA. You can check out their website here: Happy Camper.
Peanut Butter and Jelly Naturalita Style
My version of peanut butter and jelly has changed drastically since I was a child! Now it is a rare treat, and I have made my own Naturalita modifications to “upgrade” it to make it work with my body (and food allergies).
- 1 slice Stompin’ Good Seedy Buckwheat Molasses (toasted)
- 1/2 teaspoon organic unrefined coconut oil
- 1/2 teaspoon organic peanut butter
- 1 fresh, ripe Panache Fig (Tiger Fig) or any fresh, ripe fig – sliced
Create it Naturally
Lightly toast your Happy Camper bread. Top with coconut oil, add peanut butter, then top with sliced ripe fig (super healthy alternative to jelly or jam). Enjoy!
Do you think you would try this? (It’s approved by everyone in my house, including the cats!) They have many different flavors than just the two I mentioned.
Do you know anyone that is celiac, gluten sensitive, lives a gluten free lifestyle or would appreciate trying a healthy great tasting bread? Yes? Please share this article with them so they can find out about Happy Camper!
FYI – I was in no way paid to write this article or even asked! I am not an affiliate at all, nor did Jan (owner and sampler) have any idea that I was planning on trying their bread and writing it about it. (I should have snapped a picture of him with his bread, but I didn’t think of it.) I just love trying new healthy foods and supporting new small local health focused businesses in promoting their mission, brands, and products when I can. I’m a small business owner, too, so I always appreciate supporting others. Karma always wins.