When people learn that I spend one week every summer at a camp for diabetic teenagers, I generally get one of three reactions:
“You really enjoy spending your time away from teaching with teenagers?”
“That’s a great idea. What types of activities do you do?”
“You go a whole week without eating sugar?”
The first two make me smile; the last one makes me laugh.
Even though I’m not diabetic, I respect the camp rules. But I do admit there are times there may be a secret stash of M&Ms or a spare Snickers in my dresser drawer for times when stress plus lack of chocolate might send me over the edge.
Fortunately, the camp dietary staff is always stellar. We rarely want for anything at meals or the three daily snacks on the schedule.
As a kid, s’mores were the highlight of every camping trip and program.
It wasn’t as much about the graham crackers and chocolate (well, maybe it was) but more the challenge of making a perfectly toasted, exquisitely roasted brown-bubbled marshmallow to slip between the crackers and melt the chocolate to a delicious gooeyness.
Lucky for us, someone had the forethought to consider this issue of the contradiction of s’mores at a diabetic camp and introduced smunchies to the evening snack menu.
A frozen chocolate-peanut butter pudding filling sandwiched between two graham crackers, smunchies are more than a Wednesday night treat: They’re a camp legend.
The original recipe remains a closely guarded kitchen secret, so I’ve come up with my own version. Give it a try -- I think you’ll see why I laugh about going a week without sugar, and why I often take that Snickers bar back home with me.
(My Version of) Camp Smunchies
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Freeze Time: 2 hours
1 pkg. (1 oz) sugar-free instant chocolate pudding
1 pkg. (1 oz) sugar-free instant vanilla pudding
3 cups milk, divided
½ cup smooth peanut butter
½ cup frozen light whipped topping, thawed
1 box (16 oz) graham crackers
Line a baking sheet with a single layer of graham cracker squares. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together 1½ cups milk and chocolate pudding for two minutes or until thickened. With a mixer, beat in peanut butter until smooth and thick.
In a second bowl, whisk together 1½ cups milk and vanilla pudding for two minutes until thickened. With a spatula, gently fold in whipped topping until combined.
Dollop one half-tablespoon of chocolate pudding mixture onto one graham cracker square. Add one-half tablespoon of vanilla pudding mixture on top. Top with graham cracker square and press slightly to set the smunchie.
When all the smunchies are assembled, cover with foil or plastic wrap, move sheet to freezer for two hours, then enjoy!
Beth Morrow is a freelance author, educator and member of the Central Ohio Diabetes Association’s Youth Committee and Camp Leadership teams. She has served for 16 years as Senior Week program director for Camp Hamwi, a residential, age-based, week-long residential camp for diabetic youth. Reach her via e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org.