Trail Chef: Portable Bananas

They bruise, they split, they ooze...and they keep hopping in my pack!
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They bruise, they split, they ooze...and they keep hopping in my pack!

I'm about to invest in bubble wrap for my bananas. Regardless of how I package them, or how gently I transport them, they arrive at their final destination bruised and battered.

At home they are my go-to pre- and post-workout snack because of the promise of a little potassium, welcome sugar, a good dose of carbs and Vitamin B6 in a low-fat, low-calorie package. Not to mention they are low maintenance and tasty, in my opinion.

But every time I place a banana in my CamelBak, daypack, or messenger bag I inevitably (in no particular order) a) stuff my jacket and gloves into the same compartment as said banana b) lose an edge on my snowboard and fall on my back rendering said banana unrecognizable or c) forget about said banana in my pack of choice until the smell becomes unbearable.

This year I'm going to (try to) leave the whole, raw bananas behind with the help of these stable banana alternatives.

Banana Peanut Butter Roll Ups

From Genny Fullerton, BPs Photo Maven 2 (Who is also the illustrator of the above banana picture.)

Spread peanut butter and/or Nutella and/or honey over a tortilla. Add banana. Roll. Wrap entire roll in tinfoil to prevent it from unrolling or oozing in your pack.

Maple-Almond-Banana Trail Mix

*Adapted from a recipe on MarthaStewart.com

Makes about 8 cups

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 cups almonds, salted or unsalted
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup dried bananas (about 4 ounces), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2/3 cup cup dried cranberries (about 3 ounces)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine butter, maple syrup, almonds, and oats in a large bowl. Spread mixture on a rimmed baking sheet doused in cooking spray or a little butter.
  2. Bake, stirring once and rotating sheet after 20 minutes, until golden, 35 to 40 minutes total. Let cool. Transfer to a large plastic bag, and dump in dried bananas and cranberries. Shake. Throw, literally, in backpack.

LARABAR Banana Bread bars

www.larabar.com

These "whole food" bars contain just three ingredients: almonds, dates, and unsweetened bananas. They use three different types of unsweetened bananas to be specific--Cavendish, Gros Michel, and plantains--for 460mg of potassium, or 13% of the recommended daily value.

Packit Gourmet Banana Puddin'

www.packitgourmet.com

Classified as "Super EZ" this banana pudding features real bananas {it actually says "Banana" on the ingredient list}, coconut, and vanilla custard. It is a little higher in salt then I'd like, but all you have to do is add cool water to the bag and wait 10 minutes.

Then, of course, there is a wide variety of bread and muffin recipes that call for brown, mushy bananas. Anyone have a recipe for Banana Fosters bread? If so please drop it, and any other trail-friendly banana recipes in the comments below.



--Trail Chef