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The DAILY DIRT - The nitty and the gritty of outdoor news

Trail Chef: Portable Bananas

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


READERS COMMENTS

Patty
Feb 06, 2010

I've tried the Banan Saver and since it's not much bigger than the banana it fits in my backpack well. I recommend it

John Gutierrez
Feb 05, 2010

www.bananaguard.com - This is the website for the aforementioned banana-guard. It works, even if people shoot you wonky looks, and they also carry cases for appple-ish-sized and kiwi-ish-sized produce. On a possibly interesting note, bananas first arrived in the US market at the 1876 World's Fair, the first in this country, brought from Central America as a novelty, sold for 10 cents a pop, peeled and wrapped in foil. The plantations on which they are still grown continue to be a source for a multitude of human rights issues and labour concerns, so buy certified Fair Trade bananas, and you can feel peachy-keen about your banana-a-day. Thanks much for the trail recipes.

kristin hostetter
Feb 01, 2010

bananasaver.com --these work great.

Trail Chef
Feb 01, 2010

Good ideas, everyone! I've never seen the banana guard. The product description is hilarious.

Anonymous
Jan 31, 2010

Freeze Them!

mtnmystic
Jan 31, 2010

empty waterbottle as storage,unril you need it for h20

SLO Brewer
Jan 29, 2010

Have you tried one of these?

http://www.aerostich.com/banana-guard.html

Lynne
Jan 28, 2010

Or just thinly slice and put in dehydrator overnight for some chewy banana deliciousness!

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