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A magazine called Get Out! Outdoor Adventure in the Ohio River Region used a recipe from my book A Fork in the Trail called Banana Breakfast Bars in their March issue. It is a filling a decadent treat for the trail that you make at home for a grab-and-go breakfast. The beauty of this recipe is that it makes a great bar for other activities too. It will give you energy for that bike ride on the city trails or working in the garden.

Here is the recipe.

banana breakfast bars

© 2008 Laurie Ann March
this recipe is an excerpt from the book A Fork in the Trail

makes 10–12 servings

This is another one of those make-at-home recipes where the bars seem to disappear before the trip.

1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg
3 ripe bananas
3 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup malted milk powder, such as Ovaltine, or chocolate-flavored protein powder
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup raisins or chocolate chips (or 1/2 cup of each)

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Mix the butter and sugar together in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Beat the egg and pour it in the bowl. Mash the bananas in a separate bowl, add them to the eggs, and mix well. Stir in the oats, salt, and milk powder combining well. Add the walnuts and the raisins or chocolate chips and stir to combine.

Line the tops and sides of a 9 x 9 inch baking pan with a single piece of parchment paper. Then butter the top of the paper. Pour the batter into the pan. Bake at 350º F for 1 hour. After the slab has cooled, cut it into bars and wrap them in waxed paper. Place the wrapped bars in a ziplock freezer bag. These bars freeze very well for several months.

Tip: To make the parchment paper easier to manage, place a little butter in the bottom of your pan and then place the parchment paper in the pan. The butter underneath with hold the paper in place, making it easier for you to butter the top of the paper.

Turkish Delight has been a favorite in our family for generations. My Mom used to get Fry’s Turkish Delight for me when I was a young child. This morning my little boy, who is a big fan of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, asked me how to make Turkish Delight.

I showed Tobias a video which uses the same recipe I use. The recipe is included in the video. Here is the link.

Turkish Delight with Natasha Levitan

Sometimes we take this backpacking or hiking as a little treat on the trail.

At holiday time we cover our Turkish Delight in chocolate for added decadence.

ineeka ma-chai tin

ineeka ma-chai tin

Today I was at the post office picking up a shipment. Our local postal outlet is in a Shoppers Drug Mart and they have a great range of organic teas and coffee. As I was browsing the selection a silver tin caught my eye — tea made by a company called ineeka (little earth).

The company’s tagline is “Cultivating Consciousness” and the goal is “to be socially responsible for the subsistence of the 25, 000 people who live on the farms.” They have a strong emphasis to be environmentally responsible as well.

The tin is much like a humidor and contains 14 bags of ma-chai. The ma-chai is a whole leaf, 100% organic tea blend containing black tea leaves, ginger, cardamom, black pepper, clove, rose petals, and saffron. There were other flavors but this one really intrigued me.

What impresses me about this product, other than the fact that the tea has a wonderful aroma and taste, is the way in which it is brewed. Each bag is actually its own infuser called a “Brew Taché” which gives you the convenience of a bag with the

ineeka brew taché

ineeka brew taché

benefits of loose leaf brewing.

The bags are flat and are slightly larger than a traditional tea bag. To use the “Brew Taché” you gently tear off the top strip of the tea bag and open the bag up into the infuser. It rests on your cup. You can see how it looks when set up in the picture to the right.

The tea itself is a superior product. Delicious. The pre-measured infuser makes for a perfectly brewed cup of tea. The aroma is incredible and the flavor was superb. Clean up is a breeze. These are a little more expensive but well worth the extra cost.

As you know, I love to backpack and canoe, these will definitely be in my pack on the next trip.