Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Om nom nom nom nom nom nom, banana chip

I'm going to go out on a limb here and make a sweeping generalization. I think everyone has one or two foods that, once they cross the oral threshhold and enter their mouths, become very difficult to stop eating. For me, banana chips are one of these foods. Their texture is perfect, smooth yet crunchy, deliciously melting between your teeth as you bite down, going from jagged to soft in but a moment.

There's a Mexican grocery store near me called Cermak Produce. It is not on Cermak Avenue, at least this location, but it is full of produce. I went there in search of apples for a friend, then happened upon a veritable wall of dried fruits. There, a half a pound of banana chips is less than $1.50, and a mix of fruits you've never heard of is less than $4 a pound. The variety is fantastic and somewhat odd -- I'm glad I knew that dried kiwis aren't that great, since I would've tried them there -- and each is handily packaged in a reusable box-like container. It is a heaven for a fruit lover, especially in the middle of winter. I picked out a box of banana chips and a carton of craisins.

The problem with banana chips is that they're not particularly good for you. Livestrong seems to have a billion different calorie counts for various amounts, but generally speaking it looks like ~20 banana chips is ~150 calories, with a boatload of fat in there. From... somewhere. Of course I didn't know this before I ate at least a serving's worth, but so it goes. I decided to try the dried fruits in the oatmeal, putting them in while it was still quite hot to let the sugar melt off and sweeten the rest of the 'meal.

The result was fantastically delicious. The banana chips melted a little and almost rehydrated into normal bananas, but they kept just enough of their jaggedness to remind you that they're chips. The craisins melted into the oatmeal and moved with it, adding chewy bits to an otherwise reasonably consistent consistency. I also added a drop of vanilla, but all that served to do was make it taste kind of odd for the first bite or two.

Yes, I understand "oatmeal with dried fruit" is hardly a recipe, and is about as groundbreaking as sliced bread, but it's new to me, and the cranberry banana hybrid worked particularly well.

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