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avelyn-ancient-africa-2It’s an exciting time whenever a homeschool project brings together multiple subjects we are studying all into one and uses my daughter’s gift of creativity.  But when all of this happens by ACCIDENT?  Oh my word!  It is an absolute wonderful miracle that only God can be given the credit for!

It all started with a great week back at Classical Conversations as we entered Week 13 and the Age of Exploration.  Two moments in our timeline song include “Slave Trade in Africa” and “Songhai in Africa” – which are two of the most fun parts of the week to sing.  Naturally, then, I decided we would study about Africa in our Story of the World curriculum.  At the end of the lesson were two recipes using ingredients found in Africa – dates and plantains (we used bananas).  I thought to myself… “Do I really want to do this?”  “Will it be a good use of my time if they don’t turn out?”  I debated and debated.  Finally, I decided since we have been memorizing also in Classical Conversations, mathematical measurement conversions used in baking, that we would go ahead and try it.  Something inside me told me I wouldn’t regret it.

Wow!  Was I ever right!  Both recipes were not only delicious, but my daughter and I bonded SO well.  She was intently interested in how many teaspoons were in a tablespoon and in mixing thoroughly every ingredient.  We laughed, we talked about so many topics that we wouldn’t normally have.  It was WONDERFUL.  As we baked, I knew it was moments like these that are why I homeschool.  What time would I have with a baby to do extra baking if she were in school?  How would I ever know ahead of time what she was learning to coordinate our activities at home to reinforce her learning?  I just plain old wouldn’t.  banana-date-bars-avelyn-ancient-africaAn added element for me as a mom was being able to substitute a third of the flour with Instant Soy Protein so I knew both of these treats were not only healthy with fruits, but also that the carbohydrates were dramatically cut and I know my little sweetie will be growing while enjoying.

It was so nice to serve these to my ladies who gathered at my house later that evening.  Baking, math, Africa, memorizing our Timeline, Science, hearts connecting… does it get any better than this?  I treasure these years dearly.

Here are the Recipes:


Date and Banana Protein Bars:


*1/4 cup butter

*3/4 cup sugar

*1 egg

*1tsp. vanilla

*2 medium bananas

*2/3 c. flour

*1/3 c. Instant Soy Protein

*1/4 tsp. baking soda

*1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

*1/2 cup chopped dates

*(Optional:  1/4 cup almonds)

*2 tablespoons butter

* 1 tablespoon lemon juice

*1/2 teaspoon vanilla

*3/4 c. powdered sugar


1. Cream together the butter and sugar.

2. Add the egg and vanilla.

3. Stir in the bananas and dry ingredients

4. Add the dates and almonds.

5. Bake in an 8″ x 8″ pan at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until edges are turning brown.


Date Protein Chewies:


* 1 c. chopped dates

* 2 eggs

*1 c. sugar

*1/2 c. flour

*1/4 c. Instant Soy Protein

*1 tsp. baking powder

*1 c. pecans, ground

*1/4 c. powdered sugar


1. In a blender, blend eggs and dates together.  Set aside.

2. In mixing bowl, combine sugar, flour, baking powder, and pecans.  Add in egg mixture.

3. Pour into ungreased cookie sheets.  Press the mixture down so it will be as thin as possible.

4. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.  Remove from oven and cut into bars while hot.

5. Roll into balls and then roll in the powdered sugar as soon as the chewies are cool enough to handle.

I would love any comments on how you reduce the sugar.  Next time I will try agave syrup and see what happens!  Who knows what other great things will happen because of an accident?