banana granola.

i bake, cook and make a lot of things. i mean, i guess that’s pretty obvious.

i have this amazing live-in taste tester who samples all of the things i bake and cook and make. he’s funny, crazy smart and he knows a thing or two about good food.

this boy also makes me laugh all the time, tells me i’m pretty and makes my sleepy-time tea (you know, the one with the tired bear in pajamas on the box) just right. i kinda like him.

he’s loved a lot of the delicious things i’ve made over the years, but i’ve never seen him get so excited about something as he got about this banana granola.

i know, right? granola! who knew it was that big of a deal?

the boy that i’m marrying in december is obsessed with cereal. it’s pretty much his favorite thing in the world. a big bowl of cereal, drowned in icy cold milk and topped with a sprinkling of brown sugar is his idea of comfort food.

thanks to this banana granola, my fiance’s daily breakfast just a major upgrade.

homemade granola: did you know that it’s pretty much the easiest thing in the world to make?

oats, sugar, butter, nuts, spices. mix it up, pour it in a pan, bake it off. add dried fruit, and maybe some chocolate chips if that’s your thing. pop it in an airtight container, and you’ve got breakfast at the ready for the whole week.

also, your house is going to smell incredible while this granola is baking! just thought i’d let you know.

for this batch, i tossed in some coconut, peanuts, slivered almonds, vanilla, banana extract, flax seeds, cinnamon, brown sugar and plenty of sweetened banana chips.

i can’t wait to make various seasonal iterations of this granola. pumpkin seeds & warming, familiar pumpkin pie spices for fall. tart dried cranberries, walnuts, nutmeg, maybe a handful of white chocolate chips for wintertime.

this banana granola is simple and uncomplicated and absolutely wonderful. the banana flavor is pronounced, but not overwhelming at all. you can enjoy this granola by itself as an afternoon snack, it’s that good. it would also be delicious layered with yogurt and drizzled with honey as a parfait.

making food for the ones you love may be a quiet gesture, but by no means is it a small one.

it made my favorite boy happy, and i bet it’ll make your favorite boy or girl smile, too.

banana granola

Yield: 6 cups granola, 1 1/2 cups banana milk

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Ingredients:

1/2 pound (2.5 cups) quick cooking oats
1/4 pound oat flour (if you don't have oat flour, you can make your own! just grind oats in a coffee grinder or food processor!)
4 ounces unsweetened shredded coconut
4 ounces slivered almonds
4 ounces chopped peanuts
2 ounces flax seeds
1 cup light brown sugar
4 ounces (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
4 ounces coconut oil
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
2 teaspoons pure banana extract (you can find this at cooking or baking shops, or online!)
1 cup sweetened banana chips
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Directions:

for the granola

preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

lightly spray a large baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray, and set aside.

in a large bowl, combine the oats, oat flour, shredded coconut, almonds, peanuts and flax seeds. stir to combine, and set aside.

in a medium saucepan, combine the brown sugar, butter, and coconut oil. place over medium-high heat.

stir the saucepan occasionally, and when everything is melted and the mixture is bubbling, remove from the heat. add the cinnamon, salt, vanilla bean paste and banana extract, and stir to combine.

pour the hot liquid over the oat mixture, and stir to combine thoroughly.

pour the granola onto the prepared baking sheet, and spread into an even layer.

bake the granola at 300 degrees for 20 minutes.
after the 20 minutes are up, remove the sheet pan from the oven and break up the granola with a spatula, stirring it up and arranging it back into an even layer.

place in the oven for another 20 minutes, and then stir again.

repeat this process for approximately 1 hour, or until the granola is fairly dry, golden brown, and broken up into medium-sized pieces.

remove from the oven once golden brown, and allow to cool completely at room temperature.

once the granola is cool, stir again to break up any large chunks that may have formed. stir in the banana chips and chocolate chips, if using.

transfer the granola to an airtight container, and store at room temperature until ready to use.

the granola will keep at room temperature stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

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5 Responses to “banana granola.”

  1. #
    1
    Jessica — August 18, 2011 at 3:52 am

    This sounds amazing! Beautiful photos too! :-)

  2. #
    2
    The Dinner Belle for KimberlyBelle.com — August 19, 2011 at 8:04 am

    Your boy sounds amazingly sweet ;) I’m sure he loved the homemade granola! I love granola in yogurt as well, so perhaps making my own batch will make it taste extra special. Thank you for the lovely post and recipe!

  3. #
    3
    Emily | Nomnivorous — August 19, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    Shhh… I have a secret to share. You can make granola with a pureed banana. Now, the sugar and oil/butter are all delicious and stuff, but banana puree also coats wonderfully. It gives it a subtle banana flavor when baked up. And when you add milk back to the granola, somehow the flavor comes out more.

    Pay no attention to the URL, but here’s a recipe. And a personal reminder to write up my recipe soon! http://www.dietgirl.org/dietgirl/2009/09/pretty-darn-healthy-homemade-granola.html

  4. #
    4
    jaclyn — August 19, 2011 at 10:45 pm

    love it! that’s so amazing! i will definitely be trying that with the next batch! thanks for the tip :]

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