Banana Bread Granola – Oats are tossed with pecans, walnuts, banana puree, honey, and cinnamon to make for a crunchy snack that tastes (and smells!) just like banana bread.
Making granola at home is the snack I didn’t know I needed. I never thought it would be worth the effort. But, as it turns out, the effort is minimal which makes the end result that much more “worth it.”
After making a pumpkin version a couple years ago, I saw first-hand how easy it was to make homemade granola. Since then, I’ve been eager to test out new recipes any chance I get.
First, I tried a classic cinnamon granola that I added to this grilled peach sundae. It was so crispy and flavorful, yet didn’t distract from the main components of the sundae. My next granola, however, was set to be a star so it needed to shine all on its own.
The next granola I made was this sweet and salty concoction: chocolate cinnamon granola. It was loaded with chocolate flavor that was made even better with cinnamon and flaky sea salt. I was eating it by the handfuls! I was on a roll!!
Today, I am sharing my third original homemade granola. This one combines all the flavors of another baked treat: banana bread. I added in walnuts and pecans, which are nuts I love to include in my banana bread. And don’t forget that cinnamon – banana bread just ain’t the same without it.
Without further ado, I present my Banana Bread Granola!
How to make this granola
Just like with banana bread, this banana bread granola is a great way to use super ripe bananas. Those bananas get mushed and added to the other wet ingredients: honey, canola oil, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and salt. It’s important to mix the wet ingredients before adding the dry ingredients because you wan them to mix evenly. This is hard to do with all the dry ingredients in there, too.
Once the wet mixture is done, add in the dry ingredients: oats, whole pecans, and walnuts. You can use chopped versions of the nuts – I just like the look of the whole ones.
One the mixture is all combine, it’s patted into one flat layer on a large baking sheet. Don’t make the layer too thick or it will take forever to crisp up. But do remember to pat down the granola tightly. This will ensure the granola clusters beautifully.
After the granola has been baking for 15 minutes, it’s time to toss around and flatten again. You’ll probably notice that the edges of the granola around the rim of the baking sheet have begun to brown, while the center probably doesn’t have much color. This process ensures even browning of the granola.
Once the granola is done, let it cool completely and then break it into pieces. You can eat it alone or with yogurt, milk, or ice cream. I love snacking on it so it never makes it for any other use.
My favorite thing about this granola
Hands down, my favorite thing about this granola is the smell. When it bakes, the banana and cinnamon create an aroma almost exactly like baking banana bread. It’s intoxicating! And what’s even better is that the smell stays in the granola even after it’s finished baking. Every so often I would just sneak a whiff of the granola and sure enough, it smelled like bananas and cinnamon. Mmmm I’m drooling just thinking about it.
Tips & Tricks
- You must use super ripe bananas for this recipe. Ripe bananas have more sugar so you don’t need to use lots of honey in the granola. If the banana isn’t ripe enough, it won’t have the right amount of sweetness.
- Do not underbake the granola. You’ll know it’s ready because it will turn golden brown. If you underbake the granola, it won’t be crunchy, but instead, it will be chewy.
Banana Bread Granola
- 3 cups old fashioned oats not instant!
- ½ cup banana puree about 1½ bananas
- ½ cup walnuts
- ½ cup pecans
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- ½ tablespoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup honey
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Add nuts and oats to a large bowl. In a separate small bowl, add the banana puree, oil, salt, honey, cinnamon, and vanilla extract and whisk together. Pour mixture into bowl with oats and nuts. Stir together until well-mixed.
- Pour granola onto large baking sheet and spread evenly into one layer and pat down to compact the mixture. Bake 15 minutes and remove. Stir mixture, pat down to compact it again, and return to oven for another 20 minutes, until the mixture is golden brown.
- Remove from oven to cool. Once cool, break apart the granola into chunks.
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