I start every weekday morning the same way: with a bowl of granola. Because I am a cheapskate who loathes raisins, my favorites are Sunbelt Bakery Banana Nut and Trader Joe's Just the Clusters Maple Pecan. But as I munched one morning, I got to thinking. Over the past few years I've discovered that everything from macaroni and cheese to English muffins tastes a lot better if you put in the effort to make it yourself. By eating box after box of purchased granola, was I missing out?
I turned to the Internet and discovered that most granola recipes out there are loaded with oil and sugar. However, I was able to track down a recipe that used a pureed banana in place of oil and most of the sweetener. It seems a bit odd, but it really does work, and I was able to combine my two favorite breakfast flavors into one recipe. Although I don't think it will displace my favorite packaged granolas, it is a nice change of pace.
Notes: The banana flavor is pretty subtle, so add in some dried banana chips if you want it to be more banana-y. Also, be forewarned that the sweetness level is definitely lower than most pre-made granolas (Mike after sampling some: "It tastes...healthy").
Adapted from Pretty Darn Healthy Homemade Granola, The Amazing Adventures of Dietgirl
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 1/4 cups rolled oats
- 1/4 cup pecans, chopped
Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Puree the banana, water, salt, cinnamon, vanilla, and maple syrup in a blender until smooth. Combine with the oats and pecans in a large bowl and mix until the dry ingredients are thoroughly moistened. Spread the mixture on a baking sheet lined with wax paper.
Bake for one hour, or until the granola is dry and crunchy, removing the granola from the oven and stirring every ten minutes to break up any large clumps.