I'm very picky about bananas. Most of the time, I find they are just too ripe for me to enjoy. My favorite banana is one that is still just slightly green on the ends...a little weird, I know, but we all have our quirks. Any hint of brown spots or mushiness means I probably won't eat it. So as you can imagine, I end up with my share of overripe bananas in the kitchen looking for their purpose in life.
Banana bread is, of course, the perfect way to use very ripe bananas. It was one of the first recipes I learned to make as a kid and it fits perfectly into my "waste not, want not" mentality around food. Unfortunately, it is not always the healthiest option. Most banana bread is loaded with refined sugar and oil. Even healthified versions are not something I would want to eat every day. So I was excited to find another equally delicious but even healthier way to use my extra bananas. Granola!!!
I kept this recipe pretty simple and basic. I have mostly been enjoying my granola by itself with yogurt but occasionally will add toasted walnuts or goji berries to my bowl as the mood strikes. Feel free to play around with your own add-ins based on what you have in your kitchen and what your body is asking for.
One note: Because of the inclusion of the banana and lack of refined oil, this granola is not as crisp as some others I've made. It will still keep on the counter for about a week and lightly chewy texture is lovely when mixed with some creamy greek yogurt.
Banana Bread Granola
makes about 4 cups
- 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1 large, ripe banana
- 1/3 cup Lakanto monkfruit sweetener (or regular sugar)
- 3 Tbs maple syrup
- about 1/4 cup almond milk (enough to blend wet ingredients with)
Heat oven to 300 degrees.
Combine oats and coconut flakes in a large bowl.
In a blender, combine banana, sweetener, maple syrup, and almond milk. Blend until smooth.
Add banana mixture to oats mixture and sir thoroughly. Spread onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Bake for 45 minutes, stirring about halfway through to keep any one spot from getting too brown. Store in an airtight container for up to one week.