Vegan Banana Bread Granola
Store bought granola has nothing on home made. It is so much fun picking your own flavors and ingredients. Although I have my favorites, I try to switch it up a lot according to what I have on hand and try new things. I always keep a bag of granola in my pantry at all times, so I end up making it a lot. Last week, I decided to make a banana bread granola. What I mean by banana bread, is the flavors and ingredients that would be in a good banana bread. Because banana bread is kind of breakfasty and snacky like granola. Also I just love all of the flavors in it.
I had all of the ingredients on hand so it was perfect! I always have a big stock pile of oats because I eat them for breakfast every day anyhow. I added in walnuts and almonds for the nuts. Walnuts are traditional in banana bread, at least in my family and I just wanted a variety so I went with the almonds. I also added in coconut for extra sweetness and crunch. I like a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg in my banana bread as well, because that is what my Mom and Grandma used to add to theirs.
For the coating on the granola, I went oil free, replacing the banana with oil. I have done this the last few times I made granola (replacing the oil with fruit or veggies). I used pumpkin and sweet potato before and it worked great so I figured why not banana? It is a similar texture. You wouldn't think that it would get crispy but it totally does! And, you have an oil free crunchy snack! I figure there is enough richness from the nuts and coconut already. I sweetened it with maple syrup and added in a bit of almond butter (also in place of some of the oil) as well and it was the perfect coating.
It smelled so good while baking! Just like banana bread! I could not wait to try it! I did try some warm, and it was amazing but I had to wait for it to cool to add my final touch, the vegan dark chocolate chips! My Mom always put chocolate chips in her banana bread so they were a must for this! It was sooo good! Crunchy, sweet, a touch of salty, and so addictive. I could not stop sampling it. Instead of buying granola at the store next time, whip up a batch of your own, it is so worth it!
Vegan Banana Bread Granola
Makes 6 cups
- 3 cups organic gluten free old fashioned rolled oats
- 1 1/2 cups raw walnuts
- 1 cup raw almonds
- 1 cups finely shredded, dried unsweetened coconut
- 1/2 cup mashed bananas
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup pecan butter or almond butter
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup vegan dark chocolate chips
- Line a large baking sheet with non-stick foil, and spray with cooking spray.
- Preheat the oven to 350F and set rack at the medium position
- In a large bowl, combine oats, nuts, and coconut, and set aside.
- In another bowl, whisk together banana, maple syrup, nut butter, spices, sea salt, and vanilla extract until well combined, then pour over oat mixture and toss to coat until completely blended.
- Pour out onto prepared baking sheet, and spread out evenly.
- Bake for 35 minutes, stirring about every 10 minutes or so until the granola is evenly browned. Remove from oven and let cool.
- Stir in chocolate chips.