This is one of those happy accidents. You see, I went to my pantry to get out some banana chips to make this granola, but to my shock I didn’t have any. I am not sure how that happened, I could have sworn I had some. I was just at Trader Joe’s, I would have gotten some if I knew I was out.
It was time for Plan B. I kind of had my heart set on bananas chips in the granola, but I would settle for banana flavor some other way. Luckily I actually had banana in the freezer. I thawed some out and decided to try using mashed banana in the liquid mixture.
After a little tinkering around I came up with a formula that I thought would work. The best part was that since I was using mashed banana I would need less coconut oil and honey. This turned out to be my healthiest granola yet! Why hadn’t I thought of using mashed banana in granola before?!
My mind is already full of ideas for other granola using mashed banana or other puréed fruits. Or granola bars…. Another great part was that the house smelled wonderful, like I had a banana bread in the oven. I’m starting to drool again!
Dried papaya would be great too, I could find any at the store. As with all homemade granolas it is nice to control the ingredients, use sweetened dried fruit if you like it sweet or unsweetened for a less sweet flavor. I used honey, but you could easily use maple syrup to make it vegan and use certified GF oats to make it gluten free. I hope you enjoy this as much as we did.
2 very ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 c. honey
3 Tbs. Coconut oil, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
Pinch of salt
4 c. old fashioned rolled oats
1 c. shredded coconut
1/2 c. nuts of your choice (macadamia would be great for the tropical theme)
1/2 c. dried pineapple
1/2 c. dried mango
1/2 c. roasted coconut chips
Preheat oven to 300 degrees and line a baking sheet with Silpat or parchment paper. In a small bowl combine the mashed bananas, honey, coconut oil, vanilla and salt. In a large bowl combine the oats, nuts and shredded coconut. Pour the liquid mixture over the oat mixture and stir well.
Spread on the baking sheet in a uniform thin layer. Bake for 40-45 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes. Let it cool and add in the dried fruit and coconut chips. Store in an airtight container.
Yields approx. 8 cups