Banana-sweetened granola, made without grains, added sugar, or oil. Eat it by the handful, or sprinkle it on fruit, yogurt, and anything else you like! It is naturally vegan, gluten-free, and Paleo.
Give banana bread a rest. The next time you have an overripe banana (or two), I’ve got a new recipe for using up your brown-freckled bounty.
It’s my Grain-Free Banana Granola.
You’ll want to sprinkle it onto everything.
Forgive me for saying this but…I am bananas about this granola! It is so crispy-crunchy, delicious, and satisfying.
It’s also out of the box, in more ways than one, because it is:
*Free of added sugar (the ripe banana provides all of the sweetness)
*Oil-free (the healthy fats are built into the ingredients)
*Naturally vegan, Paleo, & gluten-free
I am also pleased to report that it will not break the bank because unsweetened flake coconut and pepitas (both frugal options) make up the bulk of the granola. (Make a double batch, and share it with a friend.)
Here is the entirety of ingredients:
Place the nuts, seeds and coconut in a food processor and pulse them until they are about the size of rolled oats (note: you can definitely do this by hand with a large chopping knife if you do not have a food processor). This allows the bits and pieces to glom together into clusters. Umm…clusters…
Next, the sweet coating. In the same food processor (or a blender), blend the banana with salt, vanilla, and an additional 2 tablespoons flake coconut. The natural oils in the coconut help to further bind the granola.
Mix the dry and wet ingredients until well-blended and then spread on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Spread it in an even layer, but do not worry about it being perfectly even, as it will get some stirring as it bakes.
The baking has two parts. The first bake is at 325F, for about 15 minutes. The granola will begin to dry out, but it is here that it will start turning golden brown. It will get two stirs before the second bake, which is at 200F for 20 to 30 minutes. This bake is to finish drying out the granola so that it is perfectly crisp and crunchy.
Let the granola cool completely on the baking sheet and it is ready to eat (who am I kidding, though; I start nibbling–for quality control, of course–as soon as it is out of the oven :)).
I love the subtle sweetness and roasted banana flavor of the granola. The natural oil in the nuts, seeds, and coconut yields super-crunchy clusters, too (just be sure the granola is completely dried out during the second bake).
If you like, you can make this sweeter; it would not take more than a tablespoon or so of coconut sugar or maple syrup. Also, the granola takes well to all kinds of spices and other flavorings (e.g., cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, lemon zest, almond extract), so enjoy experimenting with different add-ins.
- Dry ingredients:
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- ¼ cup pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)
- ¼ cup whole almonds
- 1 tablespoon hemp hearts (or sesame, chia or flax seeds)
- Wet ingredients:
- 1 medium, very ripe banana
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- Preheat oven to 325F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a food processor, pulse the 1 cup coconut, pepitas and almonds until chopped to the approximate size of rolled oats. Transfer to a medium bowl along with the hemp hearts.
- In the same food processor (no need to clean), process the banana, 2 tablespoons coconut, vanilla and salt until smooth (of if not perfectly smooth).
- Add the banana mixture to the dry ingredients, stirring to coat; spread evenly on prepared baking sheet.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 8 minutes; open oven and stir granola. Bake granola 8 minutes longer.
- Reduce oven temperature to 200F. Open oven and stir granola again. Continue baking granola for 20 to 30 minutes until granola is dry and golden brown. Cool completely on baking sheet.