Banana Maple Granola

Chunky clusters of granola that taste like you’re eating a slice of banana bread. 

Banana Maple Granola | www.themessybakerblog.com

Bare with me while I crawl out from under the blankets and into the light.

Banana Maple Granola | www.themessybakerblog.com

I just spent the last 24 hours holed up in our basement snuggled up on the couch under layers of fuzzy blankets with the space heater blasting full force watching episode after episode of Mad Men and The Following.

Have you seen The Following? Squirrel and I started watching the series a week ago, and I can’t detach my eyes from the screen. 1.) The main character is played by Kevin Bacon. Gah, he’s so good looking. 2.) The series is based on a serial killer that is inspired by the works of Edgar Allen Poe. I know Poe is dark and gruesome, but I’m a huge fan of his work. 3.) There is non-stop action and mystery happening. It really keeps you entertained and wanting more, which is why I keep my finger on the play button.

Banana Maple Granola | www.themessybakerblog.com

I peeled myself off of the couch long enough to make myself a little snack. Brrr, it’s cold!

One of my favorite snacks is granola. It’s easy to whip up and ready in under 30 minutes.

How do you like your granola? Do you prefer chunkier clusters or a fine crumb?

If you like fat hunks of granola, refrain from stirring the granola while it bakes. If you like a finer, more crumbly granola, stir your oats every ten minutes.

Banana Maple Granola | www.themessybakerblog.com

You know I love experimenting with granola flavors. I think I’ve made just about every flavor of granola: Blueberries & Cream, Pina Colada, Maple Pecan, Cookie Butter Cinnamon Chip, Peanut Butter Banana Chip, and Pumpkin & Apple Butter.

I knew I wanted to make a granola recipe that really highlighted bananas. Since I always have a ton of overripe, spotted bananas in my fruit bowl, banana maple granola was created.

Banana Maple Granola | www.themessybakerblog.com

I mashed a banana and added it to a saucepan with brown sugar, coconut oil, maple syrup, and a pinch of salt. After a few minutes over low heat, you have a fragrant banana syrup. I would advise you to give it a taste; however, after one lick of the spatula, I wanted to chill the syrup and drink it. Try your best not to consume all of the syrup before mixing it into the oats.

This granola will fool you. After a few minutes in the oven, my house began to smell like banana bread. There’s nothing more comforting than the sweet smell of bananas coming to life in the oven. That’s what this granola smelled like. I knew it was going to taste amazing.

Banana Maple Granola | www.themessybakerblog.com

The smell coming from my oven was spot on, because this granola tastes like you’re munching on a slice of banana bread, only crunchier and with fewer calories. It’s a win-win.

Banana Maple Granola

Chunky clusters of granola that taste like you’re eating a slice of banana bread

Yield: 6 cups

Total Time: 40 minutes

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

2 cups old-fashioned oats

1/2 cup coconut flakes

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 cups pecans, roughly chopped

1 ripe banana, mashed

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1/3 cup maple syrup

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper.

In a large bowl mix oats, coconut flakes, salt, cinnamon, and chopped pecans. Set aside.

In a small saucepan add mashed banana, maple syrup, coconut oil, and brown sugar. Stir to combine. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the coconut oil and brown sugar melt, about 2-3 minutes.

Remove the mixture from the heat and pour over the oat mixture. Gently fold the mixture until the oats are equally coated.

Transfer the granola to the lined baking sheet and spread the mixture evenly on to the pan.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown in color.

If you prefer chunkier clusters of granola, don’t stir the mixture while it bakes. If you like your granola on the crumbly side, stir every ten minutes.

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