Granola is one of those things that pretty much everyone loves–from little kids to junk food eating teenagers to tie-dye wearing, trail-blazing, barefoot hippies. It’s also one of those food items that can be completely bad for you or totally healthy. I shudder when I see people gobbling down bags of refined sugar laden, cheap oil drenched, artificially flavored oats, all while thinking they’re being healthy. Why even bother – No brownie points for you. What you’re eating is basically a bag of nasty granola. But I also loathe when granola gets dumped on those lists of “Healthy Foods That Are Actually Making You Fat.” Ugh, I could not possibly hate those articles any more. While I agree that certain granolas are definitely deserving of that title, granola in general doesn’t deserve to be given such a bad rap.
We can avoid this whole “Is granola healthy or not?” conundrum by simply making our own. It’s seriously one of the easiest things to make. I always have a fun time baking granola because it makes me feel so accomplished, even though I didn’t actually do much at all. The recipe I’m sharing with you today is my family’s favorite granola recipe. It’s currently the only granola recipe I have on my computer. I want to develop more granola recipes, but every time I mention the word granola, my family demands that I make this recipe and only this recipe. I mean, hey, I’m not complaining. I love this recipe. It makes the house smell just like banana bread. What could be better than that?
Needless to say, this recipe is health-foodie approved. No GMO canola oil, white sugar, or “natural banana flavor” (what are ingredients like this, anyway?) to be found here! Munch away!
Banana-Almond Granola with Cacao Nibs (dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, soy-free, vegan, vegetarian)
– 3 1/2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
– 1 cup slivered almonds
– 1/3 cup raw cacao nibs
– 1 teaspoon sea salt
– 1 tablespoon cinnamon
– 2 ripe medium bananas, mashed
– 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
– 1/2 cup maple syrup
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, stir together all dry ingredients (oats through cinnamon).
In a medium bowl, whisk together all wet ingredients (mashed bananas through vanilla).
Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and stir until thoroughly mixed.
Evenly distribute half the mixture on the baking sheet. Spread it around; avoid overcrowding.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, stir, then bake for another 10-12 minutes, until it’s golden brown and crispy. I like having a few semi-burnt bits here and there for texture, but granola burns very easily, so be careful!
Let cool on the baking sheet before transferring elsewhere, then bake the other half of the mixture.
Store in an airtight container.
Note – This recipe makes 10-12 servings.