Ever since I came back from my trip to Chicago a couple of months ago, I find myself looking for recipes for different types of granola. As I wrote about it here, while living on a small island in the Caribbean, I missed the granola-revolution that happened in the last couple of years in the mainland. It was a nice surprise to see how available they were throughout every supermarket in Chicago.
With that being said, I just don’t understand why people prefer buying granola from a supermarket when they can easily make it in their own kitchen. I can almost hear you say that not everyone loves spending time in the kitchen as much as I do and I know that. But still, I can’t help but want to show people how easy and quick it is to make granola at home.
Therefore, today I come to you with my most recent favorite granola recipe: Chunky Banana Bread Granola. First of all, this granola has no refined sugar in it. It uses only a half a cup of maple syrup. In terms of fat, a 1/3-cup of coconut oil is all you need. And if you consider the fact that you get 9 cups of granola out of this recipe, it is very minimal.
Secondly, every single ingredient used in this granola (ie: walnuts, buckwheat groats, coconut flakes, sunflower seeds, bananas,etc.) is packed with nutrients giving you the energy you need to start your day. I paired it with chocolate almond milk to eat as a bowl of granola/cereal in the morning, but if you prefer, you can totally skip the almond milk and eat it as a snack throughout the day.
I prefer to make my own chocolate almond milk as I find the versions sold in the supermarkets to be too sweet for my taste. Plus, I just don’t like the fact that they use sugar to sweeten it. Instead, to make chocolate almond milk at home, I place some unsweetened/unflavored almond milk, a couple of tablespoons of unsweetened natural cocoa powder, and a couple of pitted Medjool dates in a blender (or a food processor) and blend until they are all combined. This way, I get to adjust the level of sweetness to my desired level and know exactly what is in it. Sometimes if I feel like it, I put a teaspoon of vanilla extract to give it a little more flavor. Of course if you have time, you are more than welcome to make your own almond milk, which obviously is the healthiest option.
As I am a huge fan of chocolate banana bread, it was a no brainer for me to pair this delicious granola with chocolate almond milk. However, if you prefer to eat it by itself or by other types of milk, I promise it won’t disappoint.
On a final note, the blue flowers you see in the photos just started blooming a couple of weeks ago and I just love them so much. I go down to our small backyard every morning and pick some to display in several vases all over our small apartment. You may think that I went a little crazy with them in every photograph – and you are probably right-, but I just couldn’t help but share with you some of the gorgeous flora of our island during this time of the year.
Chunky Banana Bread Granola with Chocolate Almond Milk
- For the Granola:
- 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
- 3 very ripe bananas
- 1/2 cup organic maple syrup
- 3 cups old-fashioned Gluten-free oats
- 1 cup buckwheat groats
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1/2 cups sunflower seeds
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup walnuts, chopped
- For the Chocolate Almond Milk
- 2 cups almond milk
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3-4 medjool dates, seeded
- To top it off: – Optional-
- 1 banana, sliced
- 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Place the coconut oil, bananas, and maple syrup in the bowl of a food processor. Process until everything is combined and turned into a thick liquid, 40-45 seconds.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, buckwheat groats, coconut flakes, sunflower seeds, cinnamon, salt, and walnuts.
- Pour the liquid mixture over the dry ingredients. Give it a stir to ensure that the dry ingredients are coated with the liquid mixture as much as possible.
- Spread the granola evenly in the prepared baking sheet. Using the back of a ramekin or a mug, press to compress until it is compact.
- Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
- At the end of 15 minutes, remove it out of the oven. Using a large spatula, flip it over in large sections. Place it back in the oven.
- Repeat the same process 3-4 times every 5 minutes, making smaller chunks each time. *1
- Let the granola cool completely without touching it. *2
- Meanwhile, place the almond milk, cocoa powder, and medjool dates in a blender. Blend until combined.
- When ready to serve, place chunks of granola in a bowl, pour some chocolate almond milk over it, and if preferred top it off with some sliced bananas and hemp seeds.
Makes 9 cups of granola[br][br]Note 1: We are doing this to ensure even baking.[br]Note 2: It is imperative to let it cool without touching as this will help it set into chunks.
This recipe is adapted from Sarah Britton’s My New Roots: Inspired Plant-Based Recipes for Every Season cookbook.
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