Vegan Breakfast Recipes: Banana Nut Granola
I am constantly looking for ways to jazz up my favorite vegan staples. And granola is one of my most favorite staples. If I don’t have it for breakfast, I pack up a scoop or two, throw in a spoon, and bring it to work for my afternoon snack (I like it dry or with almond milk). Hearty oats combined with a protein-rich seed or nut mixture keep me satiated until I make it home. Besides fruit, granola is my go-to “sweet” on your average day.
This recipe felt like a daring experiment. I wasn’t sure how the banana element would turn out, but it provided a unique flavor and sweetness. Because bananas are water-based, rather than oil-based, they don’t lend the same crispiness to the oats as a mostly oil-based recipe would. Just be aware that this is a softer granola. (Perfect for anyone with sensitive teeth!) For a drier texture, you may only include half a mashed banana—I haven’t experimented with this yet, however.
Vegan Banana Nut Granola
(Makes about 8 cups)
7 cups old fashioned oats
¾ cup sunflower seeds (or nut/seed mixture of choice. Almonds, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds also work well.)
¼ cup shredded, dried coconut
2 tbsp. cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 spotted banana, mashed
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. (or more for sweeter granola) maple syrup, agave nectar, or coconut nectar
½ cup coconut oil, liquefied
1. Preheat oven to 300F. In a large baking dish, toss oats, seeds, coconut, and cinnamon. Set aside.
2. In a small bowl, whisk banana, salt, vanilla, maple syrup, and coconut oil until well blended. Pour over dry mixture and toss until oats and seeds are thoroughly coated.
3. Bake in intervals of 10 minutes for about 40 minutes (or longer for a somewhat crispier texture), stirring the mixture between intervals. Oats should be just golden.
4. Allow the granola to cool before storing in an airtight container. Store granola in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Also in healthy breakfast recipes: Cranberry Orange Granola
Photos: Mary Hood