Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Banana Nut Bread Granola

I am a vivid dreamer. Almost every morning, I can recall several of my dreams. While they're generally about fun or random things, occasionally I dream I'm at work on a busy day or am falling off a ledge of some kind. Whenever I wake up from a dream where I've been at work, I feel so cheated! I also tend to dream up creative things, like lyrics to a song or a recipe of some kind. 

This granola is a product of my dreams. Subconsciously I knew I had 3 over-ripe bananas sitting in the fruit bowl. I also was working on my grocery list in my dream, and knew I had to either make or buy granola for my husband's daily yogurt breakfast bowl. Though making it is easy, when I can get Bear Naked or Cascadian Farms Organic on sale and with coupons, it's hard to pass up practically free granola! 

So right before I woke up Saturday morning, I dreamt that I was blending the bananas to pour over oats and make granola. I swear I could even smell the granola baking in my dream, and it smelled divine! 

This granola definitely made up for all of the ledges I've fallen off. 

A few months ago, I saw this blog post on Whole Story, Whole Foods' Blog. It's about WF bananas, and the guaranty Whole Foods makes that their bananas are fairly traded and do not damage rain forests. I think they're maybe $.25 more a pound than conventional bananas, a small price to pay to ensure the farmers and land are treated well. If you don't have a Whole Foods, no worries, I have also seen Fair Trade bananas in Sam's Club as well! 

Tips and Trades:
-Don't like bananas? Try using pureed pumpkin for Pumpkin Nut Bread Granola.
- While honey is a debatable topic among vegetarians and vegans, I try to use local honey from the farmer's market where I can speak with the vendor about the practices, or use Fair Trade, Organic honey that is harvested from cooperatives. 
-Canola oil often get's a bad rap, but many dietitians swear by it as their oil of choice. It actually has 8% less saturdated fat than Olive Oil! 

Banana Nut Bread Granola

3 over ripe bananas, about 1 1/2 c.
1/4 c. honey
1/4 c. canola oil
1 heaping tsp. ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 c. rolled oats
1 c. crushed nuts (I used walnuts and pecans)
1 c. crushed banana chips

Preheat oven to 300*
Place oats and nuts in a large mixing bowl. 
Add bananas, honey, oil, cinnamon, salt and vanilla to a blender.
Blend on high until completely pureed.
Pour over oats, mix well.
Spread out evenly on a large baking sheet 
Bake for about an hour, using a spatula to flip and toss granola around every 15 minutes (if necessary, bake an additional 15-30 minutes, if necessary).
Remove from the oven, cool for an hour.
Toss in banana chip pieces, pour into a storage container (make sure granola is very crisp and toasty at this point)
Granola will keep for about 2 weeks, if it lasts that long! 

Note: In error, I used a baking dish that was too deep, and ended up dumping the granola onto a baking sheet after the first 30 minutes of baking


Kelly said...

Fun! I too have a banana granola recipe, but have never thought about adding ripe bananas to the wet mixture. I also use the dried, flattened bananas from TJ'S (or dry and flatten my own). You get chew instead of crunch but still very tasty.

Dawn said...

Wow Ash, YUM. And I also love your tips and trades section. Such a great idea.

Arena @ {thenerdswife} said...

This looks amazing! It would be perfect for the weekend camping trip we have coming up. :)

Sarah said...

Yum!!! This sounds and looks so good. I love the idea of using pumping instead to make it pumpkin nut bread granola, so perfect for fall!

Jessica said...

Love this banana recipe. I've been wanting something different for breakfast...this should do it!

I wish I could remember my dreams. I always try to when I wake up, but they disappear soon after...bummer!

Kelsey said...

oh my goodness this IS YUMMY!!!

you have the best recipe and baking blog in my opinion! im so glad i found it, and you muffins are INSANE!


Joanne said...

I totally remember my dreams as well! I hate having bad ones. They definitely ruin the next morning!

This banana nut bread granola sounds delicious. I love banana bread and granola is such a good thing!

Aurica said...

looks so great, i love the combination of nutritional food and banana, so healthy, energic and fresh to start a morning ;)