Banana Bread Granola
Banana Bread Granola has become a staple in my morning routine. It’s a naturally sweetened and cinnamon granola that is both crunchy and clustery. Enjoy the granola on its own as a snack, pair it with fruit and non-dairy milk, or top a smoothie bowl with it.
This granola is so easy to make and stores great too! Batch prepare it and stash some away in the freezer for longer storage. Then you’ll always have a healthy, naturally sweet granola on-hand for when the crunchy and sweet mood hits.
Banana Bread is one of my favorite comfort recipes. In fact, my Banana Bread recipe was one of the first recipes on my blog. It has received a few upgrades since my blog launched, but it has been a go-to recipe for many years. If you’ve got extra ripe bananas on-hand, give my Banana Bread recipe a try too!
A few notes before you get started:
BANANAS: Make sure to use ripe spotty bananas. Frozen banana can be used, but need be thawed completely before blending.
NO BLENDER OPTION: The granola can be made without using a blender, but it will have a bit more banana and date texture to it. Due to the nature of the clusters, this variation stores best in the freezer to avoid a soggy granola. To make without a blender, make sure the dates are soft enough to mash with a fork. Mash the dates well into a date-paste (it’s okay if there are some clusters). Mash the bananas well until most of the clumps are gone. Stir the mashed dates, mashed bananas, vanilla, and cinnamon together. Then add the oats and stir until evenly distributed. Spread the granola on a lined baking sheet and follow the cooking directions.
DATES: You’ll want to make sure your dates are super soft to help them blend (or mash) well. If your dates are already soft (some brands of medjool dates are much softer than other kinds), feel free to skip heating and soaking them. Can you skip the dates in the recipe? I have tried it only using bananas as the sweetener and the granola was okay. Not as flavorful and not as sweet. Feel free to try it if you prefer.
ADDITIONS: When serving, feel free to add any additional mix-ins you desire. Walnuts, pumpkin seeds, additional spices, dried fruit, berries. Use the granola as a base and then make it your own!
STORAGE: The granola will last for about 2 weeks (possibly longer) in an air-tight container or reusable silicone bag. For longer storage (or if you prefer), store it in the freezer. You can enjoy the granola right out of the freezer- but if you prefer allow it to thaw just slightly on the counter before enjoying.
Banana Bread Granola
- ½ cup chopped dates
- 2 cups sliced ripe medium bananas (about 3 medium bananas)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 4 cups old fashioned rolled oats
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Remove the pits from the dates and chop. Soak the dates in boiling hot water for 5-10 minutes or until soft. Otherwise, place the dates in a microwave-safe dish and cover with water. Microwave for about 1-2 minutes. Once the dates are easy to mash with a fork, drain off the water.
- In a high speed blender, combine the dates, bananas, vanilla, and cinnamon. Blend until smooth.
- Add the oats to a mixing bowl. Pour the date-banana mixture into the bowl with the oats and stir until the oats are coated evenly.
- Line a baking sheet with a silicon mat or parchment paper. Spread the oat mixture evenly on the lined sheet in a thin layer.
- Place the granola in the oven. Toss the granola every 15 minutes for first 30 minutes (separate the granola into desirable cluster size with each stir). Then check every 5 minutes for the last 10-15 minutes, to avoid burning. The granola will cook for about 35-45 minutes. Once the granola is crispy and golden brown, remove from the oven. If it's still not crispy, keep cooking until reaches desired crunch without burning.
- Allow the granola to cool completely (40 minutes to 1 hour) before packaging away. Store the granola in air-tight containers or reusable silicone bags. It will last for about 2 weeks in the cupboard. For longer storage (or if you prefer), store the granola in the freezer. The granola can be enjoyed right out of the freezer or take out the portion you want and thaw slightly at room temperature before enjoying.