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Chunky peanut butter banana granola with coconut makes a healthy, hearty, delicious breakfast. This naturally vegan granola is also great for guilt-free snacking!
Granola is a nice thing to have around the house. It’s easy to make, it keeps well, it makes a healthy, hearty breakfast, and it’s great for guilt-free snacking.
The flavor possibilities with granola are virtually endless, but if you love bananas and banana bread you will love this banana granola with peanut butter and coconut. I’ve been making it whenever I have a brown banana sitting around, which is often.
The rest of the ingredients are almost always on hand, and there’s breakfast for the week! As an added bonus the house smells like banana bread.
But you might have heard some whisperings that granola is not really as healthy as we think. Here’s what I’ve found out.
Is Granola Good for You?
Grocery store granola is, health-wise, probably better than Fruity Pebbles.
But I was surprised to find the sugar levels between the two are not as different as you’d think! As in… not different at all in a lot of cases :/
Plus the store bought stuff is often made with hydrogenated oils and unhealthy fats.
Sidebar: Back when I was a kid we were blissfully unaware of this health stuff, and I seriously doubt my mom ever once looked at a nutrition label (did they even have those back then?). The evolution of attitudes about nutrition is fascinating, right?
Anyway! The good news is that if you make your own, you can make it as healthy as you want! Homemade granola is vastly better in both nutrition and taste.
This banana granola is naturally vegan, and sweetened with bananas and a little maple syrup. Fat-wise, I’ve used both coconut oil and heart-healthy olive oil in this recipe with success.
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Choose a ripe to overripe banana for this recipe for the most intense banana flavor. Look for a deep yellow color with no green, and a few to a lot of black spots.
Honey is a great substitute for pure maple syrup, however note that it will no longer be vegan with this substitution. Agave nectar is a vegan alternative to maple syrup.
Banana chips are optional in this recipe but definitely lend an extra boost of banana flavor as well as some crunch. Note that banana chips are fried and coated in added sugar, and as such, are not particularly healthy. They are delicious though and I don’t worry much about throwing in a handful, but this is totally your call!
Peanut butter gives a nice boost of protein to this recipe, but there are many substitutes you can use. Any other nut butter from almond butter to cashew butter will work. A good nut-free alternative is sunflower butter.
I often substitute the coconut oil with olive oil in this and any other granola recipe. Other oils like vegetable or canola work as well.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, combine the oats, unsweetened coconut, chopped walnuts, salt, and cinnamon.
- Purée the banana and add it along with the maple syrup. In the microwave, melt the peanut butter (if you’re using natural peanut butter it probably won’t be necessary to melt it and should blend in easily) and coconut oil and add to the bowl.
Tip: I recommend puréeing the banana before mixing into the dry ingredients, because even a thorough mashing will leave enough banana lumps that some parts of the granola will not fully dry out in the oven. If you have an immersion blender, this takes all of a couple of seconds.
3. Combine well.
4. Spread the granola onto a large cookie sheet lined with parchment, or my favorite eco-friendly and cost-effective solution, a silicone baking mat.
5. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes until golden and fairly dry to the touch, stirring once after about 20 minutes. Put the pan on a wire cooling rack and cool to room temperature. Sprinkle with banana chips and store in an airtight container.
We especially love this peanut butter banana granola with milk, or sprinkled over vanilla yogurt.
Peanut Butter Banana Granola
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup raw walnuts chopped
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 large ripe banana pureed or mashed* (see note)
- 1/3 cup maple syrup or up to 1/2 cup if you prefer a sweeter granola
- 1/4 cup peanut butter melted
- 1/4 cup coconut oil melted
- 3/4 cup unsweetened banana chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine oats, walnuts, coconut, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl.
- Puree banana with an immersion blender or mash thoroughly with a fork. Melt peanut butter and coconut oil.
- Add pureed banana, melted peanut butter and coconut oil, and maple syrup to oatmeal mixture and stir until well coated.
- Spread evenly onto a large baking sheet lined with a baking mat or parchment paper. Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes until golden and fairly dry, stirring once, halfway through.
- Remove from oven, place the baking sheet on a cooling rack and and cool completely.
- Sprinkle with banana chips and store in an airtight container.