I have to admit, it’s easy to get wrapped up in sharing my dessert recipes with you all the time. There’s just something about a fudgy brownie and gooey caramel cookie that I know you will love! Maybe it’s all the sugar. 😉
But in all honesty, I find the most joy in baking wholesome goodies that aren’t over the top decadent. Homemade breakfast bars, munchy granola, fruity smoothies, and whole wheat muffins. In fear that healthier items may bore you, I have scaled back on posting them as much.
But I’m excited to share with you a few new healthier recipes in the coming weeks that are not only friendly on the waist line, but taste good. Like, really really good.
If you’re anything like me, you have a semi-serious infatuation with Nutella. Sure it may not be as healthy as all natural almond butter, but this stuff is as healthy as it can be when paired with granola.
Whether it’s smeared on a piece of toast, swirled into a pumpkin pie, or stuffed into a muffin, there’s pretty much no way I can turn down this creamy, luscious cocoa hazelnut spread.
One repeat granola recipe I have is my Dark Chocolate Cherry Nutella Granola. The tart cherries, the dark chocolate chunks, and the crunchy granola clusters are baked under by a light swirl of Nutella. The granola itself is surprisingly light tasting, making it hard to stop munching. More often than not, you’ll find us sitting on the couch on a Friday night watching The Big Bang Theory, a beer in hand, and a bowl of this granola. True story…
Today’s granola was an easy switch up from the old favorite. I simply mashed a banana, melted it down with maple syrup, Nutella, vanilla & a pinch of salt. I poured it over a bowl of oats, flax, & slivered almonds, and baked it into a crunchy oblivion.
I topped the warm granola with semi-sweet chocolate chips and banana chips for added flavor and texture. The chocolate chips are optional. But common, you know you want them in there.
The chocolate and Nutella do not overpower the banana taste at all, which is exactly what I was looking for. Rather, the flavors simply complement each other. Not much Nutella goes into the recipe because I wanted the banana to be able to stand up to its strong chocolate flavor. I also wanted to keep the granola fairly light.
The precise combination of mashed banana, Nutella, and maple syrup do a great job binding the oats to make all those huge clusters. I’ve told you before, the big clusters are my favorite part. I loved how crunchy this granola was. Even without oil or butter, this granola bakes up into a crispy texture. It stays nice and crunchy for the first day or two, but as the flavors meld together the granola get softer. It’s all that banana!
The recipe is highly adaptable as long as you stick to the banana/Nutella/maple syrup ratio. Feel free to mix in whichever dried fruits, nuts or seeds you prefer.
Getting creative with mix-ins is what makes granola so much fun to make! I seriously couldn’t stop eating this. Best problem ever.
Banana Nutella Granola
Makes about 5 crunchy cup of granola. Granola is Gluten Free if using certified gluten free oats.
- 3 and 3/4 cups (300g) old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1/2 cup (60g) ground flax*
- 1 cup (100g) sliced almonds (or any nut)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup mashed banana (1 very large banana)
- 1/4 cup (75g) Nutella
- 1/4 cup (82g) pure maple syrup (or honey; if you prefer sugar-free maple syrup, that would work as well)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup (about 30) banana chips
- 1/2 cup (90g) semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together oats, flax, almonds, and cinnamon. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the mashed banana, Nutella, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and salt together. Allow to bubble for about 1 minute. Remove from heat and pour over the dry ingredients. Stir it all together until all of the oats are moistened.
- Spread the oats on the baking sheet in a thin even layer. Bake for 15 minutes, remove from the oven and stir. Bake for another 15-20 minutes until lightly browned. Top the granola with chocolate chips and banana chips. Gently stir. The chocolate will melt, creating larger chunks of granola.
- Allow granola to cool completely; it will harden and crunch up as it is exposed to air. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.
*Ground flax optional. If you do not care to use it, add 1/4 cup more oats.
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Sometimes my healthier recipes turn out to be my favorites. 🙂
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