Crunchy Banana Nut Granola

I call for raw walnuts because they toast in the oven along with the granola, and nuts that have already been toasted can burn. If you can’t find raw walnuts, you can sub raw almonds or pecans, or simply add toasted walnuts in the last 10 minutes of cooking.

If you like your granola in big clusters, spread the granola in a single, even layer on the baking sheets and do not stir during baking. This way, the granola will bake into one solid piece and you can break it up to clusters once cool.

You can store this granola in airtight containers for about a week, though it rarely lasts so long in our house.

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: About 4 cups of granola

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (If using salted butter, taste your mixture before adding salt)
  • 1/3 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (Certified gluten-free, if needed)
  • 3/4 cup chopped raw walnuts (See recipe notes)
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 medium ripe bananas, diced

Method

1 Preheat the oven to 275F with two racks placed in the upper and lower halves. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2 Brown the butter: Slice the butter into small pats. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted, the butter will start foam a bit, then it will begin to turn amber-colored and smell fragrant and nutty.

Watch closely, as the butter can go from browned to blackened fairly quickly. This whole process should only take about 3 minutes.

Remove the pan from heat immediately, and pour the melted butter into a small heatproof bowl.

Banana Bread Granola

3 Melt the brown sugar: In the same saucepan used to brown the butter, add the brown sugar, vanilla, and water.

Stir over medium-low heat until combined, then cook until the brown sugar is thoroughly melted, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

4 Mix the granola: In a large bowl, mix the oats, walnuts, chia seeds, cinnamon, and salt until they are combined and the ingredients look well-distributed.

Add the melted brown butter and brown sugar mix and stir to combine. Then add the diced bananas and stir very gently.

Banana Bread Granola Banana Bread Granola Banana Bread Granola

5 Bake the granola: Divide the granola between two baking sheets and spread into an even layer. Place into the warm oven and bake the granola for 45 minutes.

Half way through baking, stir the granola, then swap the top and bottom baking sheets and rotate the pans to avoid any hotspots. (If you want big clusters of granola, do not stir the granola.)

6 Cool the granola: Remove the granola from oven and allow to cool for 20 to 30 minutes before stirring and serving. Store in airtight containers for up to a week.