This is my new favorite granola! It’s healthy—the ONLY added fat is the nuts (good for you) and the 72% dark Ghirardelli chocolate (also good for you). And it’s BANANA flavored! I could eat it all day. You could call it Chunky Monkey Granola. I suppose I’m kind of boring—I’m calling it Healthy Banana Dark Chocolate Chunk Granola. It also has a sprinkling of cinnamon. I thought of the cinnamon and chocolate while smelling the banana granola in the oven, so I didn’t add the cinnamon until after it baked. Next time I will add it with the mixture. I thought of adding the cinnamon and chocolate because of my love for this Banana Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake. Next time I make the granola (as soon as the stuff I just made runs out), I’m going to use walnuts instead of almonds, since walnuts are also in the cake.
Banana Dark Chocolate Chunk Granola (aka Chunky Monkey Granola)—Healthy!, adapted by Katrina, Baking and Boys! from www.zulascafe.com
5 cups old fashioned oats
2 tablespoons ground flax meal
1/2 cup unsweetened, flaked coconut
1/2 cup sliced almonds, raw (or walnuts, pecans—any nut)
3 small or 2 medium bananas, overripe
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons hot water
1/2 – 1 teaspoon cinnamon, to taste
1 to 2 ounces dark chocolate, chopped (I used about 1 1/2 ounces)
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a large bowl, combine oats, flax, coconut, and almonds. In a food processor or blender combine the banana, almond extract, salt, brown sugar, water and cinnamon. Pour banana mixture into oat mixture and stir together with a wooden spoon until all the oats are moistened. Transfer the granola onto rimmed baking sheet and spread evenly. Stir every 12-15 minutes and bake for about an hour (maybe longer if you like it really crunchy). Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before adding chocolate. Store granola in an airtight container in the refrigerator.