One of the things I miss when eating a grain free diet is granola, muesli and in general whole grain cereal products enjoyed with a splash of ice cold milk and some fresh fruit. Not that it is something that I used to eat all the time, but there is just something lovely about a large bowl of cereal before morning pilates or in the afternoon when you just need something comforting and filling.
I have tried making different kinds of grain free and sugar free granolas, but they have never really been the new favourite granola…not until know!!
This time I actually made a granola that I would happily declare my new favourite grain free granola! I even added chocolate and banana too it just to complete the delightfulness of enjoying it, cause guess what your ice cold milk turnes into after dancing around with the granola chunks – Chocolate Milk!!
One of the main criterias for a perfect granola is that it needs to be chunky. You need those kinda big crunchy lumps filled with flavour and a little bit of chocolate or dried fruit. When you do not include neither grain or sugar (here we are also talking honey, syrups etc.) It can be difficult to get these crunchy chunks, since they normally appear after combining oats and other grains with honey and other delicious foods. Buuuut now we need to think about how we normally add sweetness and texture into our grain free baking – and we’ll remember that bananas are the golden solution to almost any grain free crisis! So that’s why I mashed up bananas to a fine puree, added a little coconut oil and spices and tossed it around with all the other delicious ingredients, including flax seeds that has the same soaking ability as chia and makes everything stick even more together, and the result was one damn tasty, chunky and crunchy granola.
You can add different kinds of nuts and seeds, but both walnuts and pumpkins seeds have a tendency to puff a little after baking, which adds extra volume and a light and crisp feeling to the granola. The small chunks of banana is a little delicious surprise instead of eg. dried fruit and it makes it stick even more. The chocolate it of course free of choice, but who would not wanna add chocolate!! I have enjoyed this in all kinds of ways, with milk, yoghurt, on top of smoothies, in koldskål and just had a handful here and there as a snack. Hope you’ll love it just as much as I do cause it really is awesome and I personally believe it will be my best friend during fall when I start my studies again!
Chunky Banana & Chocolate Granola
Fills up a 2 lire jar
2 cups walnuts (200 g)
3/4 cup almonds (100 g)
3/4 cup flaxseed (100 g)
3/4 cup pumpkin seeds (100 g)
1 cup coconut, shredded, desiccated or flakes (100 g)
150 g dark chocolate min. 70% (optional, but add dates in the banana pure instead)
1-2 ripe banana, chopped into very small pieces
3 large very ripe bananas
1-2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp ground vanilla
1/2 tsp cardamome
Tip: Add 4-6 dates for extra sweetness (especially if you do not add chocolate)
Preheat oven to 150 °C /300 °F (with fan).
Blend all the ingredients for the banana cream and transfer to a bowl. Coarsely chop almonds, walnuts and chocolate. Add all the granola ingredients into the bowl with the banana cream and use your hands to mix it very well together.
Divide the granola evenly on a baking sheet, use two baking racks if you have a normal sized oven, since it is important that it does not lay in a too thick layer in order to get roasted properly.
Bake in the oven for 30-35 min. Stir it around and break it a part into smaller chunks every 10 min, and remove from the oven as soon as it seems golden and watch out that the chocolate does not burn.
let the granola cool completely before you pour it into air tight glasses. Serve the granola on top of yoghurt & fresh berries or with fruit and ice cold milk. Or top you morning smoothie or banana pancakes with a sprinkle of granola.