I have always been keen on breakfast. I can’t leave the house without it, and if I am forced, by travel or illness, to miss out, I know I will feel worse for the rest of the day. My pre-baby regime was a bowl of cereal and muesli at home, usually followed by a muffin, a smoothie or a pot of yoghurt and fruit at the office.
Post-baby, breakfast has taken on a talismanic importance. The first meal after a long night, I load up my bowl with as much cereal, muesli and fruit as it will hold, and then hope that baby will sleep long enough for me to finish it!
I tend to eat granola as a sprinkling on top of this bowl, rather than having it on its own. This is somewhat healthier, as well – if you’re going to eat granola, you need to come to terms with the fact that it’s basically another form of biscuit.
This recipe is better than most, with a fairly scant amount of fat and sugar. The bananas provide the additional sweetness and stickiness that is needed for the oats to stick together a little. I tend to use brown rice syrup because I keep it around for another granola recipe (Nigella’s Fairfield granola), and because I find it leads to a crunchier result than either honey or golden syrup.
Banana granola recipe
I got this recipe from Green Kitchen Stories. It perfectly fit the brief of a simple-to-make granola, with the added benefit of using up a couple if ripe bananas. What I wasn’t expecting was the fruitiness of the mix – not precisely smelling of bananas, but a harder-to-place fruit fragrance. Combined with the coconut oil, this is a wonderful scented granola, with a texture balanced between crisp and chewy. It’s the perfect thing to have for an energizing breakfast after a sleep- interrupted night with a newborn.
Recipe lightly adapted from Green Kitchen Stories
- 375 g rolled oats
- 150 g flaked almonds (or chopped whole almonds, or a mixture)
- 150 g pumpkin seeds (or a mixture of other seeds – sunflower, sesame, flax)
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp runny honey or maple syrup
- 2 tbsp brown rice syrup (or replace with honey/maple syrup)
- 2 large, very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
Warm the coconut oil, vegtable oil and syrups or honey until all is combined. (I use a table spoon to measure the vegetable oil first, then the syrup, so it slides out).
Break the bananas into the mix in pieces and mash until smooth.
Mix the liquid with the oats and nuts.
Spread on an oiled baking tray and toast for around 30-40 minutes at 160C/140C fan, or until some of the oats and almonds have become golden brown.