What's For Breakfast: Banana Nut Granola

Spring hasn't exactly sprung yet 'round these parts (albeit, there are still 10 days until the season's official arrival) ... but we are expecting temperatures in the 40s(!!!!!) this week, and to say that I'm excited about that news would be an extreme understatement. (As noted by my excessive use of exclamation points.) We took Leroy for a walk last night, and I wore a light vest in lieu of my normal down jacket ... major progress! I may even get to go coatless this week -- can you believe it? :)

With the (relatively) warmer temperatures comes a desire to set aside my winter breakfast of hot oatmeal and toast and re-embrace my favorite yogurt and granola breakfast bowls. I haven't made granola in quite awhile, as I had been on a muesli kick of late after purchasing a ginormous bag of it at Costco. 

Not too long ago, I pinned a recipe for banana walnut granola posted on Shutterbean, so since I had two ripe bananas languishing on our kitchen countertop, I decided to give the recipe a whirl with a few tweaks here and there.

So how is it? Let's just say I am now officially obsessed with this granola. It is super clumpy (just how I like it) and tastes exactly like banana bread in granola form. I couldn't help but sneak a few -- okay, several -- bites as I spooned the cooled granola into a jar for storage. 

Banana Nut Granola (printer-friendly version)
makes about 7 cups

5 cups rolled oats
1 cup walnuts pieces
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 very ripe bananas
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup walnut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, stir together the oats, walnuts, almonds, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt, and brown sugar.
3. In a small bowl, mash the bananas together. Then add in the maple syrup, walnut oil, and vanilla and stir to combine. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until everything is moistened. Spread the granola onto the prepped baking sheet and bake in the oven for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
4. After 30 minutes, if the granola still seems a bit wet, reduce the heat to 275 degrees and continue baking in 10-minute increments until golden-brown and almost completely dry to the touch.
5. Let the granola cool in the pan completely before spooning into an airtight container to store.

(adapted from this Shutterbean recipe)