Chomp Chomp Chomp… The sound I make as I eat this freaking fantastic crunchy granola. You know it's good when the person sitting next to you is annoyed by the sound of you face while eating. I eat a lot of crunchy stuff. And I am pretty sure I annoy the mister a lot.
Oh well, he will live, and he eats his fair share of annoying stuff too so we can just call it even.
So granola. I love it. I make a batch every few weeks or so, and I usually make it just for me. (I almost never make things just for me) I like to keep it simple but flavorful. A tad sweet, but not really, and crunchy, without the oily fried taste. I also like a variety of sizes, some big clusters and some small pieces.
This granola fits the bill perfectly. Made with 5 ingredients, no oil, and the perfect sweetness level. It's one of my favorite flavors yet. And I know I said I made it just for me, but the mister really liked it too. (I can't help sharing)
The simplest of stuff. 1 smashed banana, a cup of pureed butternut squash, Vietnamese cinnamon*, honey, and old fashion oats. (and a dash of salt, not shown)
*Note. I only ever use Vietnamese cinnamon because once I start using it, regular old cinnamon just won't cut it anymore. It is a bit sweeter and a lot more spicy. If you don't have it or don't want to use it, use regular cinnamon and add in 1/2 a teaspoon of all spice.Toss the cinnamon and salt with the oats. Mix together the banana, squash and the sweetener and combine with the oats until full incorporated.
Another note. Because I made this granola for me and no body else, I actually omitted the honey (I think that banana abs squash make it sweet enough) But if I was making this for lets say, the mister, or a friend, I would use add a bit. The sweetness level and sweetener of choice is up to you, but 2-3 teaspoons of honey or maple syrup is usually sweet enough for people.
Dump the mixture on a parchment lined baking sheet and give it a little pat, you know, to settle all the bit and pieces together, all cozy and evenly spread out. Now stick into a preheated oven and after about 20 minutes, take out of oven and give the granola a toss, breaking apart any super big chunks or overly wet pieces. Put back into oven for another 20 minutes. (I like my granola super crispy crunchy so I cook it a little longer, like 30 more minutes)And when you are happy with the crunchiness of you granola, remove from oven and let cool, trying not to eat all of it while it sit's on the counter looking all pretty and smelling like happiness.
Grab a bowl, stick the rest into a jar with a lid, hide it from others, and chomp chomp chomp away!
Banana Butternut Granola
- 3 cups old fashion oats (use gluten free oats if needed)
- 1 ripe banana, mashed
- 1 cup butternut squash puree (can use canned)
- 2 tablespoons Vietnamese cinnamon (or 2 tablespoons regular cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon of allspice)
- 1-3 tablespoon honey or sweetener of choice (use greater amount for sweeter)
- dash of salt
Preheat oven to 375
In a large bowl, mix together oats, cinnamon and salt. Mix the mashed banana, squash, and sweetener of choice together and combine with the oats. If the mixture seems really dry, add in a very small splash of water to loosen just enough to mix.
Dump mixture onto a parchment lined baking sheet and evenly disperse the mixture. Give it a kind of smoosh to compact the oats and to make sure all its all the same thickness on the pan.
Stick into oven for 20 minutes. Remove and give granola a little toss, maybe breaking apart any really big chunks (unless you like really big chunks) and put back into oven for another 20 minutes. (30 for a crunchier granola) Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet before storing in an air tight container. If you find that it is not as crunchy as you would like or is a few days old and lost some of its crunchiness, just stick it back into the oven for a few minutes to re crunch.
Eat as is, as a cold cereal, dip in peanut butter, add to popcorn or whatever way you want to eat it. No utensil required.