Walnut Banana Bread Granola ….. Do I need a better description than those four little words? When I slid the trays into the dehydrator and turned on the fan, the immediate aroma of baking banana bread filled the room. I found myself sneaking into the “yoga pantry”, for no other reason, than to take long, deep inhales of rich aroma! Ah, the “yoga pantry”. If you are new to reading some of my recipes you may have missed the explanation of my pantry. A while back I turned our yoga room into a pantry that is dedicated to my kitchen-madness creations! It is still very zen-like which is so fitting to the type of food preparation that I do. So, my husband and I refer to this room as the “yoga pantry”. In this room I have two dehydrators that I run all the time, constantly emitting these amazing smells. It is not uncommon to find us both laying on our backs on the floor in the center of room, eyes closed, listening to meditative hum of the dehydrators and inhaling all the flavors. Can you smell the banana bread in the air?
- 4 cups raw, gluten-free oats – soaked*
- 2 cups raw walnuts pieces – soaked 4 hrs**
- 2 cups dried soft bananas (4.4 oz)
- 1 cup raisins
- 2 large ripe mashed banana
- 1/3 cup raw honey
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp stevia liquid
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
- *Overnight soak – In a large bowl place 4 cups of oats, 8 cups of water and 4 Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar. Cover and let them soak overnight on the counter top. You can read here as to why it is important to soak your oats. In a separate bowl, soak the walnuts in enough water to cover them, plus a little extra for swelling. **Walnuts – you can soak these overnight as well.**
- Once the soak process is complete, drain and rinse the oats and nuts really well. On the oats you want the water to run clear. Place in a large bowl, and add the walnuts and raisins.
- In a medium size bowl, mash the two bananas with a fork. It’s OK if there are small chunks. Add in the honey, cinnamon, stevia, vanilla and salt. Mix well.
- Dried bananas – you can dry your own bananas ahead of time but if you don’t have any and want to skip this process you can purchase them. Do not purchase the hard chip kind. Those are usually fried. I happened to have some Dried Flattened Bananas (4.4 oz pkg) that I had found at Trader Joes. They don’t have any added ingredients. They were dried in strips and layered on one another which made them sticky, so I used my kitchen scissors and cut them into small chunks. As I was cutting them, I let them drop in the “banana sauce” bowl so they could rehydrate a little bit.
- Add the banana sauce to the dry ingredients and mix until everything is evenly coated.
- Spread the batter on the non–stick teflex sheets that come with your dehydrator and dry on 105 degrees for approx. 16 hrs or until dry.
- Store in an airtight sealed container. To extend the shelf life you can store it in the fridge.
- When I make granola I tend to mix the batter with my hands. I wash my hands, remove my rings, and dive in. I find that it is much easier to really incorporate everything.
- When placing your batter on the dehydrator trays I have found that if I take a handful of batter and sort of squeeze it through my fingers, allowing the batter to “drip or drop” onto the dehydrator sheet. This creates chunks of batter opposed to spreading the batter out flat, which leaves rough edges on the granola when you break it into smaller pieces to eat.
- Make sure that use ripe bananas! I can’t stress that enough. Not only are ripe bananas easier to digest they are sweeter in taste. If you use a less than ripe banana you may need to adjust how much sweetener that you add to the batter.
- The flavor outcome is based on the flavor and quality of the ingredients that you use!