We all have our ways of dealing with overripe bananas. Some make quick breads. Others freeze them for smoothies. Still others make up giant batches of waffles for quick breakfasts. I used reside firmly in the banana bread camp, but as I work to reduce the amount of sugar and refined grains I eat, a tempting loaf of quick bread just doesn’t seem like the smartest choice.
Still, as I stood in the kitchen earlier today staring down a pair of very black bananas, I knew I needed to do something with them quickly or surrender them to the garbage. Banana bread was tempting, but a batch of granola just seemed more sensible. Peanut butter banana granola.
I melted 1/4 cup of peanut butter with 1/2 cup of honey. Once it reached a boil, I whisked in two mashed bananas and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and then poured it over 4 cups of oats, 1 cup of salted peanuts, and 1/2 cup sunflower seeds. I stirred until the oats were entirely coated with the hot honey, peanut butter, and banana slurry.
Once the ingredients were all incorporated, I spread it out on a rimmed cookie sheet and popped it in the oven at 350 degrees F for about half an hour. Granola is a tricky beast and needs regular stirring, so don’t stray far. If you prefer, you can also cook it at a lower temperature for longer, but I had an errand to run and so needed it to be done quickly.
Once it was done baking, I scraped the granola into a mound in the center of the baking dish and pressed with the back of a spatula to help encourage crunchy clusters.
I am quite happy with the way this granola turned out. While it’s neither aggressively banana-y or peanutty, it’s got good flavor and is satisfyingly crunchy. I didn’t add any dried fruit, but will probably add a little palmful of raisins when I eat it to up the sweetness a little.
If you make yourself a batch, take care to let the granola cool completely before funneling it into a storage jar (my batch filled a half gallon exactly). I think I rushed it a little and I’ve found a few softer clusters. It’s certainly not going to stop me from eating it, but I wish I’d been more patient.