Granola is such a wonderful, mutli-purpose dish. Covered in milk, it’s breakfast. Eaten dry, it’s a snack. Thrown on top of yogurt and fruit, it’s a dessert. But depending on the brand, it’s not necessarily healthy.
I have a friend who makes homemade granola in her oven and I’ve got to say, it’s truly delicious! However, I’ve never asked for her recipe. It initmidates me. Granola is very high-maintenance. It needs to be watched. And flipped. And turned. Or it just might burn. I like cooking methods that are forgiving, like simmering and roasting, because I have a tendancy to get busy with another task after I’ve put something in the oven. I’m sure I could master oven granola, but, like I said, I’m intimidated.
Fortunately, I have a dehydrator, which solves the problem! Dehydrator granola is very low-maintenance. Mix the ingredients together, spread them on the dehydrator sheet, turn the machine on and in the morning: crunchy granola!
I’ve tried a few varieties of dehydrated granola – pumpkin spice, apple cinnamon, honey nut – but I always come back to banana walnut. If you let the banana ripen to the point of nearly going off, it’s super-sweet, and (unlike apple-based granola), it dehydrates to a crisp. But banana is just the base – anything can be added to it: nuts, seeds, dried fruit, grains. One of my favourite batches had a tropical flare, featuring extra coconut and dried mango pieces. I often add currents or raisins and other seeds like pumpkin or hemp. For a special treat, and when I have them on hand, I’ll throw in some cacao nibs (mmm…chocolate banana nut granola!).
Little Handsome knows the difference between “little bit healthy” Mini Shredded Wheat and “really healthy” granola. For breakfast he still prefers the shredded wheat, but I think that has more to do with the shared morning ritual my Handsomes have eating “cereal with milk” together. For now I’m content to let granola be breakfast for me, dessert for Big Handsome and a snack for Little Handsome – a “really healthy” snack.
Note: The same recipe can be shaped into rectangles to make crispy granola bars.
Banana Walnut Granola
Instructions: mash banana thoroughly and add in all other ingredients. Combine well. Sprinkle on parchment-lined dehydrator sheets and dehydrate at 105F overnight or until crunchy. Store in an airtight container for at least a few weeks. Enjoy!
*At my local grocery store I can select whole coconuts and have them cut and grated by a man in a small room in the back. I usually buy 3 coconuts, use some and freeze the rest so there’s always grated coconut at our house. But dried or dessicated coconut can be substituted.