Almost a year ago, I stopped eating foods with added sugar and most things that are very processed. Not eating processed foods isn't too hard, for someone who loves to cook. The no added sugar thing? A little more difficult, because there is added, excessive sugar in EVERYTHING. So I stopped eating fruit flavored yogurts, quit my dessert addiction cold turkey, and started drinking my morning coffee with milk only.
I still occasionally indulge in a small portion of dessert (I requested my mom make me a chocolate-red wine cake with white chocolate buttercream for my birthday earlier this month!), and definitely still cook with small amounts of natural sweeteners.
One of my favorite slightly sweet recipes lately has been banana-nut granola. Made with just a little honey and mashed, super ripe bananas, it has the perfect balance of nutty and mildly sweet flavors - and is perfect with a little almond milk as cold cereal or tossed into some plain yogurt with fruit for breakfast in the morning. The last (double) batch I made went in less than two weeks because everyone loved it so much, so this time I went all out and made a QUADRUPLE batch.
This is a fairly simple recipe - you start by combining your dry ingredients in a bowl big enough to mix everything up.
ORGANIC BANANA-NUT GRANOLA
adapted from Green Kitchen Stories
3 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup pecans or walnuts
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup flaked coconut
pinch of salt
3 T coconut oil
1 t vanilla extract
1/3 cup honey
3 very ripe bananas
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, combine oats, nuts, seeds, coconut, and a pinch of salt.
In a smaller bowl, mash your bananas and then add the coconut oil, honey, and vanilla. Stir together.
Add the wet ingredients to the oat mixture and combine, making sure all the the dry ingredients are coated.
Spread the granola mix on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, and bake for 20-25 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon after ten minutes, then every five minutes after that to ensure even browning, until granola is golden brown.
Remove from the oven and let cool before storing.