22 April, 2010

Banana Pecan Granola Bars

I love to sing along loudly in the car (when I am alone): I sing anything from Miley Cyrus over Rihanna to Red Hot Chili Peppers or The White Stripes, no matter if I know the lyrics or not. I usually have a self-made CD running for several weeks or months in a row. Because of that my 4-year old kid can sing along too, and even has his favorites: he loves Johnny Cash (song no. 15), Amy McDonald (no. 5), Beyonce (no. 3) and Katy Perry (no. 12).
I also love to eat while driving. I had a few errands to run last week, and was in need for some snack to have on the road.Those three bananas used in the recipe were becoming VERY ripe on the kitchen counter and called out loud to be used. I decided to make granola bars. All other ingredients I chose from the the list of matching flavors in THE FLAVOR BIBLE, still my current favorite kitchen book. By the way, did you know that bananas and parsley were matching flavors? Can't really imagine a dish with those two right now.....
Anyway, the granola bars turned out very well. With the bananas being the binder, they got crunchy but still chewy and light on the bite. This recipe is definitely a keeper!!!

1 1/2 cups regular rolled oats
1 cup coconut flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup pecan nuts, chopped
1 cup dried fruit (I used 1/2 chopped dried figs, and 1/2 raisins)

3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Yields  ca. 15 bars/squares
Preheat oven to 175C. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. 

In a large bowl, combine rolled oats, pecan nuts, sesame seeds and coconut flakes. Stir in allspice and cinnamon. Add dried fruit and stir until well and evenly mixed. Make sure the dried fruit do not stick together in big batches.
In another bowl, combine canola oil, mashed banana and vanilla extract. Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and stir until well combined.
Spread the batter evenly onto the baking sheet, about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch high.
Alternatively, use a large cookie cutter and press spoonfuls of the batter into it. Remove cookie cutter. Bake for about 20 minutes or until edges are golden brown. The granola bars tend to get brown at the bottom first. Make sure not to burn them. Let cool completely, store in airtight container and keep in the fridge.

The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America's Most Imaginative Chefs 


  1. These look delicious and I love how they are both chewy and crispy. Yum

  2. I love the idea of using bananas as a binder. These look great! Parsley and banana sounds interesting. I'll have to think about that!

  3. Found your post via foodgawker. These look amazing! Going to try them tomorrow for sure.

  4. I love the idea of using bananas as the binder. Great idea!

  5. I made these over the weekend and they are really good. My 8 year old loves them....thanks for a good recipe. krista

  6. This looks like a great way to use my quickly-browning bananas up!

    And if you want a truly lovely treat, try a banana and basil smoothie. Hadn't tried those flavors together before, but it was great. Just blend with a little honey or agave and water...perfection^^

  7. Made these tonight, and smell amazing as they cooked. Excited to give one a try :)

  8. These were great! Thanks for the recipe, I used figs and dates and made my own almond meal.

  9. Ugggg. Wish I would've seen 175 CENTIGRADE. I've been baking mine at 175 FAHRENHEIT for like an hour and making no progress.

  10. Quick questions:

    do you think I can sub the canola oil for unsweetened applesauce? Thanks! Also, totally love your blog! I am so obsessed with granola right now and your recipes look amazing!

  11. Val, I would give it a try since it's not that much. Perhaps they turn out slightly more dry and with a bit more crunch?

  12. This recipe looks great, but do you have any suggestions to replace the coconut flakes?

  13. Finally made these (after pinning the recipe a couple of years ago!). They turned out great...flavorful, moist, and chewy. I used what I had on hand, so...pumpkin seeds instead of nuts, dried cherries and golden raisins, coconut oil instead of canola oil. Canola oil is bad news, by the way. =) It was the sesame seeds that drew me to this recipe instead of others...yum!

  14. Hi Diane, I will change the recipe and take the canola oil out. Back in 2010 when I was first making these bars, I wasn't aware how bad it is.