banana bread granola with cacao

Banana Bread Granola with Cacao 

Banana Bread Granola with Cacao ~vegan, gluten free option~

I’m in the stage of pregnancy where I’m up from 1-3 every night… fun, right!?!  When I’m up tossing and turning, I can’t help but  think of things to make!  I usually have to get up and have a snack of some sorts.  The other night I was craving banana bread granola so badly!  The best I could throw together at 2am was mashed bananas topped with walnuts.  It suppressed the craving for the night, but I woke up the next day to make this recipe!

Banana Bread Granola with Cacao ~vegan, gluten free option~

Oats, walnuts and bananas are high in soluble fiber, which help to lower cholesterol.  Starting your day with a bowl of granola is a healthy addition to a heart healthy diet!  I see many patients with elevated cholesterol who easily bring their numbers down by adopting a whole foods diet high in plant-based foods.

Low-sugar granola is an easy way to incorporate oats into your day!  The original recipe can be found on the beautiful blog, Minimalist Baker.

Banana Bread Granola with Cacao ~vegan, gluten free option~

banana bread granola with cacao
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: Vegan
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 3 cup old-fashioned oats
  • ¾ cups chopped walnuts
  • ¼ cup wheat germ (sub flax meal for a GF version)
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ tablespoon cinnamon
  • ¼ cup coconut oil (or oil of your choice)
  • ⅓ cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons cacao nibs
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mash ripe bananas and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine oats, walnuts, wheat germ, sea salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
  4. In a small sauce pan over low heat melt coconut oil, stir in maple syrup and vanilla.
  5. Add coconut oil mixture to oats, stir in mashed bananas. Mix until well combined.
  6. Evenly spread onto two baking sheets. Cook for 10 minutes, use a spatula to mix granola and cook for an additional 10 minutes or until lightly golden. Let cool and stir in cacao nibs.

Banana Bread Granola with Cacao ~vegan, gluten free option~

I added cacao nibs, but mini-chocolate chips, sunflower seeds, dried blueberries, flax seeds or hemp seeds would make wonderful additions!

Banana Bread Granola with Cacao ~vegan, gluten free option~

top 10 breakfast ideas

A nutritious breakfast is a great way to set the pace for a healthy day of eating!  Studies show that people who eat breakfast tend to weigh less because they are less likely to overeat later in the day.   Breakfast is a great way to keep you fueled up and energized!

It’s been argued whether one should eat breakfast upon waking even if they are not hungry.  Breakfast “breaks” the “fast” from sleeping and revs up your metabolism.  However, your body needs the “fast” while you sleep so try to refrain from late night munching!

Try out these ideas to start your morning off right!

Top 10 Breakfast Ideas

1.  Banana with nut butter, hemp seeds and cacao nibs (raw cashew butter used in photo below)

2.  Scrambled eggs with asparagus, tomatoes and goat cheese

3.  Sprouted bread or gluten free bread toasted and topped with avocado, hemp seeds and sea salt

4.  Overnight Oats

5.  Wilted Greens with brown rice and toasted sesame oil (sounds weird but don’t knock it until you try it!)

6.  Cooked quinoa warmed with milk of your choice and topped with dried fruit, slivered almonds and dash of cinnamon

7.  Smoothies or Green Juice

8.  Strawberry Parfaits – Plain or coconut yogurt layered with fresh strawberries, ground flax seeds and low-sugar granola

9.  Miso Soup – Great on cold mornings!

10.  Almonds and a piece of fruit

cashew butter banana with cacao nibs and hemp seeds