Granola X2 blog
Photos by Donna
I used to eat the best granola when I was a feckless student at the University of Sussex outside Brighton.  For years I tried to find something similar but never could. A few years ago I started making it myself in big batches.  But I was sort of, well, feckless about it.  I’d throw some oats in a roasting pan, some chopped nuts (almonds and walnuts usually), some sugar or honey and bake it and however it came out, it came out.

Then I thought I should do a recipe (I don’t hate recipes!), just to have a record of one. So I looked up a half dozen recipes to see variations and how others made granola, and they all hued to the basic formula above. Then I looked at several on and came across one that was either a eureka moment or an I’m-an-idiot moment (more of the latter than the former, surely). Someone, a former cook at a B&B as I recall, made a liquid mixture of sugar, a banana and water.  Water? I thought.  Then I thought, of course, water would be a fantastic way to distribute spices and flavors and then the oven would get rid of the water.  It works great and is now the standard method in this old house.  Here’s the most recent version.

Strawberry-Banana Granola
1 or 2 bananas
1 cup strawberries
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup honey
¼ cup canola oil
¼ cup water
½ teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
several gratings of nutmeg (optional)
2½ pounds rolled oats
½ cup wheat bran
½  cup flax seed
1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
1 cup almonds, sliced, slivered, or roughly chopped
1-1/2 cup dried cherries or cranberries

Combine the bananas, strawberries, sugar, honey, oil, water, cinnamon and nutmeg in a blender and blend till thoroughly pureed.

Combine the remaining ingredients except for the dried fruit and mix with your hands till the ingredients are evenly distributed. Pour the fruit sauce over the oat mixture and stir till it’s all evenly mixed.  Bake for 45-60 minutes at 300 F., stirring every 15 minutes or so.

When the mixture has cooled, add the dried fruit and store in an airtight container.  Excellent with homemade yogurt.  Yield: Plenty! Can be halved.


31 Wonderful responses to “Banana-Strawberry Granola”

  • blowback

    Was it Jordan’s Original Crunchy breakfast cereal that came in a thick printed cellophane bag and was usually eaten straight out of the bag with no milk especially when you got the “munchies” late at night from inhaling a certain substance?

  • Julie

    If you had to leave the banana out (I’m allergic) would you replace with water or a different fruit do you think? I’m thinking fruit given that the banana adds an almost creamy texture.

  • ruhlman

    julie, the bananas add a great flavor, but texture isn’t an issue because it’s all dehydrated anyway. Try blueberries.

  • Almost Slowfood

    I’ve been on the lookout for a great granola recipe and never thought about using fresh fruit. Does pureeing the fruit and glazing it over the solid components give the granola a crackly crunch?

    Maybe the last of my market strawberries should go into this recipe. Sounds really tasty!

  • Kathy

    Question … is that 2 1/2 lbs oats + 2 1/2 lbs rolled oats? 5 lbs of oats total or is that a typo?

  • Linda

    Great idea!
    Micheal -in the recipe do you mean to have oats twice- maybe steel cut and rolled, or is it a typo?
    Thanks for this!

  • Chef Gwen

    When I worked at the Boulders Resort, we did a peanut butter granola — similar concept, melting it to liquid form with honey to disperse evenly. I’d never have thought about strawberry banana combination!

  • Dallas from Bitchin' Kitchen

    I find a lot of granola to be really oily and unhealthy, having less nutritional value than most people assume it does. I am very impressed by your recipe, both for incorporating fruit and water (great idea, to disperse the flavors) and for adding the wheat bran and flax seed. This granola is on my to-make list!

  • Megan

    I just made chocolate granola last night, but when I run out, I’ll have to try this recipe. I love granola and all its variations!

  • luis

    Great recipe, passes my sugar fat salt concern. Even then I can substitute the brown sugar for splenda. Honey is honey so but 2 1/2 lbs…. I like your sugar proportions here and the other ingredients like flax seed and wheat bran makes this a very healthy recipe. This is a good thing. It will be in my list to things to cook for sure.
    Does it need refrigeration or can it just sit on the Kitchen counter in a glass jar?

  • Kate in the NW

    My husband and my horse say thank you…(oh, okay, me too – though I’m more a fan of the non-fruity granolas).

  • Bob delGrosso

    Get to a doctor FAST!

    Granola eating is a symptom of brain damage. You’ll need a CAT scan, an MRI and a brain scan. There is time to save yourself but you have to act quickly.

    If you find yourself eating quinoa, it will be too late. You haven’t been eating quinoa too, have you!?

    Oh dear god, what have you done to yourself now?


  • Tags

    At least you’re not putting any hydrogenated shortening or high fructose corn syrup (yeah, it’s worse than sucrose) in it.

  • Lydia

    I love homemade granola and have never looked back since discovering it. I feel a little frightened of how this recipe might turn out, but I trust you, so I’ll give it a shot with some of our gorgeous local strawberries soonest. Also, that peanut butter idea in an earlier comment sounds great. I want a ratio for that!

  • Dianne

    Excellent, excellent recipe — made a batch last night.

    Thanks also for the tip (via the photos) to bake the granola in a roasting pan. Brilliant! I make quite a bit of granola and have been struggling with rimmed baking sheets — very messy. The roasting pan worked like a charm.

  • Bren

    wow, you tried a recipe 😉 I love granola…especially with cottage cheese, fresh fruit, honey and nutmeg! Fills me up wonderfully!

  • Brian C.

    How dry should the granola be when it’s done baking? How much does it dry once it cools? This recipe also seems to crowd a standard roasting pan more than other recipes recommend.

    But it’s not out of the oven yet, so I will have to wait and see!

  • Marc DeBrey

    I just made this and it would appear that this recipe calls for too man oats relative to the other ingredients. 2.5 lbs is about one of the large Quaker Oats cylinders sold in the grocery store.

    I followed the directions to the letter and after over an hour it was still not crispy enough and lacked flavor. It seemed that the the amount of flavoring was too little to cover that quantity of oats.

    Michael, can you confirm that this quantity of oats is correct?

    Marc DeBrey

  • Brian C.

    I agree with Mr. DeBrey above. Even after an hour and 15 minutes of baking, the mixture did not achieve a desirable level of crispness. After cooling, the granola was limp and insipid, despite the fact that I used the best and freshest ingredients I could find. Although its freshness alone makes it tastier than the other granolas lying around my house, there’s something inherently wrong with this recipe as it stands, or so it seems to me. Help me find out why!!!

  • ruhlman

    Brian and Marc, thanks for the comments. The quantities are what I use, yes a whole large cylinder of oats.

    I’ve done this a couple of times and it’s worked perfectly. But I’ll have to try it again.

    It’s not meant to be crisp as a cookie but it shouldn’t be limp and insipid either.

    Did yours look like the above? It should start out limp and sticky and an hour in an oven should be dry.

    will email you all pix from the shoot.

  • Jenn Sutherland

    I was intrigued by the fruit-water-oil combo here, so I made a batch last night, and also found it lacking in flavor, and definitely needed a bit of salt. I like my homeade granola pretty spicy, though, so I added about 1 1/2 T cinnamon. I ended up baking it for an hour and it was still just steamed oats, so I broke it up between the roaster and a sheet pan, and turned up the heat to 350, and baked for another 25 minutes, and then it came out perfectly crisped. I’ll definitely try this one again – I love that it’s not sticky sweet, and lower fat – just need to tweak the quantity of oats a bit to bake evenly in our oven. Thanks for the inspiration, just when I was getting tired of steel cuts. Granola is a wonderful summer breakfast.

  • Marc DeBrey

    Hi Michael, to answer your question, it did look like your photos above, especially pre-cook. After cook the pink color receded, but it still looked similar to the photo.

    In an effort to intensify the flavor we made a second batch of the fruit liquid and added it to the existing batch of cooked granola (seeing as how it was still moist). We then cooked it for an additional 1.5 hours. It definately became more crisp, so that problem was solved.

    The challenge then was that the flavor became permanently modified (almost killed) due to the longer cook time (overcooked).

    So I’m going to try it all again but this time w/fewer oats to the same amount of liquid. The little flavor that resulted in our first batch was really good –it just needs more of it and to be a bit more crisp. I’ll let you know the results.

    Marc DeBrey

  • E. Nassar

    A bit late to the party, but I made thius this weekend. This is a fantastic recipe. I halved it and used a mixture of nuts/seeds (pisatchio, almonds, sunflower) that needed to be used up. I baked it all in a half sheet pan and removed it when it looked done (about 75 minutes). My better half declared it much better than our normal recipe, less sweet and has a wonderful hint of banana and strawberry.

  • Dawn

    I made the full recipe a couple of weeks ago and it made so much that I gave much of it away. (I also found that it took much longer than 45 minutes to dry). It was delicious.

    This weekend I made a half recipe in a half sheet pan. It crisped up nicely and even had some crunchy clusters (took about 45 minutes). I was worried that I had burnt it, but it was perfect.

    Thanks for the recipe.