Chocolate Banana Nut Granola

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I have been wanting a naughty treat so badly. Yet every item at the grocery store I pick up in its soon to be garbage package has a list of questionable or downright scary ingredients listed on the back. So I am making Granola because that is what a tree huggin’, granola eatin’, crunchy, hippy does.

INGREDIENTS

Four cups or rolled oats

1 cup pitted dates chopped up

2 bananas

Cinnamon and cocoa to taste

Splash of vanilla if desired

1/2 cup (more or less) of crushed or chopped nuts or seeds of your choosing (I used whole pumpkin seeds, crushed cashews and crushed almonds)

About 2 cups of water

METHOD

In a pan without oil, carefully toast cinnamon, cocoa and rolled oats. Be careful oats burn easily. You can skip this step but I like to do it to add a nuttier flavour.

In a bowl set aside lightly toasted, seasoned oats.

In hot pan add water, dates and bananas and bring to a boil. Boil until bananas and dates break down and water becomes syrupy. You may need to add more water or let some boil off. Basically you want enough sticky liquids to mix with your rolled oats so that it is clumpy not wet.

Add boiled dates, banana mush and syrupy water to rolled oats and stir. You should just be able to mix in the loose rolled oats and it should be thick and very clumpy. Don’t forget to add in your nuts or seeds at this point too!

Turn out mixture onto a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Preheat oven to 275 degrees.

Bake for ten minutes, take out and stir. Repeat this every ten minutes until granola is crispy. Cooking time should take about an hour.

Allow granola to cool and store it in an airtight container.

Eat this as a dessert, breakfast cereal, put it on top of yogurt or snack on it on the road.

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