- 1/4 cup unsalted butter (If using salted butter, taste your mixture before adding salt)
- 1/3 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon water
- 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (Certified gluten-free, if needed)
- 3/4 cup chopped raw walnuts (See recipe notes)
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 medium ripe bananas, diced
For the syrup:
- 1 cup of water
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1/2 cup of honey
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Preheat the oven to 275F with two racks placed in the upper and lower halves. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Brown the butter: Slice the butter into small pats. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted, the butter will start foam a bit, then it will begin to turn amber-colored and smell fragrant and nutty. Watch closely, as the butter can go from browned to blackened fairly quickly. This whole process should only take about 3 minutes. Remove the pan from heat immediately, and pour the melted butter into a small heatproof bowl.
- Melt the brown sugar: In the same saucepan used to brown the butter, add the brown sugar, vanilla, and water. Stir over medium-low heat until combined, then cook until the brown sugar is thoroughly melted, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Mix the granola: In a large bowl, mix the oats, walnuts, chia seeds, cinnamon, and salt until they are combined and the ingredients look well-distributed. Add the melted brown butter and brown sugar mix and stir to combine. Then add the diced bananas and stir very gently.
- Bake the granola: Divide the granola between two baking sheets and spread into an even layer. Place into the warm oven and bake the granola for 45 minutes. Half way through baking, stir the granola, then swap the top and bottom baking sheets and rotate the pans to avoid any hotspots. (If you want big clusters of granola, do not stir the granola.)
- Cool the granola: Remove the granola from oven and allow to cool for 20 to 30 minutes before stirring and serving. Store in airtight containers for up to a week.
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