Banana, pecan and sunflower seed granola
A winning way with a ripe banana. The trick to good and boulder-y granola is not to disturb it until you’re ready to box it up – it clumps together as it cooks, and also as it cools
Prep 10 min
Cook 30 min
Makes about 750g
3 tbsp coconut or vegetable oil
50g maple syrup, or runny honey
1 large very ripe large banana
1 tsp ground cinnamon
250g rolled oats
150g pecans, or any preferred nut
50g sunflower seeds
A big pinch of salt
100g dates, finely chopped (or, use raisins)
50g banana chips, roughly chopped
Heat the oven to 170C (150C fan)/335F/gas 3½ and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
In a small pan, warm the oil with the maple syrup until everything is melted together, then take off the heat and set aside.
Blend or mash the banana with the cinnamon until smooth, then stir into the warmed syrup mix.
Put the oats, nuts and seeds into a large bowl, then add the banana-syrup mix and stir well to coat. Spread out evenly on the lined tray and sprinkle with salt to taste.
Bake the granola for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown and crisp all over; rotate the tray once halfway, if necessary, so it bakes evenly. Do not disturb the granola during cooking or cooling – let it be.
Remove the tray from the oven, leave the granola to cool completely, then add the dates and banana chips. Break up the granola into small boulders, or however you like best, then store in a large airtight jar, where it will keep well for up to two weeks.
Banana drop scones with yoghurt, honey and sesame seeds
My kids love these for breakfast at the weekend. Using a very ripe banana means you don’t have to add much sugar to the batter for sweetness.
Prep 10 min
Cook 5 min
200g self-raising flour
1 heaped tbsp soft brown sugar
A pinch of salt
1 very ripe large banana
120ml milk, dairy or plant-based
1 large egg, beaten
30g butter, to cook
1 ripe banana, peeled and cut into coins
Runny honey, to drizzle
Sesame seeds, to sprinkle
In a bowl, whisk the flour, sugar and salt. Blend the banana with the milk and egg until smooth, then pour into the dry ingredients and whisk briefly until smooth.
Working in batches, melt a knob of butter in a frying pan on a medium-high heat. Drop three or four large spoonfuls of the batter to the pan, reduce the heat to medium and cook for about three minutes, until bubbles appear on the surface and the base is golden. Carefully flip the scones and cook them on the other side for another two to three minutes.
Serve the drop scones immediately with yoghurt, sliced banana, honey and sesame seeds, then repeat with the remaining batter and toppings.
Roast banana splits with chocolate ice-cream and salted peanuts
As a child of the 1980s, I was a huge fan of banana split, and now it’s my children’s turn. In this version, you caramelise the banana in a pan before building the split.
Prep 10 min
Cook 5 min
20g butter, or any neutral oil
4 ripe bananas, unpeeled and split lengthways down the middle
2 tbsp brown sugar
8 small scoops chocolate ice-cream
4 tbsp peanut or other nut butter
30g banana chips
4 tbsp salted peanuts, roughly chopped (use the same type of nut as the butter)
Melt the butter in a frying pan, lay in the bananas cut side down and sprinkle with the sugar. Cook over a moderate heat for a couple of minutes, until the sugar bubbles and starts to caramelise – the bananas should begin to take on a bronzed colour. You may need to work in batches, depending on the size of your pan.
Take off the heat, turn the bananas and leave them cut side up to cool for a couple of minutes. Carefully remove the skins, trying to keep the banana halves intact.
Put two banana halves in a serving dish and top with two scoops of ice-cream. Add a tablespoon of peanut butter, then scatter over a quarter of the banana chips and quarter of the peanuts to serve. Repeat with the remaining three portions.