The Store-Bought Ingredient Ina Garten Adds To Banana Bread For A Little Crunch

If you love banana bread but think that it needs more of a crunch, then you need to know about Ina Garten's store-bought addition: granola. Garten's recipe for banana crunch muffins, which she shared in "The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook," via Food Network, has all of the makings of regular banana bread but with a cup of granola added. The granola makes the bread a bit more hearty and filling, and gives the texture some crunch.

To try your hand at making granola-infused banana bread, you can use Garten's recipe (which is for muffins but can easily be made into a loaf), or pick out your favorite banana bread recipe. Of course, the granola addition works well with a simple recipe such as brown butter banana bread — in this case, the granola will be front and center, both in taste and in how it affects the texture. But, you can also add granola to more unique versions, such as fluffy sweet potato banana bread — this recipe already has some crunch from the pecans, so you can either replace those with the granola or simply add both (after all, Garten's recipe also calls for both nuts and granola). Or, maybe you want to add the granola to chocolate chip banana bread for a delicious infusion of sweet flavors. Whichever type of banana bread you choose, simply add the granola into the batter at the end when you would throw in other types of add-ins (such as chocolate chips or nuts).

Experiment with different types of granola for unique flavor combinations

One of the best parts about adding granola to banana bread is that you can use any type of granola that you want. Store-bought granola will work well but you can even make your own homemade crunchy granola.

You can also use the opportunity to choose a flavored granola that pairs well with banana for a more unique spin on the loaf. For example, if you use Tasting Table's recipe for homemade baked apple chip granola, the loaf will turn out extra fruity — thanks to the combination of apple and banana — and will be packed full of extra crunchiness because of the pecans, almonds, and pumpkin seeds. There's also our recipe for gluten-free coconut and pecan granola, which mirrors Garten's original recipe (which contains pecans and coconut flakes, as well as granola).

Or, maybe you want to make the banana bread a bit more festive during the holiday season — in this case, you can use gingerbread granola, which will add extra sweetness as well as crunch. On the other hand, maybe you want to make your banana bread more savory than sweet — in this case, you can turn to our walnut-oregano granola.