I admit it. I am a granola grubbing, early rising, long haired, peace on earth loving hippy. I like waking up before the sun, lacing up my dirty running shoes, and enjoying the greatness of the morning while I pound the pavement. These days, I’m a little slower than usual but that is beside the point.
I like my mornings even more when I have a big bowl of homemade tropical granola to munch on. I keep this granola recipe on hand to eat by the spoonful or the handful whenever the mood strikes. Each bite transports me to the islands where I can stare at the waves from my umbrella covered chair and down pina coladas.
Inspired by a recipe in a recent issue of Bon Appetit, tropical granola is easy to make and easy to eat. I took out a few steps and changed a few ingredients from the original recipe to minimize the dirty dishes, and up the tropics factor of this summery treat.
Inspired by Bon Appetit
Nutrition Information per serving: 275 calories, 14 fat, 31 carbohydrates, 16 sugars, 7 grams protein
2 ¼ cups old-fashioned oats (I used Trader Joes Gluten Free Oats)
1 tablespoon flaxseeds (optional)
¼ cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/3 cup maple syrup
4 tablespoons coconut oil, divided
2 tablespoons (packed) light brown sugar
3/4 cup raw almonds, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup raw shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup dates, chopped
Greek-style yogurt (I used coconut milk yogurt)
Thinly sliced mangoes, bananas, or other fresh fruit
Heat oven to 300°. In a medium bowl mix oats, flaxseeds, shredded coconut, ¼ tsp. salt, cinnamon, and ginger. Add 1 cup hot tap water; mix thoroughly and let stand for 15 minutes to soften oats.
In a small saucepan bring maple syrup, 2 Tbsp. coconut oil, and brown sugar to a boil; stirring to dissolve sugar; remove from heat. Add maple syrup mixture to oat mixture and toss to coat. Spread out in an even layer on a large rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Mix remaining 1/2 tsp. salt, remaining 2 Tbsp. oil, almonds, pumpkin seeds, and sugar in a medium bowl. Set aside.
Bake oats, taking out of the oven and tossing 2-3 times, until a light golden brown, about 40 minutes. Take the mixture out of the oven and toss with the nut mixture. Put the oats and nuts back in the oven and bake, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 10–12 minutes. Place sheet on a wire rack and let nut mixture cool completely.
Combine oats and nuts mixture with dates in a large bowl. This granola will last a week if stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
Serve tropical granola in shallow bowls with Greek-style yogurt and sliced fruit.