Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tropical Granola

I had been itching to make something, but not a dessert, and I saw Annie posted this recipe for Tropical Granola. The Boy & I LOVE homemade granola. Whenever I make this kind, we DEVOUR it. Annie’s recipe is so completely different from the recipe I use, I thought it might be fun to change things up.

One thing I found curious about this recipe, is that it doesn’t use any oil! That’s good if you are looking for a lower fat recipe. Instead of oil it uses pureed pineapple, mashed banana, and apple sauce. Plus, the tropical flavors were a complete departure from my regular add ins. I had some of these ingredients on hand, like the oats, banana, and coconut; but I ended up having to buy most it, so it ended up being not-so-cheap. But, it definitely was fresher, and better tasting than anything you’d buy at the store, I think it was well worth it. My only addition to the recipe was to add in dried papaya, because it had such a pretty color, and I know I like the taste as well!

Now, I’m sure someone is bound to wonder “Which recipe is better?” I honestly hate questions like that. While I think I would prefer my other granola, because of the rich surprising taste of the olive oil alongside the sweet cherries & kosher salt flavors, that doesn’t mean I didn’t find this granola to be SUPER DELICIOUS! Honestly it’s like comparing apples to oranges. I really did loved the tropical flavors in Annie’s version. It made me dream of being on a beach. In fact, I sprinkled the granola on top of pina colada yogurt, and it was almost like I heard “A-lo-ho-a” singing in my head. This granola disappeared in a mere matter of days, less than a week! So it’s safe to say it was a hit. So whatcha waitin’ for? Get out there and try this Tropical Granola, or maybe try this version. Whatever floats your boat!


Tropical Granola

slighty adapted from Annie's Eats


3½ cups rolled oats
2½ cups puffed rice cereal (I used this, and highly recommend)
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup fresh pineapple puree
1/3 cup mashed banana
1/3 cup applesauce
½ tsp. salt
Dash of cinnamon
1 tsp. coconut extract
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut, lightly toasted
1/2 cup dried pineapple, chopped
1/2 cup dried papaya, chopped
1 cup dried banana chips, chopped
½ cup toasted macadamia nuts, chopped


Preheat the oven to 325° F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats and puffed rice cereal. Stir to combine. In a medium bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, pineapple puree, mashed banana, applesauce, salt, cinnamon and coconut extract. Whisk until very smooth. Add the wet ingredients to the oat mixture and stir gently with a spatula until the oat mixture is evenly coated. Spread on the prepared baking sheet in an even layer.

Bake for 30 minutes. Using a large, wide spatula, turn sections of the granola over on the baking sheet. Bake for an additional 15 minutes, until nearly completely dried. If your granola layer is thick, you may need to bake it a bit longer, removing the edges that have cooked completely but making sure the center is done. Cool in the pan for about 15 minutes, then crumble into a large airtight storage container. Add toasted coconut, dried pineapple, dried papaya, banana chips, and macadamia nuts to the container. Seal and shake well until everything is evenly combined.

This time last year I was enjoying one of my favorite ways to eat okra, in this Okra & Shrimp dish.

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