Tropical Granola

I recently catered a back-to-school breakfast for 50-ish people, and one of the items that I made was granola and yogurt parfaits For the event I made the two other types of granola I have made thus far, pumpkin spice and peanut butter banana.  I was so glad  that I did because it reminded me of how quick and easy granola is to make, and what a fantastic snack it can be.  So, not long afterward, I opened my pantry and saw a bunch of ingredients begging to be used up – dried pineapple, dried banana chips, coconut and oats.  Granola seemed like the perfect solution.

For the mixture of wet ingredients that helps bind granola together and give it flavor, I added pineapple puree and mashed banana as well as coconut extract.  I also tossed in some chopped macadamia nuts and toasted coconut for mix-ins.  WOW!  This stuff is gooood.  I wasn’t sure what to expect since it was a complete experiment, but I thought the tropical flavors came through well and though it is primarily sweet, the macadamia nuts provided a nice counterbalance with some saltiness.  I took a big bag of it into work and it was perfect for snacking on throughout the week.  I have a feeling I’ll be making this frequently.

Tropical Granola
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3½ cups rolled oats
2½ cups puffed rice cereal
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 cup dried pineapple, 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, banana chips, and macadamia nuts to the container.  Seal and shake well until everything is evenly combined.

Source: Annie’s Eats original

18 Responses

  1. I have been thinking about making tropical granola too, but since I’ve never even made basic granola, I had no idea where to start. I’m definitely going to try this soon!

  2. I’ve been thinking about granola lately. This looks like a delicious version!

  3. Wow! Wife, mommy, resident AND a caterer! I’m speechless! How? How? How? 🙂 This looks delish! All flavors that I would love. Never made granola and may have to start with this one!

  4. A taste of paradise… love it!

  5. oh Yummmmmmmm – Annie, you are a genius! I can’t wait to make this

  6. This sounds fantastic! Perfect snack and would be great for a road trip!

  7. Love granola! This looks yummy. My hubby loves trail mix with dried bananas and this would become a fave of his in no time, I’m sure.

  8. This looks really different & good! I like the way that you used pureed fruit for the liquid part. Can’t wait to try this – I know that the flavors will be something my mom will especially enjoy – great gift!

  9. This sounds great, and a bit healthier than other granolas! I love how you used the pineapple puree, applesauce, & mashed banana. Hopefully I’ll get the chance to try this out. My BF LOOOOVES homemade granola.

    Have you tried the NY Times Olive Oil Granola? I have a version of it on my blog, and I think you might really like it too! It has a rich flavor, from the olive oil, and the addition of the kosher salt balances it out really well. It’s SO addictive, it doesn’t last long at ALL when I make it.

    • Erin,
      No, no offense, but that olive oil granola just sounds awful to me. The thought of it makes my stomach turn. Glad you enjoy it though.
      🙂 Annie

  10. I have a recipe similiar to this…its soooo good!!!!! And quick!!!! I’ll have to try yours though! It looks great!

  11. Wow, great recipe! I love granola and this one sound fabulous. Tropical flavors are the best. By the way, I made your Pumpkin Blondies last night…awesome!

  12. Can you believe that I have never made my own granola. I’ve been meaning to so many times. This post therefore adds like a little prod. I’ve got to give it a go.

  13. I’m not sure tropical granola would be my first pick (I have weird aversions to dried pineapple), but I am so glad you pointed out your other granola recipes! I keep thinking granola would be fun to make, and it’s perfect timing for the pumpkin spice one!

  14. This looks fantastic! It’s been awhile since I made my own granola, but you are definitely inspiring me!

  15. Wow–delicious! I am a granola freak, and this one looks to be next on the list.

  16. Just made this and it is delish! It’s actually still baking but I had to snag a small bowl with a dollop of yogurt. I used 1/2 vanilla-1/2 almond extract but next time will get the coconut because I think it will compliment the other flavors well. I also used crushed pineapple…it this what you used for the puree?? This and the pumpkin granola are great, although I think they bake for too long because my last pumpkin batch was very hard. I reduced the baking time by 10 minutes. Overall, thumbs up! I will continue to make granola with this technique of a thick liquid mixture of applesauce and other flavors. Thanks!!

    • Hi Sheryl,
      Sorry the granola has turned out over-baked for you. It may depend on the size of baking sheet and therefore the thickness of the granola layer. Usually mine comes out almost chewy/still a bit wet, but I like it that way.
      🙂 Annie

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