Growing up, cereal was one of my favorite snacks, and the junkier it was, the better! My favorites were cocoa puffs and lucky charms, although I really just ate the marshmallows out of the latter. 😉 I never understood why my parents liked boring “old people” cereal, like granola—yuck!
Boy am I glad my tastebuds changed. I guess I’m old now too, because I love granola! However, the granola sold in stores is not only expensive, it’s usually processed and full of added sugar. It’s super easy to make yourself too! The great thing is that you can customize it by adding your favorite fruit, nuts, & seeds. You can also add as much or as little sweetener to suit your taste.
Since it feels like a refrigerator outside, I thought I’d bring a bit of the tropics into our dreary, winter day by making this batch of granola with my favorite Hawaiian flavors.
I don’t like overly sweet cereal, so I sweetened this naturally with ripe bananas and dates! It’s only mildly sweet, so I also threw in chunks of my favorite dried tropical fruit—bananas, pineapple, and papaya. I used oats as the base, but you can easily make this grain-free by replacing the oats with extra nuts. Feel free to sub in your favorite fruit as well…Customize it to suit your taste!
I hope this delicious granola helps you beat the winter blues! The recipe makes a lot, so you can easily half it if you don’t need a large container full…but it’s rather addictive, so you may regret it if you don’t make a whole batch! Enjoy!
- 3 cups rolled oats (certified gluten-free if necessary)
- 1½ cups large unsweetened coconut flakes/chips + ⅓–1/2 cup extra to stir in at the end
- 1 cup roughly chopped raw macadamia nuts, cashews, or other raw nut of choice
- 1 cup almonds, pecans, or other raw nut of choice
- 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds (white sesame can also be used)
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds, flaxseed meal, or combo of both
- 3 large overripe bananas (about 1 heaping cup)
- ½ cup roughly chopped pitted dates, or more to taste
- ½ cup melted coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup dried fruit—pineapple, mango, papaya, banana chips, etc., roughly chopped/bite sized (or more to taste. Preferably unsweetened.)
- Preheat oven to 300F. Combine oats, coconut, nuts, sesame seeds, & chia seeds in a large bowl. Mix together thoroughly and set aside.
- In a food processor or high powered blender, blend together bananas, dates, melted coconut oil, vanilla, and salt until creamy and smooth.
- Add banana puree to oat & nut mixture and toss well to evenly coat. Spread granola into a single layer on a baking sheet (may require two baking sheets).
- Place baking sheet onto the middle rack of the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and gently flip granola to brown the other side. Continue to bake for another 15 minutes, and then toss in dried fruit and extra coconut. Bake another 5-10 minutes until granola is golden brown. Let cool thoroughly on the pan before before storing in a large jar or airtight container.