If I had to choose my favourite thing to eat for breakfast, it would probably have to be a bowl of yogurt with sliced fruit and granola. Even though I eat a lot of granola, surprisingly I haven't posted a recipe for it yet on my blog, so I thought it was about time to change that!
Typically, what I look for in a granola is a mix of textures and ingredients that tastes good both eaten on its own as a snack, and also mixed into yogurt. My favourite storebought brand of granola right now is Nature's Path Love Crunch granola in their Carrot Cake flavour. I love the combination of the sweet chunks of granola, crunchy pecans, chewy dried pineapple and the yogurt chips.
While there are some great packaged brands of granola, they can be a bit expensive. I've learned that it's pretty easy to make your own homemade granola, and the best part is that you can customize it with whatever ingredients you like!
Since I love tropical flavors like banana, pineapple, and coconut, I knew that I wanted to create my own tropical granola. I actually decided to make this granola as part of my Mother's Day gift to my mom, who also loves coconut!
To get the tropical flavour I wanted, I used four different coconut products: coconut butter (which I made from processing unsweetened coconut in a food processor), coconut nectar, coconut flakes, and coconut extract. I also added dried pineapple and cranberries, banana chips, sliced almonds and pecans.
I loved that this granola was chock-full of different ingredients so that every handful or spoonful had something special in it! This was a light and crunchy granola that was a great snack to eat on its own, but I also liked it in yogurt - a thicker yogurt works best. I actually tried it in this Liberte coconut yogurt and it was amazing!
Although I didn't get to taste-test much of this granola because I gave it away as a gift, my Mom told me that she really liked it too, and confirmed that the recipe was blog-worthy!
2.5 cups rolled oats
1 cup puffed rice
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp melted coconut butter (homemade or from a jar)
1/4 cup applesauce (at room temperature)
1/4 cup coconut nectar
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp coconut extract
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/3 cup chopped banana chips
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup chopped dried pineapple
Preheat oven to 325°. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Mix the first four ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix the wet ingredients (coconut butter to coconut extract) in a separate bowl, stirring until the mixture is smooth. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir gently with a spatula until all the dry ingredients are coated.
Spread mixture onto the prepared baking sheet in an even layer and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, stirring once halfway through.
Remove from oven, give the granola one more stir, and add the sliced almonds and coconut flakes. Return to oven for 10-15 more minutes, until the coconut and almonds are lightly toasted (be careful not to burn them).
Remove from oven and add the banana chips and dried fruit. Let cool completely before transferring to a container.