This easy, homemade Tropical Granola is vegan, gluten-free and the perfect topping to your morning bowl! Made with gluten-free oats and a tropical blend of dried mangoes, papayas, and pineapples, with cashews and coconut.
Sooo clearly I am thinking about summer already. Or just a warmer place in general. Last year at this time I was getting ready for my first ever tropical vacation in the Virgin Islands for my big bro’s wedding! Now this month Drew and I are casually discussing when and where we’d like to go on our “honeymoon”, since we didn’t really take one after our wedding in May. We’ve got so much going on these next few months I am honestly not sure when or where it is even going to happen. I would love to go to Europe (more specifically, the Mediterranean) but he is thinking Hawaii. Opposites attract I suppose, HA.
I guess I can just keep dreaming of any warm place while I top this tropical granola on anything and everything. It is made super special by NOW Foods exotic blend of mango, papaya, and pineapple.
I love the texture of this blend! Chewy, lightly sweet, and it makes for the perfect addition to granola.
If you are new to my granola-making habits… You’ll find that my main ingredients are both old-fashioned rolled oats and quick-cooking oats, as well as a natural nut butter and maple syrup.
ALSO, I’m not sure if this is considered weird or not… but I highly suggest using your hands at the end for mixing together all of the ingredients. I use my spatula to start after adding in the almond butter mixture, but then switch to using my hands to make sure all of the ingredients are well coated with the almond butter and maple syrup.
Call me weird (happens on the daily, long hurr don’t curr) but I swear by it. Plus it’s just fun using your hands! Come on now. Actually, that brings back memories of when my Pal and I would make cookies in her Mom’s kitchen… and I used to like putting my hands into the flour jar because I loved the silky smooth texture between my fingers. Sanitary? Mmmm, maybe not. Therapeutic? Yes.
Anywhos… Spread out your granola mixture onto your baking sheet, leaving as many clumps as you like. Bake your granola in increments of about 12-15 minutes, gently *flipping* with a large spatula in between. I say *flipping* because that is how you CLUSTER << it’s like an action. Every day I’m clusterin’. (Yes? No?)
Once your granola has cooled, then you toss in your Tropical Fruit Dices.
Now who’s ready for summer?! *raises hand*
- 1 TBS chia seeds + 3 TBS water
- 2 cups gluten-free old-fashioned rolled oats
- ⅔ cup gluten-free quick oats
- ½ cup unsalted raw cashews
- ⅓ cup unsweetened coconut (flaked or shredded)
- ¼ tsp ground ginger (optional)
- 1 cup NOW Foods Dried Tropical Fruit Dices
- ¼ cup all natural cashew butter(or almond)
- ¼ cupgrade B maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 300F degrees and line large baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat.
- In a small bowl, combine chia seeds with water. Set aside for a few minutes so "gel" can form while preparing rest of ingredients.
- In a large bowl add rolled oats, quick oats, cashews, coconut and ground ginger. Stir until combined and set aside.
- In a small bowl, add almond butter, maple syrup, and vanilla, and stir until well combined. (If almond butter is very thick, microwave with maple syrup for about 15 seconds.) Add almond butter mixture and chia seed gel to large bowl of dry ingredients, stir with large spoon until the dry mixture is well coated. Then, use your hands to fully mix and get the clusters ready.
- Spread/sprinkle the mixture evenly on prepared baking sheet. You should have clusters of granola already from working the mixture with your hands.
- Bake granola in increments for a total of 35-40 minutes, flipping the granola gently at 15 minutes, then again at 12 minutes, then again at 12-15 minutes*
- Remove granola from oven and allow to cool completely, do NOT stir again. While the granola cools, the air will help set the crunchy texture. Once the granola has cooled, add in your Dried Tropical Fruit Dices
- Store in airtight container. Granola should stay fresh up to 3 weeks.
*Using a mixture of old fashioned oats and quick oats helps create the clusters. But feel free to use all old-fashioned if you prefer.
*Not stirring the granola as much will get you more clusters. I use a big spatula to "flip" the granola, rather than stirring. I also "sprinkled" the mixture on the pan, which resulted in more clumps from the beginning, then only flipped the granola gently to maintain the clusters. Watch granola after each time flipping to make sure it is not getting too dark, adjust time accordingly, as every oven is different!
*If not worried about keeping vegan, you can also use one large egg white as binder
So I must know
- If you’re married, where did you go on your honeymoon?
- In general, where is one place you’d like to visit? Any country, state, province, island etc!
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