Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Tropical Granola

Tropical Granola

This granola literally tastes like a tropical vacation in a bowl.  With a bit of crunch.  It is a variation on the more basic Maple Cinnamon Granola recipe I posted last week, but using coconut oil for the fat, coconut nectar for the sweetener and incorporating the tropical flavors of dried pineapple, unsweetened coconut flakes and raw macadamia nuts. The result is a very rich and hearty breakfast cereal that I would especially recommend for anyone who plans to work out post breakfast and wants something that will keep their energy levels high and their hunger at bay without feeling weighed down.  Because macadamia nuts are very soft and buttery I would not recommend roasting them along with the oat mixture (pecans and walnuts seem to withstand the roasting process a bit better).  I know that macadamia nuts can be pricey, but I found a good brand at my local store for less than $5, probably because they are completely unprocessed and have no added oil or salt.  So they are perfect for this recipe.  If possible, try to find dried pineapple with little or no added sugar as well as unsweetened, hopefully organic, coconut flakes.  The macadamia nuts alone are the nutritional all star in this recipe, with high amounts of mono unsaturated fats, fiber, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, zinc and selenium.  They also contain many important B-complex vitamins such as niacin, thiamin, riboflavin and pyridoxine (vitamin B-6).   So although you may feel like you are eating a bowl of paradise and indulging in something too good to be true, rest assured that this colorful granola is the perfect way to treat yourself at the beginning (or end) of a long, hopefully productive, day.

Tropical Granola

5 C. organic old fashioned rolled oats
some ingredients
1/3 C. ground flax seed
1/3 C. wheat germ
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 C. virgin organic coconut oil, melted
1/2 C. organic coconut nectar (or honey)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 C. chopped macadamia nuts
1 C. dried pineapple, chopped
1 C. organic unsweetened flaked coconut, chopped

Preheat the oven to 325F.  In a large bowl, mix together the oats, flax seed, wheat germ, cinnamon and salt.  In a smaller bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, coconut nectar and vanilla really well and pour over the oat mixture.  Stir well to coat the oats completely and spread into one or two large baking pans.  Bake until dry and crisp, stirring at least once, about 25 -30 minutes.  Once cooled, mix in the macadamia nuts, dried pineapple, and chopped coconut. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a couple of weeks.

ready to mix together

ready to bake

hot from the oven
(I overcooked mine by about 5 minutes)

mix ins

all mixed together

breakfast is served

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