As we move through August, I can’t help but notice that the evenings are getting darker just a little earlier and there is no doubt that summer is slipping inevitably into fall. The older I get, it feels as though time is moving faster and faster. Apparently this may be no illusion and there are various interesting theories and scientific research which suggest this might actually be the case!
I can’t help but wonder if my perception of time has also been affected by the surreal experience of global lockdown and the move of work, exercise and social life to the confines of home. One of the typical landmarks of summer is often a vacation somewhere away from home. It has been an unusual year to say the least and, in many ways, our worlds have became very small with most travel not possible.
Summer at home
However, if this year’s summer was not destined to include somewhere hot and exotic, I thought I might just bring it home instead. Having always loved the mix of banana, pineapple, mango and coconut, I decided that before the summer slipped away, I wanted to try a tropical style granola.
Using the basic principles outlined in The Granola Buffet, I put together this creation called Tropical Vacation Granola. Not really having a sweet tooth, I was concerned with all the dried fruit being used, that the end result might end up being a little sweeter than I generally like.
I was pleasantly surprised though and the result was still quite decadent without being overpoweringly sweet. As the main ingredient is oats, the granola is still high in fiber and iron. Some of the other ingredients include nuts, seeds and flaxmeal which are full of heart-healthy unsaturated fats and some protein.
What is in Tropical Summer Granola?
- 2 1/2 (200g) cups rolled oats
- ¼ cup flax meal
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds
- ½ cup slivered almonds
- ½ cup (70g) macadamia nuts
- ½ cup (60g) dried mango
- ½ cup (75g) dried pineapple
- ½ cup (30g) shredded coconut
- ½ cup banana chips (optional)
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ cup almond butter
- 3 tbs maple syrup
- 3 tbs melted coconut oil
- 1 small mashed banana
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
The dried fruit adds colour and serves to boost fiber and nutrient intake and supply the body with large amounts of antioxidants. However, dried fruit can be high in sugar and calories so when shopping for these items and, especially the banana chips, check the ingredients label to make sure the product is 100 % fruit with no added sugar, fat or other flavors.
- Preheat oven to 350°C (175°F)
- Add coconut oil, almond butter and maple syrup in saucepan over low heat until blended and then add vanilla
- Mix oats, nuts, seeds, flaxmeal, salt and ginger
- Blend wet and dry ingredients and mix thoroughly
- Spread mixture on parchment paper on baking tray and bake for about 15-20 mins stirring mixture halfway through
- Once cooled add coconut and dried fruits
The granola works well as a breakfast cereal, as a topping for fruit and yogurt or simply as a snack. It can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature for up to four weeks.
One of the main things I love about granola is that it is quick and easy to make. It is also very versatile and forgiving allowing the mixing and matching of many different ingredients to suit personal preferences. In a time when all ingredients might not be as easily available, this is a great time to be creative and use what is at hand to come up with a healthy, nutritious meal or snack with a good dose of nutrients. With Tropical Vacation Granola, you can enjoy the summer all year long!
For more granola ideas see The Granola Buffet.
If you make this granola, I would love to know your experience and if you enjoyed this article, please like and feel free to share with friends.