This Tropical Granola is packed with dried fruit, oats and nuts. Add a spoonful to a bowl of yogurt for breakfast or just eat it plain as a mid-afternoon snack!
A couple of weeks ago, we were hanging out with some friends one afternoon. Nothing too crazy. Robbie was drawing pictures of us on his chalkboard (he’s a future Van Gogh, I tell ya), and we had a football game on in the background. We had some random Halloween candy leftover in the candy dish, and we ended up pulling out a couple pieces of banana-flavored Now And Laters. I used to love Now And Laters as a kid. As an adult? Eh. I’ll go to a slice of Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake instead. Or a slice of Banana Pudding Cheesecake. Or a slice of Atlantic Beach Pie.
Ok, I digress. Back to the banana-flavored Now And Laters. As we were sitting there chewing (and chewing…and chewing…) on that candy, Laura made the point that banana candy tastes nothing like actual bananas. We stopped and thought about it, and we agreed. Banana flavored candy doesn’t taste like bananas at all. (Then again, blue raspberry is a common candy flavor…and when have you ever seen a blue raspberry!?) So we went to the fountain of wisdom (i.e. Google), to get to the bottom of the banana flavored candy quandary.
From Now and Laters to Runts to banana Jell-O, banana flavored products just don’t taste like bananas. So why is that? Well, it turns out that banana flavoring was developed based on a variety of banana that is no longer produced commercially. The Gros Michel banana was popular in the early 1900’s, but a fungus swept through banana crops in the 1960’s…and no more Gros Michel. To be fair, Gros Michel bananas are still around, but they’re very difficult to find. I found a couple of websites selling them for $10/pound. I’m tempted to try these candy-flavored bananas, but that’s a pretty steep price just to satisfy my curiosity!
Today, the Cavendish is the prevalent variety of bananas found in your local grocery store. (Did you know there are different varieties of bananas? I didn’t!) Cavendish bananas aren’t nearly as sweet as their Gros Michel cousins, which explains why banana candy tastes nothing like an actual banana. And now you know!
This Tropical Granola does indeed use bananas, but in the dried banana chip form. (Robbie was amazed at the concept of a crunchy banana!) And this Tropical Granola doesn’t stop there. In addition to the dried bananas, this granola also includes dried mangoes, shredded coconut, dried pineapples and macadamia nuts. Talk about whisking you away to your own private beach somewhere in the tropics! Wait. You don’t have a private beach in the tropics? Neither do I. But I do have a bowl of this Tropical Granola, so that’ll have to do for now.
Seriously, though, this granola is delicious! I used the egg white trick to create little granola clusters, and I couldn’t stop chowing down on that granola while it was still warm out of the oven. We often eat Greek yogurt for breakfast, and a spoonful of this Tropical Granola on top of yogurt transforms weekday breakfasts from routine into special. I hopped out of bed this morning in anticipation of chowing down on more of this granola! Ok, maybe ‘hopped out’ is a bit of an exaggeration, but nevertheless this granola is great for breakfasts or mid-afternoon snacks. Enjoy, friends!
If you make a batch of this granola, swing back by and let me know what you think! Or snap a quick photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog).
Homemade granola is surprisingly easy! Looking for some more flavor ideas? Try these out:
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup macadamia nuts chopped
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- ½ cup olive oil
- ½ cup honey
- ⅓ cup brown sugar see note
- ¼ cup whole flax seeds
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 large egg white whisked until frothy
- ½ cup dried bananas
- ½ cup dried pineapples
- ½ cup dried mangoes
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Using a large bowl, add all ingredients except for egg white and dried fruit; stir until well combined.
- Spread mixture onto a foil-lined sheet pan.
- Bake for 25 minutes, stirring after 15 minutes.
- Transfer granola back into mixing bowl. Add dried fruit and egg white; mix until well combined.
- Spread granola back onto sheet pan. Bake for 10 more minutes.
- Let granola cool completely before sealing in an airtight container.