Tropical Granola

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!

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This Tropical Granola is packed with dried fruit, oats and nuts.  Add a spoonful to a bowl of yogurt for breakfast or just 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.

This Tropical Granola is packed with dried fruit, oats and nuts.  Add a spoonful to a bowl of yogurt for breakfast or just it plain as a mid-afternoon snack!

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.

This Tropical Granola is packed with dried fruit, oats and nuts.  Add a spoonful to a bowl of yogurt for breakfast or just it plain as a mid-afternoon snack!

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 is packed with dried fruit, oats and nuts.  Add a spoonful to a bowl of yogurt for breakfast or just it plain as a mid-afternoon snack!Tropical Granola

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.

This Tropical Granola is packed with dried fruit, oats and nuts.  Add a spoonful to a bowl of yogurt for breakfast or just it plain as a mid-afternoon snack!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:

Blueberry Cashew Granola
Chocolate Almond Granola
Maple Pecan Granola
Cherry Walnut Granola

This Tropical Granola is packed with dried fruit, oats and nuts.  Add a spoonful to a bowl of yogurt for breakfast or just it plain as a mid-afternoon snack!

Tropical Granola

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!
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 313kcal


  • 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
  • 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.


If the dried fruit you purchase includes added sugar, then omit the brown sugar from the recipe.

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  1. Well, you learn something new every day! Now I want to try that Gros Michel variety. Might even shell out… Happy New Year’s to you and yours, David!

    1. Hah! I agree with you, Frank. I’m intrigued by that Gros Michel variety of bananas, and I’m almost willing to pay the $10 a pound for them. (Just once, though.) It would be strange eating a banana that tastes like candy! Happy New Year, Frank!

  2. Gosh, I’m so deprived- I am just now learning about “now and laters”… I do know and love dried banana chips though! This granola with all those dried tropical fruits sounds delicious, David! And that egg white trick makes those granola chunks like candy! We are huge fans of granola and yogurt too and this wouldn’t last long in our home. Hoping y’all have a happy and heyNew Year!

    1. You’ve never come across Now and Laters!? They’re a classic candy. And you have to chew them forever…as in now and later. 🙂 This granola turned out so well, and all of the tropical fruits in there added a fun twist. I hope you and Lil S had a wonderful break, my friend! Happy New Years to you both! (And I hope Athens isn’t in too much mourning after last night’s game…)

    1. You’re totally right that this granola is kid friendly! In fact, Robbie loved all of the dried fruit in there. He started calling the dried mangoes “mango candy” and they’re a staple in his snack lineup now. 🙂 Thanks so much, Mimi!

  3. When my kids were small we used to make homemade granola with dried fruit about once a fortnight, but I’ve not made granola in years and never a tropical version. I’ll have to see if I can find the dried fruit and make a batch.
    On the subject of bananas, I remember when traveling in southern China eating a local banana that was the sweetest tasting banana I’ve ever tasted. I wonder if they were like the Gros Michel banana. Happy New Years David and peace and prosperity to you guys.

    1. The dried fruit can be a bit of a trick to find. Same goes for the macadamia nuts. But I was able to find them all here in town, and our town isn’t that big. Of course, granola recipes can easily be adapted for whatever ingredients you can find. You should make a batch of homemade granola again…for old times’ sake!

      Also, I suspect you might have stumbled across a Gros Michel. I never knew there were different varieties of bananas. Kinda cool! Thanks so much, Ron!

  4. So interesting about flavorings, David! And you’re right, banana-flavored things do not taste like bananas. I’ve also thought that “grape-flavored” anything (grape soda) tastes nothing like grapes. Does it? I think not. Or watermelon-flavoring. What’s the deal? Anyway, this tropical granola looks amazing and perfect for a New Year’s morning! Lovely!

    1. You make an excellent point about grape-flavored candy/soda, Laura! I wonder if there’s a similar explanation there. Maybe grape candy was based on a long-lost variety of grape? I might have to jump into another internet rabbit hole to see what I can learn there! Either way, this granola was a fun creation for sure. Thanks so much, my friend!

  5. Wow! That is a wild story about the bananas. I will have to ask my parents if they remember eating them as kids. I’d love to know what they taste like, but I don’t think I’m ready to shell out the money either. I totally need some of this tropical granola right about now, though. Too many holiday indulgences! That is after I got over my two-week bout of laryngitis! Ugh! But at least I was better for the holidays! Love the combination of flavors and especially the macadamias! YUM! Hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year! 🙂

    1. That’s a good point about asking our parents about bananas. I wonder if they remember the sweeter variety? I agree that I’d love to taste one, but $10/pound is a pretty steep price. If I was able to buy just one, then I might go for it…but I doubt anyone around here sells ’em. Sorry to hear about the laryngitis. Laura and I were both sick for the majority of the holiday break, but we still managed to have fun, too. Happy New Year to you and your family, my friend!

  6. Hold up a sec. Banana jello is a thing? I’m so glad I’ve never experienced it because I despise jello and anything artificially banana flavored. But I’m totally intrigued by the Gros Michel banana. I’ll go in for half of that pound of bananas! I wonder just how similar it is to banana flavoring; I’ve always found that flavor to be so cloying I can’t deal with it. But I’ll definitely deal with a big bowl of this granola. It sounds wonderful!

    1. So if you hate anything artificially banana flavored, then I’m thinking you’re gonna hate those Gros Michel bananas. But I’m down to try it out…you know, for science and research and stuff. 🙂 Thanks so much, Kelsie! I hope you had a great break, and Happy New Year to you and Cookie!!

  7. Tropical Granola sounds interesting and I am sure it must be tasty too. Loved the addition of dried banana in it. Generally, in India, we make banana chips out of raw banana for tea time snacks.
    BTW wish you a very Happy New Year David. 🙂

    1. Puja! Great to hear from you, my friend. I hope all is going well, and I hope you had a very Happy New Year! Interesting note about banana chips. They’re really taste snacks, and I loved including them in this fun granola. Thanks so much for stopping by! 🙂

  8. I was cracking up thinking about all of those ‘flavors’ don’t taste anything like the real thing! So many of them…pistachio and cherry come to mind too.

    I made a big batch of homemade granola for the holidays and my family gobbled it up. Now I’m inspired to try this tropical version!

    1. You know, you nailed it here, Marissa. It’s not just banana. So many candy flavors don’t actually taste like the flavor. At least now we know why banana is off…but I wonder about the others? Homemade granola tends to disappear quickly around here, too. This tropical version was a huge hit! 🙂

  9. I love tropical flavors and I bet it’s delicious in granola, which is a breakfast (and midnight snack) favorite in my house. Interesting about the banana flavor. You made me miss Now & Laters. Haven’t had one in a couple of decades! 🙂

    1. Hah…a couple of decades on those Now & Laters? Honestly, that’s probably ok. They really aren’t that good! They were better in my memory from childhood. 🙂

      Also, this granola is indeed tasty! The tropical flavors with the dried fruits was a fun twist on the normal granola we typically make.

  10. this is something next level. i usually have granola bars but never had this tropical one definitely going to try it out. i’m completely stunned by the recipe.

    1. Thank you so much, Mary! I love making homemade granola, and this tropical version was definitely one of my favorite versions. 🙂 I appreciate the comment, my friend!

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