Kevin and I went to the BEACH last weekend! When I go on roadtrips, I have a little routine. First, I make a killer playlist… last weekend’s playlist lincluded Kenny Chesney “Summertime,” Girl Talk’s entire album “All Day”, and Fergie “Glamourous” (Kevin’s pick… I wish I was joking.)
Next, I make sure to ration my water consumption the night before since I’m “not allowed” to take any bathroom breaks in the car.
Finally, and most importantly, I make a killer snack for the ride. Preferably something I can continuously munch on and not get sick of. Something with a ton of texture, crunch, flavors, and chunks. Last weekend’s beach roadtrip was the perfect excuse to make one seriously loaded homemade granola, bursting with different flavors and munch-ability.
I went with the whole beach theme and made my snack-of-choice taste like the tropics.
I could go on and on and on about how much I love granola. How easy it is to make, how CHEAP it is to make, how much healthier it is than the sugar-laden storebought kind, and how adaptable it is. Homemade granola is my go-to snack. I love to mix + match different add-ins depending on how badly I need to clean out my pantry. If you have random odds and ends of nuts, chocolate chips, dried fruit, etc then homemade granola is the perfect solution.
I know I’ve said this before about my Peanut Butter + Jelly Granola, but today’s granola is absolutely, 100% handsdown my FAVORITE granola to-date. While my beloved PB&J is up there, today’s homemade granola is unworldy delicious. Every bite is different because I added SO many nuts + dried fruits to the oat base. There are way more dried fruits, coconut, and nuts than oats which is what I prefer. I love chunks.
Take an extra 10 minutes to toast the coconut in this recipe. TRUST ME. It takes this granola to the next level and really adds a caramelized nutty flavor that raw coconut cannot offer. I toasted most o the coconut I used in this recipe, and then threw in a handful of raw coconut in the end ecause I still do love raw coconuts’ soft, chewy texture.
The flavors of coconut, banana, + dried mango are infused in each bite. This granola is also vegan, using maple syrup to sweeten the oats rather than honey. I already have plans to make it again in two weeks when Kevin and I go to the lake! Let’s hope that car ride’s playlist is a little more current than Fergalicious. Ya hear me, Kevin??
*Be sure to read through the whole recipe before making. I add in the honey roasted peanuts and coconut when the granola is finished. Adding the honey roasted peanuts in with the wet ingredients BEFORE baking would strip all of the honey/sugar from the peanuts. I also add the dried fruit in the middle of the granola baking time, to assure that it won’t burn but that it can still absorb the other flavors while cooking. Always read a full recipe before you start!
|Toasted Coconut Tropical Granola (vegan)||
- 3/4 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 small bananas or 1/5 large)
- 2.5 Tbsp melted coconut oil
- 1/4 cup maple syrup (I used sugar free)
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 3/4 cup cashews
- 3/4 cup pecans
- 1 cup banana chips
- 3/4 cup honey-roasted peanuts
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup dried mango pieces (or papaya)
- 1 cup dried pineapple chunks
- 1 cup toasted shredded coconut (I suggest using sweetened coconut)
- handful of shredded coconut, not toasted (optional)
- First, toast the coconut. Spread shredded coconut in a thin layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 300F for about 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes to make sure that the coconut browns evenly. Watch carefully, coconut can burn easily. Set toasted coconut aside.
- Combine oats, dried banana chips, and all nuts (except for honey roasted peanuts) in a large bowl and set aside.
- Mix together mashed banana, coconut oil, maple syrup, and salt. Pour wet mixture into the oat mixture and stir until all of the oats and nuts are moistened.
- Spread onto large baking sheet in a thin layer. Bake at 300F for 20 minutes, stirring at the 10 minute mark. Remove from oven and mix in the dried fruit (or half of the dried fruit if baking in 2 batches). Place back in the oven for 20 more minutes, stirring at the 10 minute mark.
- Remove cooked granola from oven and mix in the toasted coconut and honey roasted peanuts. Throw in a handful of UN-toasted coconut if desired. It enhanced the coconut flavor and provided more texture, so I added some.
- Allow granola to cool completely and enjoy!
*Granola does not have to be refrigerated. Keep in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.
*Feel free to use whichever nuts or dried fruits you prefer.
ps: here are some related recipes I think you’d enjoy, all of which I am craving this second!
Maple Almond Granola Clusters (vegan)