Monday, January 23, 2012

Tropical Granola

Today I've got a little mid-winter pick-me-up to share with you. Now's about the time of year that winter starts getting old. The dreary, cloudy days. The enormous piles of snow everywhere. The days that get dark by 5pm. Although this winter has been pretty mild actually (it's snowed like twice here in Utah), I still find myself longing for the warm spring days when I can take my kids out again on walks and to the park to play with their friends.

Making food that's light and refreshing always makes me feel better, just like this granola. Granola is so versatile, I love it! Occasionally I'll make the same granola more than once, if it's super good, like this cherry almond granola or this pepita granola (perfect for fall!!). However, there's just so many flavor combinations to try out, I make it different often.

Since dried fruit is available year round, you can make this granola any time! I have found dried fruit at my grocery store both in the produce section and on the aisle next to the canned fruit and raisins. Normally, I try to purchase my dried fruit at grocers that have a bulk section. That way I can get the amount that I need and it's usually more fresh.

Tropical Granola
3 cups oats
2 cups crisp rice cereal
1 cup cashews (preferable unsalted)
1 1/2 cups coconut flakes
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 - 1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
2 cups dried pineapple, mango and papaya, small-diced
2 Tbsp. crystallized ginger, finely diced

In a large bowl, mix together oats, cereal, nuts and coconut flakes. In a microwave safe bowl, melt the coconut oil and honey; stir in the applesauce and spices until well-combined. Pour over the oat mixture and stir until completely coated. Spread granola out over 2 large, rimmed cookie sheets and bake at 325 degrees F about 15-20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.

When done cooking, remove granola from oven and let cool. Add dried fruit and ginger. Store in either an airtight container or a heavy-duty zip-top bag in the fridge or freezer to maximize freshness.

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