Remember when granola was healthy? I don’t. As far as I remember, granola always had chocolate chips, marshmallows or even better: granola bars that were dipped in chocolate or caramel and decorated with some kind of frosting. As a kid, I LOVED putting granola in yogurt or anything else because it was loaded junk — it was like eating dessert while being “healthy”. Or at least that’s how I’d try to trick my mom into buying me some. These days, I’m trying to keep things healthy and stay away from the sweets. I’m temporarily saying no to the chocolate chips. I went on a search for healthy granola but wasn’t able to find anything I liked, and that’s when I decided to create my own blend: Tropical Protein Granola.
First off, a lot of the granola I found at the supermarket was expensive and loaded with additives I’m not fond of. So I’m not keen on paying money for something that’s not nutritious or that’s going to leave me feeling hungry. I found a basic recipe for granola and then worked in my own ingredients, so I’m sure to like the flavors and get a good dose of protein at the same time. I love tropical fruits, so I used a mix of dried mangoes, pineapple, raisins and coconut flakes as well as coconut flavoring. And to make sure I was getting in a dose of the “good stuff” I made sure to include some protein powder, chia seeds, flax seeds, wheat germ and sunflower seeds. I’ve discovered that wheat germ is a good source of fibre, protein and nutrients such as potassium and zinc. Much like chia seeds, wheat germ doesn’t have much of a detectable flavor.
So go ahead and add a scoop of granola to plain Greek yogurt, or enjoy as a cereal with some milk. You choose, you can’t go wrong!
- 1 3/4 cups rolled oats
- 1/3 cup wheat germ
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup coconut flakes, unsweetened
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1 tablespoon flax seed, ground
- 1 tablespoon chia seed, ground
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, liquid
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon agave syrup
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons protein powder
- 1/4 cup dried pineapple, diced
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup dried mangoes, diced
- Preheat oven to 300F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Combine dry ingredients (rolled oats, wheat germ, sliced almonds, pecans, walnuts, coconut flakes, sunflower seeds, flax seed and chia seed) in a large bowl and mix using a spatula.
- In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients (coconut oil, brown sugar, agave syrup, honey, coconut extract, salt and protein powder). Stir together until combined and then pour into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Mix until well combined.
- Spread the granola mixture evenly onto the baking sheet and and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until crispy and toasted. Stir the mixture once, halfway through.
- Allow the granola to cool completely and then add in the dried pineapple, raisins, dried cranberries and dried mangoes.
- Store the granola in an airtight container until ready to be used.
(Adapted from: AllRecipes)
Recipe notes: Be sure to look for dried fruit that has no added sugar or less sugar added. If you want to go lower sugar, you could omit the dried fruit or reduce some of the sugar or honey in the recipe.