Tropical Granola

by Marla on January 9, 2012 · 76 comments

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Homemade granola recipe with coconut, oats, papaya and bananas.

Do you remember the mason jars I filled with homemade granola for the holidays? I am so excited to finally share the recipe with you! We have been enjoying this healthy, sweet & crunchy mix for breakfast and snacks. This is a simple and tasty way to treat yourself to all natural whole foods. It will satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth with pure & healthy ingredients.

Let’s make some granola!

Little kids on a dock in the Cayman Islands

Over the holidays I was in Grand Cayman. Have you ever been there? It is very beautiful. Above is my daughter with her sweet cousins on a dock.

The weather and views are spectacular there. They make you want to dance…

Little girl dancing on a dock in the Cayman Islands

My son loved looking at the boats that lined the docks…

Grand Cayman Islands boat dock near Calypso Grill restaurant

OK, time to get back to granola, thanks for letting me divert. I tend to do that sometimes.

Even though you might not be in the Caymans you can still enjoy a taste of the tropics. This granola can help brighten up a dreary winters day. The flavors of coconut, papaya and banana infuse each and every bite. Not to mention some crunch macadamia nuts add to the fun.

Homemade granola recipe with oats, coconut, papaya, macadamia nuts and bananas.

It granola is so pretty all dressed up for the holidays. Do keep it in mind for gift giving any time of the year. I got all crafty this year and made holiday gift tags. You can download those any time you need them.

This recipe is the perfect gluten free breakfast and we love packing it in our lunch boxes too! The perfect snack for Project Lunch Box.

Homemade granola recipe with coconut, oats, papaya and bananas.

Perhaps it is because I knew I had an upcoming trip to Grand Cayman that inspired me to go with a tropical twist on with this recipe. Or maybe it was because I found these gorgeous dried papaya pieces at my favorite natural foods store Mother’s Market.

Homemade granola recipe with coconut, oats, papaya and bananas.

Enjoy this any time of day with dairy free or regular milk. Don’t forget that steamy cup of coffee to round it all off. Never forget the coffee.

This granola is also wonderful served with thick Greek yogurt in parfaits ~or~ as a decadent little dessert with frozen yogurt or ice cream.

Homemade granola recipe with coconut, oats, papaya and bananas. What is your favorite kind of granola? Do you make it yourself?

Tropical Granola

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

Tropical Granola


  • 1 1/2 - 2 very ripe Bananas, mashed (should yield 6 ounces or 3/4 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons melted unrefined Coconut Oil
  • 1/4 cup pure grade B Maple Syrup
  • pinch of fine Sea Salt
  • pinch of ground Nutmeg
  • 4 cups Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
  • 1/3 cup raw, unsalted Sunflower Seeds
  • 1/3 cup Raisins
  • 1/3 cup Macadamia Nuts, chopped
  • 1/3 cup dried Banana Chips, crushed
  • 1/2 cup dried Papaya pieces
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened, toasted Coconut flakes


  • Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees F, with the rack on the middle shelf. Prepare a rimmed baking sheet with parchment or a silicone liner. Combine oats and sunflower seeds. Combine banana, coconut oil, maple syrup, salt and nutmeg. Combine dry and wet ingredients well. Spread the mixture out on the baking sheet in a thin, single layer. Bake about 40-45 minutes tossing every 10 minutes with a long pair of tongs. Watch carefully at the end of cooking time that your granola does not burn. Let the granola cool and add in raisins, nuts, banana chips, papaya and coconut.
  • Serve with thick Greek yogurt, dairy free or dairy milk. Great with frozen yogurt or ice cream too!
  • Notes
  • Do not use quick cooking oats for this recipe.
  • Look for dried fruits with no refined sugar added.
  • When it comes to pure maple syrup I love the richer color and flavor of grade B. It has a dark amber color and is infused with more maple flavor due to the fact that it is produced later in the season than the grade A. For a great post on the A, B, C's of it all check out this post by Healthy, Happy, Life.
  • Toasting coconut before you use it makes it so much tastier in the same way nuts get more flavorful when you roast them. To toast shredded or flaked coconut: simply place it on a rimmed sheet pan and heat in a 350 degree oven for 5-10 minutes. Stir once or twice during cook time. Watch so it does not burn. If you are toasting sweetened coconut then check it and stir more frequently because the added sugar causes irregular browning.
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