(Note: this post was originally published on July 21, 2019. The date above reflects migration to the new platform.)
Granola Goes Tropical
Your granola routine wants to go on vacation. Specifically, it wants to go on vacation to a small Hawaiian island where it can have a romance with some very special Hawaiian nuts.
Here, granola goes island-style with sweet, toasty coconut and crunchy, buttery macadamia nuts. Yum! This flavor combination is a refreshing twist on one of my favorite foods, taking granola from basic to awesomely unique.
I'm pretty sure I'm a granola addict. I have it at least several days a week for lunch, usually alongside an iced coffee. It's my special, mid-day indulgence that's a bit sweet, loaded with complex carbs and healthy fats, and so incredibly satisfying. I eat a 5:30AM spinach smoothie, then put in a few hours at the gym, so by 10:30 or 11:00 I'm ready for some major fuel. Whether you choose to have granola as breakfast, a snack, lunch, and/or dessert, it's serious power food.
This Coconut MacNut granola is my new favorite for a few reasons. First, it's loaded with delicious Hawaiian-inspired flavors and is really to die for in the taste department. Second, it's majorly crunchy. And finally, it's naturally sweetened (with just maple syrup) and I've replaced most of the oil with applesauce. Win, win, win.
The true powerhouse ingredient here is the macadamia nuts, and I'm thrilled to be collaborating with Mauna Loa to make some fun, delicious, and nutritious MacNut creations. They're by far my favorite nut, which is really saying something because I pretty much live for nuts. MacNuts are jam-packed with protein and healthy fats, so they're awesome fuel for an active body. Plus of course they're majorly delicious.
To make this granola, I use Mauna Loa's Honey Roasted Macadamias, which are honestly one of my most cherished snacks. They're sweet and the tiniest bit salty, have a lovely nutty taste, and give the perfect amount of crunch. If you're completely vegan and don't do honey, their Hawaiian Sea Salt Macadamias would work great too. Or if you really dig the sweet/salty combination, use a 50/50 mixture of Honey Roasted and Hawaiian Sea Salt.
Let's Talk Ingredients
Here's what you'll need for this recipe, as well as some thoughts, tips, and possible substitutions. If you make any substitutions, I'd love to hear about it in the comments section below.
Maple syrup. I think honey would work fine here too, but it has a more assertive flavor and is sweeter. If you use honey, I'd decrease the amount a little bit.
Applesauce. Choose one that's just apples, with no added sweeteners or flavors.
Macadamia liqueur. If you don't have this, vanilla is a fine substitute. But any self-respecting creator of tiki cocktails should invest in this, it's a wonderful addition to a Mai Tai. We always have Trader Vic's Macadamia Nut Liquor at home.
Old fashioned oats
Cardamom. Not critical if you don't have it, but it adds more tropical flair and some interesting depth to this granola.
Toasted coconut. It's critical to toast the coconut separately, then add it to the granola at the end. A few minutes on a sheet pan under the broiler is sufficient; keep a close eye on it and stir it frequently, it toasts very fast. Or you can buy pre-toasted coconut, which many health food stores have in bulk. Get the big pieces rather than the fine shavings so your granola doesn't make (too much of) a mess when you shove enormous handfuls into your mouth.
Macadamia nuts. As shown above, Mauna Loa Honey Roasted Macadamias are perfect here, but you can use their Unsalted or Hawaiian Sea Salt Macadamias for a vegan version.
I've really enjoyed having this granola alongside the fruits Dave and I always get at the farmers' markets on Kaua'i: papaya and mango! A papaya stuffed with coconut yogurt and topped with this Coconut MacNut Granola is my personal heaven. Sweet, juicy, nutty, crunchy, creamy goodness!
If you've never made granola at home, now is the time to start! It's really quite easy, and most of the time is hands-off. The only real challenge is trying not to eat all the MacNuts while the oats are in the oven. A big sheet tray of this granola will keep you going with high-protein, satisfying, crunchy fuel all week.
It makes me so happy to hear from you and see your creations! Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think about this recipe. If you post a photo on Instagram, hashtag #TheRogueBrusselSprout and tag me (@TheRogueBrusselSprout) in the post text so that I'm sure to see it.
Disclosure: Mauna Loa is a long-term partner and I receive free product. However, all opinions and thoughts are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep The Rogue Brussel Sprout running.
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Melt the maple syrup, coconut oil, and applesauce over low heat, then remove from the stove and cool until luke warm. This also works fine in the microwave.
Stir in the MacNut liquor (or vanilla).
In a mixing bowl, combine the oats, cardamon, and salt. Pour the wet mixture over the top and mix well to combine.
Spread the mixture across a very large sheet tray; the more contact the oats have with the sheet tray, the more effectively they’ll brown. If needed, divide it between two sheet trays.
Bake at 350 for about ~35-40 minutes until the oats are evenly and lightly browned. Stir after 10 and 20 minutes to make sure all of the mixture gets contact with the sheet tray. Don’t stir toward the end of the baking time or after you take the granola out; leaving it undisturbed will help it to form some larger clumps.
Cool completely by setting the sheet tray on a wire rack.
Stir in the toasted coconut and MacNuts only after the granola has cooled.
Store your granola in a sealed container to keep it crunchy!