Sunday, November 13, 2011

Tropical Granola

Here's the latest experiment in granola making.  Y'all are probably going to laugh at me, but it tastes pretty good! 

Do you ever buy those bags of trail mix that have dried fruit and nuts all jumbled together?  Well, I don't like peanuts.  (I like peanut butter, but don't like peanuts which makes NO sense.)  This dislike for peanuts is how I found Tropical Trail Mix.  It is one of the few that doesn't have peanuts.  Tropical Trail Mix has papaya, pineapple, banana chips, almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts, that's all I remember, but you get the idea.  One day while I was munching Tropical Trail Mix, it occurred to me, I had never noticed granola made with tropical fruits.  So I just went trucking over to the grocery store and looked specifically for items I would like in a tropical granola.  I found a bag called Organic Nature's Trail Mix that had pepitas, sunflower seeds, cranberries and dates.  I got that and grabbed a lemon.  Here's the recipe. 

3 1/2 Cups Oatmeal
2 Cups Tropical Trail Mix  (Pineapple, papaya, golden raisins, mixed nuts)
1 Cup OrganicTrail Mix   (Pepitas, sunflower seeds, soy nuts, cranberries, dates)
1 Cup Almonds
2 Cups Coconut

Dump these items into a large bowl.  Don't they look pretty together?  
1/2 Cup Agave Nectar (or Honey)
1/2 Cup Butter
1 Small Can Sweetened, Condensed Milk
Zest and Juice of 1 Lemon

Place agave nectar, butter and condensed milk in microwaveable bowl. 
Microwave just until everything is softened.  This took a couple of minutes in my microwave.  There's a lot of sticky in this bowl!  Stir until combined.
Now it's time for the lemon.  (Pause for commercial break.  If you like citrus zest, but don't have a Microplane zester, stop what you are doing and go get one.  I found this one in that Kitchen Store in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.  'Kind of pricey, but worth every nickel.  Now, back to our regularly scheduled recipe.) 

Grate lemon zest and juice lemon into other wet ingredients.  Stir to combine, and pour over dry ingredients.  You want to evenly coat the dry ingredients and make sure the fruit and nuts are evenly distributed throughout the oatmeal.  Press into a 9 x 13 baking dish.
Next, bake at 250 for about an hour.  Ovens vary.  The Tropical Granola is done when it is golden brown.
By adding the condensed milk, Tropical Granola is soft and chewy, almost like a cookie.  It was nice to make a granola without cinnamon.  'Different twist for us.  We like granola bars.  If you wanted it to be crispy and crumbly, spread evenly on a large cookie sheet. 

This is one of the dishes I took to Craft Day in November.  Tropical Granola was a big hit with the artsy crowd!  Thank you for sharing my joy!    


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