Tropical Granola {plus 5 reasons why you should make your own granola}

To kick off a week of granola recipes, I’m sharing 5 reasons why you should make your own granola, plus a recipe for Tropical Granola. Full of coconut, pineapple, and almonds, this granola will bring a taste of the tropics to your kitchen table!

This Tropical Granola is lightly sweetened with toasted coconut, almonds, and pineapple. | Kristine's Kitchen

Hi there and Happy Memorial Day! I hope you have the day off and have some outdoor fun planned! I’m heading to our neighborhood park with the kids, and then this afternoon we’ll be grilling out in the backyard at my parents’ house. It’s supposed to be about 90 here today, so we’ll head indoors for the hottest part of the day. What have you been up to over this long weekend?

I am super excited about today’s post because it kicks off a week of homemade granola recipes. Yes, that’s right, here at Kristine’s Kitchen it’s Granola Week! I have five (five!) new and delicious granola recipes to share with you, one each day this week!  So be sure to check back every day this week for a new, yummy granola recipe!  I’m super excited about this week’s recipes and I hope you are too!

This Tropical Granola is lightly sweetened with toasted coconut, almonds, and pineapple. | Kristine's Kitchen

Homemade granola is one of my very favorite breakfasts. I make a big batch almost every week, because when we run out of granola it’s a very sad morning. I was stuck in a granola rut, making my same favorite granola recipe week after week. It’s delicious, but I needed some variety. So, you know, I did what any normal person would do and created five new granola recipes. One day I started jotting down ideas for new twists on homemade granola and before I knew it I had at least five ideas. Which led us here, to a week full of granola recipes. 🙂

5 reasons why you should make your own granola, plus yummy recipes! | Kristine's Kitchen

Why should you make your own granola?

  1. It’s a real, unprocessed food: As I learn more about healthy eating, I’m working towards eliminating processed foods from my family’s diet. My grocery lists these days consist of fresh fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy, ingredients for baking, and lean protein. I do buy the occasional box of crackers, and I don’t usually have time to make all of our bread from scratch.  Breakfast cereal is one area where I’m still working. I’d love to stop buying boxes of cereal, except for the occasional box of Cheerios. By making a big batch of granola each week, I’m making great progress towards my goal. Every ingredient in my homemade granola is a real, recognizable food.
  2. It’s a healthy food: Old-fashioned oats are a heart-healthy way to start your day. I love a hot bowl of oatmeal, but it does get tiresome after a while, especially in the summer months. With homemade granola, I can control the amount of sugar in my breakfast. You will find that my granola recipes are lightly sweetened but still have plenty of flavor.  It’s easy to add other good-for-you ingredients, like flaxseed, to homemade granola as well.

  3. It’s customizable: The possibilities for homemade granola are endless. This week I will share some of my favorite recipes, but you can easily invent your own or even modify mine. If a recipe calls for olive oil, for example, you can substitute coconut or canola oil. Don’t have pure maple syrup? Use honey instead. Don’t care for coconut? Leave it out, or add another mix-in in its place.
  4. It’s quick and easy to make: All of my granola recipes can be mixed up in 20 minutes or less. I often will make a double batch because it doesn’t take any more effort and doesn’t disappear quite so fast! One big tip I can give you is to use your kitchen scale to measure the ingredients by weight. It’s faster, and you won’t dirty so many measuring cups. I place a big bowl on my scale and add the ingredients one at a time, zeroing the scale before each new ingredient.
  5. You will look forward to breakfast!: This is the reason that will keep you making batch after batch of granola. I have been known to mix up a quick batch in the late evening, just because I really, really wanted to wake up to homemade granola in the morning. It just makes mornings better. 🙂  Homemade granola tastes so much better than any granola you can buy at the store.

This Tropical Granola is lightly sweetened with toasted coconut, almonds, and pineapple. | Kristine's Kitchen

Now, on to today’s recipe! This tropical granola is full of all sorts of yummy things. I mixed in coconut, slivered almonds, and dried pineapple. I added some puffed brown rice cereal to keep the granola light, and coconut oil to help the oats become crisp.

This Tropical Granola is lightly sweetened with toasted coconut, almonds, and pineapple. | Kristine's Kitchen

For years, I’ve believed that I didn’t like coconut. I liked the flavor of coconut, but it was the texture that I couldn’t stand. I knew coconut was pretty essential to a tropical granola, though, so I added some coconut flakes anyways. Guess what? It seems I do like coconut flakes, but only when they are toasted. Since making this tropical granola I’ve been experimenting with toasted coconut flakes in all sorts of recipes. I’m still not a fan of the texture of shredded coconut, but can’t get enough of the flaked kind!

This granola will bring a little taste of the tropics into your morning! My favorite way to enjoy it is with a splash of milk and topped with some fresh mango.

This Tropical Granola is lightly sweetened with toasted coconut, almonds, and pineapple. | Kristine's Kitchen

Tropical Granola
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: Makes about 7½ cups
Full of coconut, pineapple, and almonds, this tropical granola will bring a taste of the tropics to your kitchen table!
  • 4 cups (340g) old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup (30g) puffed brown rice cereal
  • 1 cup (40g) dried coconut flakes
  • ½ cup (65g) slivered almonds
  • ¼ cup (20g) wheat germ
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. Kosher salt
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted*
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup (100g) chopped dried pineapple
  • chopped fresh mango, for serving (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together oats, brown rice cereal, coconut, almonds, wheat germ, cinnamon, and salt.
  3. In a liquid measuring cup or bowl, whisk together coconut oil, honey, and vanilla. Pour over oat mixture and stir until well combined.
  4. Spread granola in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake, stirring every 10 minutes, until granola is lightly golden, about 30 minutes total.
  5. Let granola cool completely before stirring in dried pineapple. Serve with chopped fresh mango, if desired. Granola will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 weeks, but I'm betting it won't last that long!
*Note: I used virgin coconut oil in this granola, because it adds even more coconut flavor. You could also use refined coconut oil, but your granola won't have as much coconut flavor throughout.

Source: Kristine's Kitchen.

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  1. I feel like you posted this for MEEEE!! (Even though I know you didn’t).

    I’m super excited to try this and all your other granola recipes! I’m sure Hubs and I will be elated to be able to eat granola for breakfast without the side of guilt that comes from eating purchased granola (even the “healthy” stuff you get at Whole Foods is calorie laden). Do you think I can use coconut palm sugar or does the honey help hold it together? Pinned!!!!!

    • Hehe!!! When I saw your muesli post on Friday I thought, just wait Lindsey! I knew you would be excited about the granola recipes I have to share this week! 🙂

      I think it’s best to use some sort of liquid sweetener, whether it be honey, pure maple syrup, or even agave (I’ve never tried agave in my granola though). You want the oats to be coated in the liquid sweetener/coconut oil mixture to help them crisp up. It also helps the granola to hold together some, although you won’t find big clusters in this granola. It still tastes amazing, even without the clusters. (And if you must have big clusters, you can whisk an egg white until frothy, and stir that into the granola before baking, as described in my Big Cluster Maple Granola recipe.) 🙂

  2. Oh, I love granola and this version looks wonderful – what an awesome combination of flavors!

  3. It’s a great idea! One granola’s week! I love granola at breakfast like you. Thank you for sharing, I’ll try to make it!
    I don’t know if I can found the coconut oïl, if I can’t found it, which oïl you recomended?

    • You are so sweet, Eva! If you can’t find coconut oil, I would use olive oil instead. You can use the two oils interchangeably in all of my granola recipes.

  4. This looks so refreshing and summery, Kristine! Can’t wait to see more granola recipes from you!

  5. This really struck a chord with me. I have been feeling guilty about all the sugar cereal that my kids eat! I really need to work on cutting down the sugar in our household. We eat fresh food most of the time, but for some reason breakfast gets left behind because it’s such a busy time. I am 100% going to try to make this for the kids {and myself}. We need a healthier alternative like this. Thanks Kristine 🙂

    • Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, Katie! I totally get the breakfast rush! Occasionally I’ll have time to scramble some eggs for breakfast, but most days we need something much faster than that. My kids love granola, and it’s nice because you can make it ahead when you do have the time. I recommend making a double batch because it goes fast! Another easy breakfast option is to make a big batch of waffles or pancakes on the weekend, freeze the extras, and warm those up in the toaster on weekday mornings. Happy breakfasting!

  6. I’m SO excited about this series! I love granola, its one of my all time favorites. I eat it every morning and sometimes for snack. But even so, I sometimes need a kick in the pants to make it at home and this tropical version is unlike any I’ve seen in stores. Looks delicious! Pinned!

  7. This looks really yummy! I love the addition of pineapple. You should consider doing a “smoothie week” sometime- I would love some new smoothie recipe variations! 🙂

    • Thanks, Karen! Smoothie Week is a great idea! I love smoothies too, and I’m always trying new combinations but need to write them down!

  8. I love a good granola recipe for breakfast! Thanks for such an awesome recipe!

  9. Kristine, I love granola and your reasons to make it at home are spot on! I love your idea about doing a whole week of granola! The options are truly endless… 🙂 which is great because we eat a ton of granola.

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