This Tropical Quinoa Granola is packed with quinoa, tropical dried fruit, and loads of coconut! Perfect for sprinkling over yogurt, serving with milk, or snacking on its own.
Before we begin…history lesson! Because what better way to get you really excited about granola than with some riveting granola history.
The history of granola
Dr. James Caleb Jackson (1811-1895) of upstate New York was a health hipster of his time. A vegetarian, believer in unprocessed grains, and the owner of a water therapy spa, he was wholesome and nutritious before it was cool. So obviously the typical American breakfast of that time (eggs, sausage, bacon, the works) just didn’t fly with him. So he invented the first dry/cold breakfast cereal…granula. Granula was a heavy cereal made from graham flour, and everyone at his spa loved it.
But then Dr. John Kellog (1852-1943) of Battle Creek, Michigan caught wind of this granula stuff and thought “hmm, yep I’m going to make that, but with oats instead of graham flour, and I shall call it….granula!” Yea he didn’t even change the name. Which of course led to a big lawsuit which resulted in Kellog changing the name to “Granola”.
Kellog’s company took off as they created (and in a few cases copied) other breakfast cereals, and sadly, granola took the backburner for a while. That is until the age of the hippies. In the 1960s, granola had a comeback amongst the health nuts. They added dried fruits, it steadily moved from the health nut circles to the general population. And boom, granola, all day everyday everywhere.
What’s the difference between granola and muesil?
Oh and quick side note, I discovered muesli during my first time in Europe. It’s like granola’s cousin…kind of the same, but not really.
- Granola: baked rolled oats, originated in New York
- Muesli: unbaked rolled oats, higher protein content, less sugar, originated in Switzerland around the same time as granola with the intention of providing high calorie nutrition to hospitalized patients
So this was a pretty exciting kitchen escapade. One: because yea, it’s damn delicious. And two: because while I usually would have gone and paid an arm and a leg for store-bought granola, I realized that I could just make it instead. And obviously any recipe that is both delicious AND saves me money is an exciting recipe in my book.
Okay I’ve got to add one more exciting thing. Three: it’s tropical!
Ingredients for Tropical Quinoa Granola
The flavor-makers: I nixed the butter that is common in a lot of granola recipes, exchanging it with coconut oil. And I thought “hmm, why limit this to raisins or cranberries? Let’s keep the tropical train a’rollin!” So I threw in some chopped dried pineapple, mango, and papaya. Oh and shredded coconut. Hold it all together with maple syrup (or honey)!
- In a large bowl, mix quinoa, oats, chia seeds, macadamia nuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, shredded coconut, and dried fruit.
- Add coconut oil and maple syrup, mixing until even.
- Spread mixture out onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake at 250 degrees F for 60 minutes.
- Allow granola to cool on pan, then break into pieces.