This hunky, not-too-sweet granola with loads of tropical fruit and nuts has all of the creamy-rich flavor and sharp, warm spice of a good cup of chai tea.
Coconut and coconut oil deliver a luxurious fragrance and mouth feel, and after a number of false starts with actual chai tea and home-made chai spice mix, the ingredients in a random off-the-shelf bottle of Frontier Co-op “Garam Masala Seasoning” turned out to be perfect.
At various points the recipe included banana chips and toasted sesame seeds to move the flavors further into South Asia – but the granola got so full of stuff that it started to resemble trail mix. Add them if you like, but a mix of tropical fruits is plenty. Check out the bulk food bins at your local supermarket (I found a great mix with diced pineapple, mango, guava, papaya, coconut and dates), or purchase individual fruits and dice them yourself.
Coconut-Chai Granola with Cashews and Tropical Fruit
Makes about 12 cups
- 1 egg white
- 1/3-cup/75 grams/2-2/3 ounces virgin unrefined coconut oil, melted
- ¼-cup/5 grams/1.75 ounces firmly packed brown sugar
- ¼-cup maple syrup
- 2-tablespoons chai spice – this recipe used Frontier Co-Op “Garam Masala Seasoning”
- 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (or 1-teaspoon table salt)
- 4-cups/320 grams/11-1/4 ounces old-fashioned oats (the cooks-in-5-minutes kind)
- 2-cups/160 grams/5-2/3 ounces unsweetened flaked coconut
- 1-cup/150-grams/5-1/3 ounces coarsely chopped raw unsalted cashews
- 1/3-cup/43-grams/1-1/2 ounces raw unsalted pumpkin seeds
- 1/3-cup/43-grams/1-1/2-ounces raw unsalted sunflower seeds
AFTER THE GRANOLA COMES OUT OF THE OVEN…
- 1-1/3-cups diced, mixed tropical fruit (you may find this, ready-to-roll, in the bulk food section of your supermarket)
- 1/3-cup small-dice candied orange peel
- 1-3 teaspoons vanilla (depending on how vanilla-y you like your chai)
- Optional: Banana Chips (these are kind of big for granola, you may want to break them in half), ¼-cup Toasted White Sesame Seeds (you’ll need to toast them on the stovetop before you add them – they won’t toast properly in the oven with the granola)
- Heat oven to 300° Line 2 10 x 15-inch rimmed baking sheets (or 1 16-x-22-inch half-sheet pan) with baking parchment. Set aside.
- Beat the egg white to a froth in a very large bowl. Add the brown sugar, maple syrup, melted coconut oil, chai spice and salt; whisk thoroughly.
- Add the old-fashioned oats, coconut, cashews, sunflower seeds and pumpkins seeds and stir until completely coated.
- Spread the mixture evenly in a thin layer over the baking sheets.
- Bake in the center of a pre-heated 300°F oven for 30 minutes, removing the granola from the oven every 10 minutes to stir so that the mixture toasts evenly.
- Remove the granola from the oven, returning it to the large mixing bowl, and stir in the chopped mixed fruit, vanilla and diced orange peel.
- Cool completely in the bowl, stirring occasionally. Store in an airtight container.