Recipe: Coconut-Chai Granola with Cashews and Tropical Fruit

 

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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

WHISK TOGETHER:

  • 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)

STIR IN:

  • 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)

HOW TO:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Add the old-fashioned oats, coconut, cashews, sunflower seeds and pumpkins seeds and stir until completely coated.
  4. Spread the mixture evenly in a thin layer over the baking sheets.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Cool completely in the bowl, stirring occasionally. Store in an airtight container.
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