Simply Healthy Family: Tropical Fruit, Nut and Seed Granola Treats... Not for the Birds!


Tropical Fruit, Nut and Seed Granola Treats... Not for the Birds!

I've been on a mission to feed my family way less flour, sugar and processed foods and eat  more whole grains, nuts and seeds. It's almost impossible to find all natural goodies at the market and when you do, ouch, it costs a small fortune. Why is it that most healthy foods are so much more expensive? It's no wonder so many people grab pre-made, pre-packaged, over processed junk. Well I'll let you in on a little secret I've discovered..... being healthy is in fact NOT more expensive but it does require a bit of effort, just a bit! In fact, if you do the math, it's cheaper to make your own goodies, after school snacks etc from scratch. Just keep your pantry stocked with whole grains (not whole wheat), a variety of nuts and seeds and a bit of dried fruit for adding natural sweetness.

So these chewy, tropical whole grain "cookies" are a perfect snack, morning or afternoon. Great to pack in your kids lunches or take with you for an mid-hike energy boost. By using orange juice,dried fruit and coconut, you don't have to add processed sugar. Of course fruit contains fructose, which is a natural sugar that is good for you in moderation. If you want these a bit sweeter you can add a little Agave nectar.

You Will Need:

1 1/2 cups 5 grain cereal or whole grain oats

1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon allspice

2 tablespoons  orange juice

1/2 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut

2 tablespoons toasted flax seeds

1/4 cup unsalted pistachio nuts,  chopped

1/4 cup walnuts, chopped

1/4 cup each; dried date pieces and dried apricot, chopped

3 ripe bananas

1/4 cup coconut or canola oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

TIME   30 MINUTES     YIELDS  15-20 squares

Putting it all together:

Preheat oven to 300F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

In the bowl of a stand  mixer, combine oil, bananas, juice and vanilla extract. Beat on medium-high spread till mashed. Add flax seeds, salt, spices and oats, mix till combined. Add nuts and fruit, mix till combined.

Spread the batter evenly onto the baking sheet, about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch high. Sprinkle coconut on top, press down gently .

Bake for about 15 minutes or until edges are golden brown.  Place baking sheet on cooling rack. Let cool slightly, cut into bars or fun shapes with cookie cutters. Store in airtight container and keep in the fridge.


  1. Loved the "for the birds" comment. These looks wonderful. Great fun shapes!

  2. These look great and are so healthy! I'll definitely try these--thanks!

  3. I am always looking for good granola-y treats. I tried to make my version of "power bars" the other day...not too bad. I was trying to keep the sugar really low too. It's not easy finding the perfect balance.

    I like that you used the autumnal spices...yum! I've craving those flavors so bad. Great tips, Gwen!

  4. Healthy and adorable! This is what makes me smile. I love the tropical twist on these granola bars too...a wonderful way to spice up what can become the usual repertoire of honey sweetened granola snacks. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I much prefer this to chocolate, and I don't have to feel guilty at all. Fabulous combination..nuts and coconut yum!

  6. I love granola like treats. Did you kids like these? Are they too hard to feed a baby with 7 teeth or is it pretty chewey when it's warmed up? Just wondering.

  7. Damaris, my 14 month old loves them, she has 8 front teeth. They actually stay soft chewy.

  8. Anonymous1/27/2011

    Where do you find unsalted pistachios?

  9. Fry's marketplace in the bins in the Natural section
    Trader Joes

  10. Anonymous1/27/2011

    Hmmmm...I don't have any of those stores. I do have Whole Foods, though, I'll have to try looking in the bulk bins there and see if I can find them. I really want to make these for my kids. I absolutely love your blog. We are exactly alike in the way that we cook and I am so excited to have found you.

  11. Thank You so much! I'm really glad you like my blog! Don't worry to much about finding unsalted nuts, it does make it healthier but any nut would work.

  12. Thank You so much! I'm really glad you like my blog! Don't worry to much about finding unsalted nuts, it does make it healthier but any nut would work.

  13. Anonymous8/13/2011

    Where do you find unsalted pistachios?


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