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Tropical Granola
Tropical Granola
May 13, 2020

I was so overwhelmed. I had just landed in the Netherlands. My first time leaving the continent! I was alone and on the other side of the world but boy I was excited. Despite having landed late the night before, I woke up early to venture to the supermarket.

**Trust the dietitian to be excited about grocery shopping**

As I perused the grocery store my excited energy started to transform into nervousness. The food labels were in Dutch. I couldn’t understand a thing! The items seemed different. Was that peanut butter or something else?

** Ooomf **

“That’s ok,” I pushed the nervous energy aside. “Just stick to your familar food staples." I loaded my cart with simple ingredients including nuts, lean proteins, and plenty of fresh produce.

** The produce was my downfall **

As the cashier began to ring my stuff through she awkwardly pointed at my pile of fruits and veggies. Luckily most everyone in the Netherlands speaks English. The cashier communicated that they don’t weigh the produce at the check-out.


With a huge line of customers piling up behind me I felt even more overwhelmed. Embarrassed, I gathered my ingredients and headed to the produce scale. After labeling my produce, I made my may back to the check-out I passed a shelf of cereal and impulsively threw a box of granola into my basket.

** I swear this story has something to do with the recipe I am sharing!**

After paying for the groceries I realized I had another challenge! I forgot my backpack and the store didn’t offer plastic bags!

** Ooomf **

I gathered my ingredients and piled them into my arms! I can imagine it was quite the site to see me juggling my tower of groceries for five blocks! Then, a setback as minor as an apple falling to the ground, put me over the edge. “What am I even doing here?” I remember thinking. “I should just go home”

** I think I might have cried on the street**

After arriving at my Airbnb, my overwhelm temporarily subsided. I put away my groceries and used Google translate to interpret the food labels. As I translated the box of granola I realized it was one of the most wholesome store-bought granolas I’d ever encountered.

** These are things dietitians get excited about. This is the climax of my story - LOL **

Over the course of the week, I began to grow comfortable in this new country. By the end of the month I had fallen in love with the Netherlands. I discovered the farmer’s market on Wednesday’s. They had the juiciest berries and the vendor always gifted me fresh mint!

I started to memorize some Dutch words so I could read food labels. I appreciated that the grocery store didn’t offer plastic bags as a way to reduce single use plastics.

What am I trying to say with this story?

I mostly wanted to tell you that I posted a wholesome granola recipes that reminds me of my favorite breakfast in the Netherlands - haha! However, as I made the recipe I was reflecting on all that I would have missed out on had I succumb to the direction my discomfort was pointing me that day. I would have missed out on so many amazing experiences had I chose to fly home.

Nearly every time I landed in a new country on my travel journey I’d get so home sick. Except I wasn’t really homesick. I just craved feeling comfortable and safe.

But when something is hard, uncomfortable, or overwhelming we needn’t run away. If we instead learn to run towards our discomfort we find growth, healing, and even granola (LOL) on the other side.


The End!

I hope you enjoy this granola recipe! This specific version is for Tropical Granola. I love enjoying it with fresh berries, Skyr yogurt, and a sprig of mint. It takes me back to my journey in the Netherlands. You can make this granola your own by referencing the post I made on how to customize it based on your favorite ingredients! If you make it, tag me in your creations on Instagram @vitalitynutrition_ 


10 (30g) Servings


Nutrition Facts



Protein: 5g


Fat: 7g


Carbohydrates: 19g


  • 1/2 cup (80g) pitted dates*
  • 1 tablespoon boiling water
  • 1/4 cup (60g) mixed nut butter (eg. Nuts for Nature from Costco)
  • 1 1/2 cups (120g) old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup (30g) almonds, chopped
  • 1/4 cup (30g) cashews, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons (20g) dried mango, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons (15g) unsweetened shredded coconut
  • pinch of salt


  1. Add the dates to a large mixing bowl with the boiling water. Use a fork to mash the dates into a paste!
  2. Add the mixed nut butter to the date paste and stir to combine.
  3. Then add the remainder of the ingredients to the mixing bowl including the rolled oats, cashews, almonds, dried mangos, unsweetened coconut flakes, and salt
  4. Use your hands or a spatula to combine the whole food ingredients. The more you mix the less "clumps"  that will form. Personally, I love the larger "chunks" of crispy granola so I mix just until everything is combined.
  5. Bake at 300F for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Stop at the 15 minute mark to stir. This prevents burning and ensures the granola bakes evenly!
  6. Let cool & enjoy! This recipe makes 10 servings of 1/3 cup (~30g) and makes the perfect accompaniment to parfaits (as pictured below) and smoothie bowls.

* If your dates are dry, soak them in warm water to rehydrate them.

My favorite way to enjoy granola is to make a balanced breakfast parfait. I include my Fundamental Four elements with:

  • Protein: plain Skyr or Greek yogurt
  • Fats: from the nuts and nut butter in the granola
  • Fibre-Filled Carb: the rolled oats in the granola
  • Volume: fresh or frozen berries.
  • Freebie: sprig of fresh mint for garnish!

If I am not enjoying my homemade granola in a breakfast bowl then I am likely using it as a topping for a smoothie bowl, or let's be honest, having a little snack straight from the jar! Homemade Whole Food Granola makes for a thoughtful edible gift idea, as well!

I hope you enjoy!

If you tried the recipe, be sure to tag us on Instagram @vitalitynutrition_

❤ Courtney