Because, to be honest, it’s not really South Pacific Granola. I’m not making the stuff out of breadfruit and dried papaya, after all … although that sounds like an amazing idea. But this post is about making granola in the South Pacific, which is to say, making it old school with as many of the ingredients one can scrounge up from stores, hand-me-down edibles from departing palangis (Westerners) and remnants still left in the freezer from what my awesome sister-in-law sent us six months ago.
I came to love the homemade version when I was a kid growing up in Indonesia. Our Ibu there would sometimes make it as a treat. Just the smell alone made me all warm and happy. And why wouldn’t it? Granola is one of those feel-good, comfort-food-while-still-being-kinda-healthy things that goes great with, say, homemade yogurt — another one of our staples here. So this is how I made it today:
Misnomer South Pacific Granola
6 cups of rolled oats (super easy to find here)
2 cups of chopped or sliced nuts (I used sliced almonds)
1 cup dried, shredded coconut
1/2 cup of wheat germ (this is where the palangi hand-me-downs comes in)
1/2 cup flax seed (ditto)
1 cup honey, or it you don’t have it, brown sugar. (See instructions below for brown sugar use)
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons cooking oil (I used canola)
2 cups dried fruit (I love raisins, dried pineapple, dried cherries and dried cranberries)
Preheat oven to 149 degrees Celsius (300 Fahrenheit)
Grease (with Canola Oil) a baking pan (the more surface space, the better — mine’s about 14 inches by 11 inches).
Mix dry ingredients together EXCEPT for the dried fruit.
In a separate container, mix liquids and slowly pour liquids over the dry ingredients, stirring constantly so that all the oats, etc., are evenly coated. Today, I didn’t have honey, so I used a half cup of brown sugar and a half cup of Splenda (thank you, Suzanne!) instead. Since this obviously cuts out a lot of liquid, I added about a cup of water, drizzling it in a tablespoon at a time until the ingredients were slightly moistened but not wet.
Spread half of the mix onto the greased baking pan and place in heated oven for about 30 minutes if using honey, and about 1 hour if using water. About halfway through baking, stir the ingredients in the pan well to ensure even baking.
Remove from oven and pour onto a clean, dry surface to cool. Bake remaining portion in same manner. When complete, stir in the dried fruit and, voila! You’ve got some yummy homemade granola.
Once it is completely cooled (it should be crunchy at this point) I spoon about half in an airtight container and put the rest in a freezer bag and place in the freezer until needed.