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Posts Tagged ‘granola’

Ever since I can remember, I have loved the taste of coconut.

My dad would buy a coconut and I remember a couple of different ways of trying to get it open.

One was with a nail and a hammer. I remember drinking the milk with a straw.

The other was smashing the coconut on the sidewalk with great force; naturally, this would waste most of the liquid inside. But what fun! I don’t have many memories from when I was a little girl, but some of the ones with my dad are really good.

I loved eating the hard flesh of the coconut, even the papery brown part. So exotic, yet sweet, mild, and comforting.

Of course I loved shredded coconut as well and this is likely because it was sweetened with that powdery coating of sugar.

I know coconut is a deal-breaker for a lot of people. You love it or hate it. Like raisins. Or olives. Or cilantro. Sweet potatoes. Squash. Brains. Heart. Tongue. Cheek. Okay, so it’s starting to sound like sex and aren’t food and sex what it’s all about?

You know the greatest granola in the world, right? If you’ve been paying attention for any length of time around here, you know it is my granola.

For quite some time, I’ve switched away from canola oil. I’ve tried sunflower, safflower, and grapeseed oils. Recently, I bought some jars of coconut oil, mostly because I found it CHEAP at TJ Maxx and I used to use it ALL THE TIME when I did a lot of massage.

So I bought it to slather on myself after a shower or bath (is that TMI? TF Bad).

Back in 1987, when I was a massage student in Akron, Ohio, I did many hours of adjunct training in Neuromuscular Therapy with Paul St. John.

Studying this form of massage, which is a deep-tissue therapy based largely on Janet Travell’s work, is what, in part, made me a great massage therapist. I became all thumbs. And fingertips. And elbows (more acquired tastes, like brains and cheeks and hearts and tongues). You might not think it, but I used to be excessively strong in my hands. Always folks think men are the ones who give the deepest and best massages, but I’ve never experienced massages as focused and excellent and DEEP as [some] from [some] women. Just sayin’.

We were encouraged to use coconut oil by Paul St. John. I’ll tell you why. It is solid at room temperature. It melts on contact with the body. It is easy to control how much you use. When you do deep tissue work, in the style that I was taught, you want to stay very, very specific on the places in the muscles or tendons or ligaments that need attention. You don’t want to slide all over the place (like lomi lomi or something fer chrissakes!).

Last night, when I made my 20-cup batch of granola, I realized, quite late, that I was out of any oil but olive oil. Well, you can’t use olive oil for your granola, no way, no how. So I made it with some of the unopened coconut oil from one of the jars I’d stocked up on. People, this batch of granola is the BOMB. YES YES YES.

When I was in Kauai, I was treated to a traditional hula performance by a mother and daughter. Apparently, the dances that tend to be performed for the mainland tourists are not true, traditional hula. Historically, the women were topless, just like the men (though our mother and daughter were clothed on top). The dance has far more depth of meaning than appears on the surface with a lot of complexity to the movements of the hips, arms, legs, feet, and hands (maybe nowadays there is more emphasis on the real thing?). But what, white people from the mainland couldn’t handle a native peoples’ traditional dance? Imagine that. Almost like an entire portion of the populace voting against their own interests. But I digress….

I have this photo in my card collection and I love it. I can see it in my mind sometimes. Lots of thoughts come to me. Her pride. Her beautiful poise. The sense I have of her uncompromising posture. You know what I see? DON’T FUCK WITH ME.

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Twinkly’s Glorious Granola

6 C rolled oats (I get them in bulk, filling up my huge, glass pickle-jar with the tare weight deducted)
1/2 C chopped, toasted almonds (I use the sliced-variety from Trader Joe’s, though I hate the wasteful packaging)
1/2 C flaked coconut (not shredded, but use what is most texturally pleasant to you)
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 C coconut oil
1/2 C honey
2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, stir together dry ingredients, taking special care to get the very dry cinnamon all over everything else. I also like to crunch up the almonds into smaller bits (it’s a very satisfying sensory experience to do this with bare hands). In a small saucepan, add coconut oil and honey and heat on medium- low until well-blended. Add coconut oil, honey, and vanilla to dry ingredients. Mix until dry ingredients are coated. Grease a 13″x9″ pan with coconut oil. Spread granola evenly in pan. Bake the whole schmear for appx 30 minutes. Midway through baking, stir granola and turn pan for even cooking. Check frequently in the last 15 minutes so granola doesn’t burn.

Remove from oven, cool, and ENJOY! I eat mine with vanilla yogurt every morning for health and happiness.

NOTES:

Granola burns easily. Either check frequently or lower baking temp to 300 or 325 and increase cooking time.

This is a basic and versatile recipe and you can add almost any yummy addition your heart desires, such as 1/2 C sesame seeds, 1/2 C roasted sunflower seeds, 1/2 C dried fruit. The original recipe called for 1/2 C of toasted wheat germ and 1/2 C of wheat bran, but when I experimented with giving up wheat a few years back, I dropped these ingredients and grew to love it even more without them.
This recipe came to me by way of George Hart (I believe it was his mother’s), with a few tweakings by me. I’ve been making this for over 25 years and have never strayed from its path of righteousness. So much better than that over-priced, store-bought crap. Except for a few kinds of locally-made granola I’ve found–Anatola Granola from Hawaii, something from the little grocery in Germany, and a recent discovery down in Southwest F-L-A.

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