I wouldn’t go so far as to label myself a hippie or anything. Although I do enjoy a good amount of Canned Heat, I’m just not old enough. What I could call myself is frugal. I grew up with granola in the house but it was “Dad’s Cereal”. Which is, of course, why it was so elusive. We were told it was too expensive for us to burn through on a Saturday morning and we were much better off with the Fruit Loops within reach. However, little did my Mother know that as one of the few occasions my brother and I would get along, we would tag team to the top shelf for a sneaky handful from the protected bag of goodness.
Being the rebel that I am, I’ve continued to prefer granola over mass produced O’s, but the one tidbit of price tag always stuck with me. The giant yellow box is half the price of the tiny one I covet. Seeing you can’t stuff air into oatmeal must be one reason for the price difference and of course, that age old saying of getting what you pay for.
As frugal as I am, I tend to never order in a restaurant or buy anything food wise that I could easily make for myself at home. Granola, naturally fits into this category quite well. After recently receiving a bag each of dried papaya and almonds I hit my pantry to complete the list of ingredients.
Although filled with a little more of the good stuff than most store brands, I would call it pretty close to that shoveled childhood handful. All I need to go with it is the bravery of Lolo to commit to making my own soy milk to go with it.
LOW FAT TROPICAL GRANOLA
2 Cups Whole Oats, Old Fashioned
1/3 Cup Dried Papaya, 2 spears halved and diced
1/3 Cup Almonds, coarsely chopped
1/3 Cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
1/4 teaspoon Salt
2 Tablespoons Safflower Oil
3 Tablespoons Blue Agave Nectar
2 Tablespoons Brown Rice Syrup
Preheat the oven to 300ºF.
Toss the oats, papaya, almonds, coconut and salt together in a large bowl.
In a small saucepan combine the oil, agave and syrup.
Mix well to combine and heat until it just begins to bubble.
Remove from the heat and pour over the dry ingredients. Stir well to coat.
Spread evenly over a parchment lined, edged cookie sheet.
Bake for 10 minutes. Stir to mix and rotate pan.
Return to oven and bake for an additional 5 – 10 minutes.
Shake granola lightly to break apart any large piece and leave to cool completely.
Store in an airtight container.