Close your eyes and think of the word "coconut". What do you see? Swaying tropical palms? White sand beaches? Crystal turquoise waters so warm there is no chill when entering? Ahhh.... yes, my happy place.
Truly a tropical girl at heart, I jumped at the chance to try a sample of Kelapo Coconut Oil. Never having tried coconut oils in the past I had no idea what I was in for. The jar arrived with the oil in a solid form, making it an ideal substitute for butter. Opening the jar released a light coconut scent which immediately took me to back to my happy place - the one with those swaying palms and tropical waters.
A little research showed Kelapo Coconut Oil not only to be organic (always a plus with me!), fair trade and cold pressed from Sri Lanka, but to contain high amounts of immune boosting acids including Lauric Acid. Ostracized by the medical community in the past due to its high levels of saturated fat (13 grams per Tbs!), coconut oil is recently making a come back with evidence that the oil may even help maintain healthy cholesterol and blood sugar levels. The oil has also been shown to improve the body's ability to absorb important minerals such as calcium and magnesium which in turn will help to build strong bones.
From the Kelapo site: Mediterranean diets receive lots of attention but the people of the Mediterranean are not the only ones with a healthy diet. In tropical countries where coconut oil has been consumed daily for hundreds of years, there are fewer cases of obesity, heart disease, cancer, and other illnesses, than reported in the US.
With my new found information as well as my new jar of Kelapo Coconut Oil, using the oil in my Coconut Mango Granola on today's project list was a no brainer. Filled with my favorite rolled oats, shredded coconut, nuts, diced dried mangos and ginger, and pepitas, this granola has long been a favorite. Another versatile recipe where substitutions to what one has on hand is easy. Have almonds? Use them. Out of almonds? How about substituting macadamias? Prefer cranberries or dried blueberries to the mango? No problem, substitute to your hearts desire.
Using my new found tropical scented coconut oil in combination with a macadamia nut honey provided a lovely, coconutty yet slightly sweet granola perfect for my afternoon yogurt, evening ice cream, or fruit salad. Though I think I'd have to say my favorite way to enjoy the concoction is perhaps simply out of hand, eyes closed and enjoying my swaying palm trees....
|Bora Bora - 2010|
Coconut Mango Granola
Liv Life - Printer Friendly Recipe Here
2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1/3 cup slivered almonds (or chopped macadamia nuts)
1/4 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
3 Tbs candied ginger
2 Tbs pepitas
4 Tbs coconut oil (or canola oil)
3 Tbs honey
1 tsp vanilla (optional)
1/4 cup diced dried mango
Preheat oven to 300º. Line a jelly roll pan or a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
Place the first 5 ingredients (oats through pepitas) into a medium sized bowl and mix. Melt the coconut oil and stir in the honey and vanilla (if using) and whisk to combine. Stir the oil/honey mixture into the oat mixture and combine. Pour the granola mixture onto the baking sheet and spread into a fairly thin layer on the pan. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until golden, stirring every so often. Cool and add the diced mango, stir. Place into an airtight jar and serve over yogurt or ice cream, or simply eat out of hand.
Note: The vanilla adds a wonderful depth to the granola, we use it often, but once I left it out by accident and the granola was still wonderful, just in a different way. Feel free to experiment with your favorite nuts and dried fruits to find your own happy place!
|Huahine - 2010|