Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Coconut Granola

Air travel, solo, always gives me just a moment of concern in the "who will be sitting next to me?" department.  Not that I have bad luck, on the contrary, nearly every one of my solo trips has provided enjoyable, nice and even downright entertaining seatmates.  The most memorable being the two 60+ year old men flying on Southwest who make it a practice to choose the aisle and window seat and then sort of hand choose someone to take the empty middle seat.  As I was flying standby, I was one of the last to enter the plane and the kind gentlemen waved to me as I was scanning the empty seats.  I gratefully sat down and was subject to a very entertaining couple of hours!  They admitted to their seat choosing practice about half way through the flight saying that they usually tried to wave some young, good looking female between them to help pass the time.  Somewhat flattered that they thought I was young and good looking (I think they exaggerated!), I fully enjoyed their banter back and forth and laughed nearly the entire way.

On my recent trip to Honolulu I was once again lucky in the seatmate department.  Barbara-Ann, a lovely lady from Hilo, and I boarded the plane at the same time and smiled as we sat down together.  Conversation flowed easily throughout the flight and I was very interested to find that she runs a Bed and Breakfast on the Big Island. 

Shipman House Bed and Breakfast Inn , a luxury and historic accomodation, is conveniently situated in Hilo, sitting just over the town on a knoll.  Having her laptop with her, she showed me photos of the gorgeous historic Victorian House that she remembers playing in as a child, incredible plates of fresh tropical fruits that are part of their breakfast and stunning scenes from around the island.  Later that evening I perused Barbara's site and read review after review on Tripadvisor with most of the reviewers gushing about their stay.  After spending such an enjoyable few hours with Barbara and reading about the establishment I know where I will be staying next time I visit the Big Island!

Loving food as I do, I was interested in the breakfast portion of her Bed & Breakfast and from what I saw in the photos, anyone staying there is in for a treat!  Plates laden with seasonal tropical fruits including mango, papaya, apple bananas, and so much more that I can't even remember were served with Portuguese Sweet Bread, her own homemade Macadamia Nut Granola, yogurt, juices and other treats of the day.  Being lactose intolerant, Barbara understands how difficult it is for people with dietary restrictions when they are away from home.  As such, if she is given enough notice she will prepare and serve foods to the best of her ability to meet the restrictions.

Barbra mentioned that her granola recipe is a favorite of most guests and that she is in the process of making it available for purchase.  While I haven't tried it, I can say that the tropical mix sounded extraordinarily tasty.  I will keep my eye on her site for the launch of the product and order some when available so I can report back!

Thinking about Barbara's granola gave the me the inspiration to make my own.  I have a number of recipes that use granola as an ingredient and I'm a fan of a few spoonfuls over yogurt in the afternoon.  Unfortunately, many of the store bought granolas that I find are very high in fat and contain "other" ingredients that sometimes I can't identify.  Homemade suddenly seemed like a good idea!

Perusing the internet for some sort of Coconut Granola I found numerous recipes.  Some with as much as a cup of butter and some with just a mere Tablespoon of oil.  The ingredients varied widely and I chose what sounded good to me.  For my first try, I think it turned out pretty darn good!  Not quite as "coconutty" as I would have liked, but I think I can fix that next time by simply adding a bit more.  My husband felt that the coconut flavor was just fine, so perhaps it's just me still trying to hang onto my island flavors!

All in all, granola is exceedingly easy to make and the ability to use ingredients to suit your tastes makes it a sure bet.  One note on the cooking... know that if you leave it in too long the edges and top will begin to burn!!  (this is me admitting that I found this out first hand!!  =)   )

Coconut Granola
Kim Kelly - Liv Life

2 cups old fashioned oats
1/3 cup whole raw almonds
1/3 cup coconut (generous)
2 Tbs salted pumpkin seeds
2 Tbs ground flax
2 Tbs wheat germ
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup honey
1 Tbs brown sugar

Preheat oven to 325º.

In a large bowl mix the oats through wheat germ.  In a small saucepan melt the butter over low heat on the stove, then stir in the honey and brown sugar.  Remove from heat and stir until honey and sugar are evenly distributed.  Pour the butter mixture over the oat mixture and stir to combine.

Pour the granola into a jelly roll type pan and spread evenly.  Place in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until lightly browned.  Know that the granola will "crisp" a bit upon cooling, so be careful not to overcook!  ;)

Wishing you the all the flavors of the islands!  Aloha!


  1. That bed and breakfast looks gorgeous and what a wonderful fruit display for breakfast! Mmmm I LOVE coconut and I LOVE granola. Your coconut granola looks like the perfect recipe! And I just adore the addition of pumpkin seeds.

    I loved the story about two older men on the plane waving you down to sit inbetween them. :)

  2. Hi Kim-Thank you for sharing your amazing Hawaiian trip photos, and stories. Lucky you! I've never been to Hawaii yet, would love to go someday soon.
    Also, love the granola recipe, story, and more lovely photos.
    Thank you for sharing!

    BTW-I tagged you with 7 questions, and you know the rest! Please check it out on my blog!

  3. WOW! What an amazing bed and breakfast! It looks just absolutely stunning...what a perfect get away. Thanks so much for sharing the pictures with us...

    The granola looks quite tasty too!

  4. Kim,
    I love your idea of coconut granola and that you're still trying to hold on to the island flavors. I just toasted some coconut for another dish, and you do have to watch it carefully, because it will burn quickly, especially if it is sweetened.
    Aloha! the wind Chill here today is 1 degree above Zero!

  5. When I saw the picture I thought at first it was a B&B near you. I never knew this was so close to home. I love granola. One of my favorites is from The Cottage in La Jolla. Your granola looks great too so I can't wait to try it.

  6. Kim granola looks delicious
    love the tropical food I miss them oh my favourite rambutans, papaya

  7. I'm so jealous of your hawaii trip! That B&B looks amazing! and so does the granola :)

  8. Oh my! It's pouring outside and I'm staring at your pictures and if they were the last bit of sun I will see in my life! They are gorgeous and I totally love love love this coconut version of granola. I'm loving your granola experiment :)

  9. Your granola sounds delicious. I hope you had a relaxing hawaiian trip!

  10. Thanks for sharing those amazing photos. Love the ingredients you've used for granola, nutritious in each bite...

  11. Oh, I love this post...granola looks amazing,Hawaii are such a beautiful place to be.

  12. Wow, Honolulu--what a dream! I think I love coconut so much because it really does remind me of being on vacation somewhere exotic like Hawaii. Lovely homemade granola!

  13. WOW you were indeed lucky with the seatmate!! That's amazing that you got to chat with the owner of such a beautiful Bed and Breakfast, it is amazing!

    PS I'm traveling on Rhapsody of the Seas, it's a Royal Caribbean cruise ship, really looking forward to it! Thank you for your well wishes. You have a lovely Christmas and a wonderful holiday :)

  14. There is a show in the UK called "Four in the Bed" and its about Bed and Breakfast couple competing for the best B&B of their group. Makes me want to stay at one!!! Yours look so amazing. THe colors of that spread mmmmmm.

    And coconut granola looks yummy. My husband always ask me to make granola for him! I use Ellie's recipe of course ;-) I'll have to use yours as well as my husband loves coconuts!

  15. I love granola. LOVE granola. Can't eat it much any more but yours looks good enough to tempt me. Glad you enjoyed your time in HI. Barbara's B and B looks gorgeous.

  16. Looks to yummy. I love a good homemade granola. There is always room for more coconut...of course this makes me realize I haven't made a granola with coconut yet. ;)

  17. How funny about the bantering! (Just take the compliment though you ARE young and you ARE beautiful.) I'm glad you met Barbara Ann! If we *ever* get to visit Hilo for pleasure and we happen to sneak onto the island we will have to secretly stay at her B & B. If nothing to try the granola and say we stayed there. :) Personally I'm high strung and it kicks into high gear on the plane so I usually sit by Yannick and he puts me in the aisle or the window seat so I don't drool or cry on anyone. What a story that would be for someone to take home.

    I LOVE homemade granola! I can actually make this from what I have!

    I'm so glad you had such a good time. Hopefully you didn't get sunburned in all that nice weather!

  18. Homemade granola is unbeatable, and I love how simple the ingredients in this recipe are! Thanks for sharing, and cheers to you in 2011 ;)


Your comments make our hearts sing!