My brother, Ken, adores Hawaii, specifically the island of Kauai. For over 25 years, he has traveled there for extended vacations, and in recent years, he has spent several months a year in his idyllic paradise. He always intended to retire there. Two years ago, he became very ill while there and had to be airlifted to a hospital on another island. Then, still very ill, he had to endure a long flight back to Pennsylvania after cutting his vacation very short. Little by little, he has been recovering from that trauma, but now he is retiring along with my sister and me to central Florida. On the island, every morning for breakfast he would have a bowl of the local delicacy, Anahola Granola. He so associated the flavor with everything he loved about his vacations that he would have quantities of it shipped to him when the supply he carried in his suitcase ran out.
When he came to visit us in Florida, he brought bags of it with him, but soon he was down to his last bag. I thought that surely I could approximate this medley for him and save him the considerable expense of having it shipped halfway across the world. The recipe below has been honed to his satisfaction but with a few Florida twists as his new condo is in Osceola county, Florida. He intends to be back in Kauai, eating Anahola Granola as soon as his health allows. In the meantime, this mixture is pretty tasty!
- 1/3 cup coconut shortening
- 6 cups rolled Old-Fashioned oats
- 1-1/2 cups unsweetened coconut shreds
- 3/4 cups macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped
- 5 rings of dried pineapple, coarsely chopped
- 3/4 cups dried papaya, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup sunflower seeds
- 1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup Florida orange blossom honey
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place coconut shortening on an 11 x 15-inch shallow-sided baking pan and place in the oven just until the shortening melts. Remove from oven.
Combine next seven ingredients until well mixed.
Spread evenly onto prepared pan.
Drizzle honey evenly over the surface.
Bake for about 20 minutes in a convection oven, or about 30 minutes in a conventional oven.
Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and toss to distribute honey throughout.
Pack into airtight jars, or freeze in freezer storage bags for long-term storage.
Make about 12 cups
P.S.: I have considered making a quantity of this even when my freezer is well-stocked because of the incredible way it perfumes my home as it bakes.