I didn’t really plan to prepare so much of my food before moving here, but it seems the longer I’m in the Philippines the more I end up making my own. There are a number of reasons for that, the most obvious is that I simply can’t find things here. Even when I do there is no guarantee I’ll be able to find it again once the supply is gone. If it is replenished, there is no way of telling how long I might need to wait.

So, slowly but surely, I’ve had to adapt and make my own concoctions. Some of the things I prepare on regular basis now include salsa, hummus, burritos and granola. Granola is my latest venture, and after a few attempts I feel I’ve gotten it to where I’m pretty happy with it.

I had started eating granola after the stomach issues that troubled me for so long. I used to cook a hot cereal but changed that to granola as it was easier to get and make in the morning. I had found one, Bob’s Red Mill Honey Almond Granola, that contained no sugar and only a light amount of honey. Gmall carried it for a while, though it was a little expensive. They haven’t had it in quite some time, so I started getting it at Healthy Options. They were even more expensive (P249 = $5.50) and they were out of stock about half the time. So I decided to make my own.

There isn’t much to making granola. It’s really easy, and it can be altered endlessly. The nice thing about making your own is you can put in exactly what YOU like. Well, assuming you can find it locally. That’s always a disclaimer here in Davao.

Even though it’s easy to make I managed to mess it up on my first attempt. You see the tiny Asian ovens they have here are for some reason labeled in Centigrade. Who knew? Everybody but me I suppose. So my first batch was cooking at a ripe 550 degrees Fahrenheit or so the first time around, and managed to leave the house for about 20 minutes. No smoke detectors here, thankfully.

Tableya GranolaThere are really two ingredients that I use that make it special for me – tableya (pure native cocoa) and fresh ginger. I would like to use pumpkin seeds but since Healthy Options no longer has them in bulk, I can’t (won’t) pay the price they want for the packaged ones. Sunflower seeds are a decent substitute, and easier to find. I’ll have some pumpkin seeds sent over in the next balikbayan box.


Here’s the recipe I’ve settled on for now:


Tableya Granola


Rolled Oats - Old Fashioned 500g


Tableya - 4 tablets about 1/4″ thick and a quarter size, finely sliced/chopped


Ginger - One smallish root, sliced and diced


Sliced Almonds - about 2 tablespoons but I don’t measure


Sunflower Seeds - about 2 tablespoons but I don’t measure


Chia Seeds - about 1 tablespoon


Salt - dash,  just because


Olive Oil - 3/4 cup


Honey - 1/2 cup


I mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl, then add the olive oil and honey, and mix again. I spread it all in a large Pyrex pan, though a baking pan would be just fine. I like the glass Pyrex as it has high sides and I happened to own it already. Oil the pan or use parchment paper.

I cook this on 175 degrees Centigrade for about 30 minutes. I stir it every 10 minutes. It will not dry until it’s taken out and cooled, so don’t concern yourself with that. You can tell by the smell if it’s getting close to where you like it. Some may prefer it darker.

I have this in the morning with kefir rice milk, another homemade item that I’ve attempted to perfect. I add a little more sliced almond and call it good.

I’m not sure how much I save, but I save some. The convenience of having it when I need it, and just the way I like it, is what’s the real value.  Mmm…Tableya Granola. Not bad for snacking either!

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