grated coconut

“Welcome to ‘It’s a Nutty, Nutty, Nutty World.’ We’re just nuts about nuts. Crunch nuts with your lunch. Buy them by the bunch. Send them to friends far away to munch.”

This recipe makes me think of “Daria,” that amazing MTV show from the early 90’s about this brilliant, dorky, shy, angst-ridden, cynical high school girl, Daria, her family and classmates. The show’s really funny! In this particular episode, “It happened one nut,” Daria’s parents want her to go to counseling to improve her social skills or find a temp job in order to learn what the “real world” is really like. Yeah, scary! She tries to avoid both counseling and work but her clever dad finds her a job at a kiosk at the local shopping mall selling nuts. The only job requirements are wearing the weird uniform, bagging nuts, smiling and repeating the nut stand’s motto, which I quoted above, over and over and over again. Naturally, she has problems with all four job requirements, with very amusing results. Kevin, the good looking but sort of dumb high school football jock, is her co-worker. He really screws up the motto, saying wild things about nuts throughout the episode. Steven and I were cracking up the whole show and even now, ten years or more later (we saw reruns), we still will simply say “I’m nuts about nuts” and we’ll both laugh.

I love this granola. It’s full of nuts, so we think that you’ll be chanting “I’m nuts about nuts” when you taste it, too. The recipe’s relatively easy to make, tasty and super healthy; perfect for breakfast or even to eat as a snack.

key ingredients for health:  rolled oats and wheat germ

key ingredients for health: rolled oats and wheat germ

Nutty, Nutty, Nutty Granola

3 cups rolled oats and barley
1 cup wheat germ
½ cup dry grated coconut
Pinch of salt
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup canola oil
1 tbsp maple syrup
1tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 cup of raw cashews
¾ cup raw Brazil nut
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup dried cranberry

How to:
Preheat oven to 275F. Place cashew and Brazil nuts in a zip lock bag, seal and roll a wine bottle over it to crush the nuts coarsely. Transfer them to large bowl then add the pumpkin seeds, coconut, wheat germ, salt and rolled oat/barley mix. Toss. Meanwhile place oil and brown sugar in a Pyrex glass dish, stir and nuke it in the microwave for about a minute or till it bubbles. Pour it into the nut mixture with the maple syrup and vanilla extract. Using a spatula toss it till liquid is incorporated and lumps are dissolved.

baking the nutty nutty nutty granola

baking the nutty nutty nutty granola

Spread mix on a large shallow baking tray and bake for about 40 min. Mix two to three times during baking. For the last 3 minutes increase temp to 350F just to toast the granola a bit being careful not to burn it. Remove from oven. Let cool completely then transfer to a glass jar. Enjoy it with soy milk, yogurt or milk.

nutty nutty nutty granola for breakfast

nutty nutty nutty granola for breakfast

{ 1 comment }

raw wet granola or muesli?

by Heguiberto on October 13, 2009

I get confused with the names: granola or muesli. All I can say is that this is delicious for breakfast. Not to mention that it’s ultra granola healthy! It is very simple to make and you are going to love it! All you have to do is muesli* the ingredients below:

Raw Wet Granola or Muesli

wet granola ingredients

wet granola ingredients

Here it is:

1 cup rolled oats
1 cup of soy milk
½ cup mixed raw nuts (cashew, Brazil, almonds)
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup raisins
1 Braeburn or Granny Smith apple, peeled and grated
1 tbsp grated coconut
Sprinkle of cinnamon or more to taste
Pinch salt

How to:
Place nuts in a zip lock bag and roll an empty bottle over it to crush the nuts a bit. Transfer to a stainless steel container. Add the rest of the ingredients to the container. Give it a good stir. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Eat within two days. Add soy milk for serving.

wet granola served at sunrise

wet granola served at sunrise

*muesli means mixture in German


corny coconut corn cake

corny coconut corn cake

We ran out of bread yesterday and I forgot to stop by Whole Foods to get some more on my way home. By the time I did get home, I didn’t want to go out again for anything! We’d have been forced to have oatmeal for breakie the next day. But Steven is constantly driving me crazy with complaints about oatmeal! When will he ever learn?!

Sometimes when I’m feeling ambitious I end up making granola or another version that I call “wet granola” that is very popular in this household, but I was so not feeling it.

Steven suggested that I make a cake, but turns out that we used up all of the wheat flour. We did have the flocão that I purchased last time I went to Mercado Brasil, a store that sells Brazilian products in the Mission district here in San Francisco. Flocão is a sort of corn meal. It looks something like corn flakes and couscous at the same time. It is made by grinding yellow corn coarsely, soaking it in water, followed by baking and turning it into flakes by rolling a stone over it. Flocão is a staple in the north eastern part of the country where they steam and eat it much like couscous with smoldering savory or sweet sauces. It is pretty good. Another way to enjoy flocão is by turning it into a cake. And that’s what happened.

Whenever I do make cakes, I try to reproduce the ones I used to eat during my childhood. The first that I remember were baked by my mother. Later, my homemade cake memories come from inherited recipes elaborated upon by my older siblings: Pedro, Ana, Dora, Tinha and Nelson. They are all very talented cooks! Every time I am in Brazil I indulge myself with their amazing foods. Cheers to all you guys!

This cake has an intense coconut and corn flavor. It’s also very moist. I just love it.

Here’s the recipe:

Corny Coconut Corn Cake AKA Bolo de Flocão

2 cups of flocão (Brazilian coarse corn meal)
1 cup sugar
½ cup canola oil
1 & ½ cup soy milk
Pinch of salt
3 large eggs (1 yolk only)
1 cup dry grated coconut
1 tbsp baking powder

How to:

Grease baking pan (nine inch round glass dish) with canola oil and dust with flour (I used chickpea flour because we’d run out of wheat.)

Place flocão, sugar, salt, oil and one cup of milk in a pan, and cook the mixture on medium heat stirring constantly till thickened, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and let it rest for about an hour or so till it has cooled completely.

Heat oven to 350F.

Add remaining soy milk, coconut and baking powder to batter. Using your electric mixer beat egg whites and one yolk for a couple of minutes till peaks form. Fold beaten egg into batter. Transfer to baking pan and bake for 35 to 45 minutes or till a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Towards last five minutes increase temperature to 375F to brown the top of the cake. Serve with a good cup of black coffee or tea. This is great in the morning but also is sweet enough to make a delightful dessert.


Corn bread in Brazil is sweeter than the American version, and normally it’s eaten for breakfast, instead of with lunch or dinner. Brazilian corn flour, called fubá; though ground coarser than wheat flour; is finer than American corn meal. I grew up eating a lot of these corn cakes in the Brazilian hinterlands.

Looking back it seems that at all times there were shortages of something or another. Flour was one of those staples we could not produce ourselves. Temperate weather crops, like wheat, did not yield well enough in the tropical lands of South America. Wheat flour was used parsimoniously, really as a treat instead of an every-day thing. My mother mixed it with other types of flour, mainly corn and cassava (aka, yucca if you please).


Refrigeration was another issue. We did not get electricity until 1972! Milk would go “bad” very frequently; turning into yogurt. For some reason my mother never liked it, except when she used it to make her famous bolão azedo. Otherwise that goodness would become a feast for the pigs. I know they liked it because I was the one who fed them! If we only had known how to make Prosciutto de Parma, we’d have become rich! Well here I am reminiscing about my hometown, Olegário Maciel …. but wait, I need to go back to my cake!

The cake is made just plain and simple with corn flour and yogurt, often times flavored with whatever spices that might be available from our dispensa (pantry). These additional items might include: fennel seeds, cinnamon, dried coconut, guava paste, etc. Yesterday I made the cake using all of the above and it turned out really good. Steven and I loved it, and I hope that you do too. You can find guava paste and fubá at Brazilian stores or sometimes in specialty food stores. So in belated honor of mother’s day, here’s the recipe:

key ingredients

key ingredients


1 ½ cups corn flour (fubá)
½ cup wheat flour
1 tbsp baking powder
2 egg whites
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp canola oil
2 tbsp grated coconut
1 cup sugar
1 pinch salt
1 cup yogurt
1 cup guava paste, cut into cubes and dusted with flour
½ tsp fennel seeds
1 pinch ground cinnamon

How to:

Preheat oven to 350F
Grease and dust with flour a baking dish (14’’ X 9””)
Mix together eggs, oil and sugar for a couple of minutes.
Mix in yogurt and coconut
Mix in corn and wheat flours, and salt, fennel seeds and cinnamon. Add baking powder and mix again.
Pour over greased and dusted baking dish, scatter guava cubes over cake, bake it for 35-40 min or till a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean.

finished corn cake

finished corn cake

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