Some time last year, I collaborated with Franz to contribute a Southeast Asian recipe to wanderjournals.com. Previously, we worked together on a feature for CATALOG magazine – an outdoor picnic shoot that was definitely one of my highlights of my blogging days. I truly enjoy such creative collaborations with talented individuals with a similar aesthetic direction, and who are also able to offer new waves of inspiration. The final product as a result of two minds usually makes for better outcomes.
The photos in this post are taken by Franz. We collectively styled the food and I provided the recipe. It’s a joy working with Franz and his photos always turn out so, so beautiful. Just take a look at them – they truly speak for themselves.
Regarding the recipe, I had a long thought about what to contribute and eventually settled on something I enjoy making – granola. It is relatively simple and not too time consuming to make, and also perfect as an on-the-go snack for the time-pressed jet setter.
Here, I changed up my basic granola recipe. The Southeast Asian flavours come primarily from Gula Melaka (a type of palm sugar that is popular in South East Asian cooking), shredded coconut and dried mango. Gula Melaka is also an unrefined sugar if the darkened variety are used. I threw in a good amount of fancy gems as I grew up eating them and besides, they add a nice splash of colour (and happiness). Go whip up a batch soon, I promise you won’t regret it.
Recipe for Gula Melaka and Mango Granola
3 cups whole rolled oats
½ cup Gula Melaka syrup (or melted gula melaka)
½ cup olive or coconut oil
1 tsp salt
½ cup sunflower seeds
½ cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup nuts of your choice (I used almonds)
½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
75g dried mango
¼ cup fancy gems (omit this for a vegan version)
Preheat oven to 150 degrees.
Place the oats, seeds, nuts and coconut in a bowl.
Whisk Gula Melaka, oil and salt in a small bowl to combine.
Add the Gula Melaka mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients.
Toss to combine.
Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, tossing every 15 minutes.
Add in the dried mango and fancy gems.
Cool down before storing in an airtight container.
Serve with milk, yogurt, or on its own.
Recipe by Vickii Ma
Photography by Franz Navarrete
About Wander Journals
Wander Journals is a guide for inspired destinations. It features a curated selection of cafes, shops, hotels, restaurants and points of interest. This creative platform caters mainly to extraordinary locations in Southeast Asia, an underrated region that calls for much travel attention. Though that may be the case, our global network of hand-selected contributors would take us to other exquisite parts of the world.