Chia and Hemp Heart Granola

mmmm... very tasty and good for you :)

mmmm… very tasty and good for you 🙂

Ah, granola, or hippie crack if you prefer. So much better home made and easy to modify to your tastes. I had made granola before but this time I wanted granola that was somewhat loose but also had clusters, which are better for snacking on. As with most things culinary I started off with some Alton Brown recon and ended up combining his granola and granola bars recipes as a base for my own. The result is a nutritional powerhouse that will make your house smell like hippie crack heaven.  I stored mine in jars and after about a week the bit that was left wasn’t as crisp – easy to fix this by putting your granola back in the oven (on a cookie sheet) for 15 minutes or so at 325.  Keep an eye on the fruit ( i sometimes remove the fruit for re-baking) as it will burn WAY before the oats/nuts do. When I make granola I like to give some away but also have enough for breakfast for my husband and I for at least a week so I don’t muck around. This is a decent sized batch and will make about 1-1.5 cereal boxes worth. Kids LOVE this and you will feel good givin’ it to em.

And hey, when your house smells like hippy crack heaven and you go to take this out of the oven (for the first time of many I’m guessing), don’t worry that it hasn’t crisped up. As it cools it sure will!

UPDATE: New easier method! See below for details. Also if you are ever out of oats but have a bland box of oat and nut/fruit cereal around just substitute 4 – 4.5 cups of a muesli type cereal for all the oats, nuts, and fruit.

Chia and Hemp Heart Granola

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 cup sliced almonds
3/4 cup of shredded coconut
1 cup of  roughly chopped raw or roasted almonds
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup hemp seed hearts
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup honey or real maple syrup (just eyeball it or oil your measuring cup to avoid a sticky mess)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter or grapeseed/ vegetable oil
2 tablespoons molasses
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons sea salt
1.5 cups large dried fruit, any combination of apricots cherries, raisins, etc. (Currants are too small. Roughly chop apricots.)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spread the oats, sunflower seeds, nuts, and coconut onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.

Place in the oven and toast for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In the meantime, combine the honey or maple syrup, molasses, brown sugar, butter, and salt in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

Cook until the brown sugar has completely dissolved and the mixture begins to froth up. Add vanilla and stir.

Once the oat mixture is done, remove it from the oven and reduce the heat to 300 degrees F.

Sprinkle spices, chia, and hemp hearts over oat mixture and stir to combine.

Pour the warm sticky mix over the oat mixture, stir well, and pat down into your largest parchment lined cookie sheet.

granola before baking

Bake for 30 minutes or until an even brown, no need to stir. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before storing in jars, ziplock bags, or tupperware.



Easy Slow Cooker Chili

Start before you go to work and come home to ready to go deliciousness. Just a touch of heat.


1 lb medium ground beef or sirloin

1 tablespoon of oil

1 tablespoon of butter

2 small cans or 1 large of chopped tomatoes (roasted if you can find them)

1 small can of tomato paste

1 onion, diced

2 cloves of garlic, died

1 chopped carrot

1 sweet pepper, diced

1 celery stalk (with leaves if possible), diced

1 tsp. fresh or dried parsley or chives (optional)

1 jalapeno, seeded and diced

1 tablespoon chili powder

2 tsp. dried oregano

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. onion powder

2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. black or white pepper

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1/2 can of beer

2 tsp. white sugar

1 can mixed beans, drained and well rinsed

1 can Romano beans, drained and well rinsed

Brown ground beef and drain.

Add butter and oil and then add onions, celery, and carrots and cook 3-5 minutes, then add garlic, hot pepper, and sweet pepper and cook for another few minutes.

Add beans and spices and mix well.

Add beer and cook 5 minutes until somewhat evaporated. Add remaining ingredients.

Transfer to slow cooker and cook on high for 3-4 hours, low for 4-6 hours, or simmer on stove for 1.5-2 hours, covered.

Serve in bread or tortilla bowls (brush corn tortillas with veg. oil and season with salt and pepper and put in bowls and bake at 425 for 12-15 min) with green salad and  cornbread.

Garnish with sour cream or shredded cheddar cheese.

Better the next day! Freezes well.

Cooking with Violet

My infant daughter Violet loves to watch me cook and this blog allows you to keep up with all the action. My recipes are a mix of the classic and the fabricated; often I will start out with Julia Child or Alton Brown recipes and play with them to make the method simpler and the taste more exciting or complex. So pop into my kitchen and take a stool, today baby Violet and I are cookin’ up a storm.


This is me :)

This is me 🙂