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.
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.