Sprouted Pecan, Coconut & Cacao Granola

This is a delightful granola recipe that you can add or substitute any number of nuts, seeds, or dried fruit. I especially love the chopped ginger, it adds spice and crunch and unexpected subtle heat and dimension as do the cacao nibs. You can adjust the amount of ghee, or add olive oil and sesame seeds and take this granola in a more savory direction, or even add chopped fresh turmeric along with the fresh ginger. You could use honey or coconut palm sugar instead of maple syrup and eat the granola with your favorite milk, yogurt, kefir, ice cream, or smoothie. Granola is versatile indeed.

Sprouted Pecan, Coconut & Cacao Granola

1 ½ cups pecans
½ cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup raw cacao nibs
1 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
2 tbsp chia seeds
1 inch piece of ginger, finely chopped
¼ cup dried currants
½ cup ghee
¼ maple syrup
½ tsp sea salt
½ vanilla powder

Method

  1. Soak the pecans and pumpkin seeds (separately) in a few cups of water for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 250F.
  3. Drain and discard the soaking water and gently pat the pecans and pumpkin seeds dry. Gently melt the ghee and mix in the maple syrup, then add the salt and vanilla powder. Mix the pecans, pumpkin seeds, cacao nibs, coconut, and chia seeds together in a large bowl and pour the ghee-maple syrup blend on top. Stir to evenly coat and spread the mix on a large baking sheet.
  4. Bake the granola low and slow for around 1 ½ – 2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes. Halfway through, add the chopped ginger. When the granola is done cooking the coconut flakes should be lightly browned. Add the dried currants and store in mason jars in the refrigerator or freezer.

Grass-Fed Beef Chuck Roast Barbacoa Style

I’ve been experimenting with chuck roast for a few years because we always get so many cuts when we harvest our cows. I made this version for Mr. Bob Hammer’s birthday bash and it was a hit through and through. Spicy, rich, salty, shredded chuck roast that is ready to pair with roasted squash, or thrown in a handmade tortilla, this preparation is satisfying on a cold winter day. I measure the true success of my meaty dishes by my oldest brother’s enthusiasm level and intake. It’s fair to say he ate an impressive quantity of this dish with obvious vocalizations of joy. Thanks for the parameter of tastiness, Nick.

Grass-fed Beef Chuck Roast Barbacoa Style
1 3-4 lb grass-fed chuck roast, bone in
Sea salt
Pepper

Barbacoa Sauce
8-10 dried chili peppers, I used a mix of 3 chipotle, 1 cayenne, 5 guajillo.
2 tablespoons maple syrup
I can organic, peeled tomatoes (28 oz)
1 tablespoon cumin seed
2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves
1 in season orange, mandarin, or another citrus, sliced

Method:

  1. Generously salt the chuck roast as many hours in advance as possible. Let the chuck come to room temperature for 30 minutes before roasting. During this time, make the sauce.
  2. Heat a large cast iron and place the dried peppers in the hot pan until slightly blackened. Place the peppers in a bowl and cover with warm water. Toast the cumin seeds in the cast iron until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. Place the garlic, cumin, maple syrup, tomatoes, vinegar, and 2 tsp sea salt in a blender. After the peppers have rehydrated for 10 minutes, toss them in the blender with the soaking water and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust sweetness and saltiness as desired, but keep in mind this sauce will cook down, so be careful not to over salt.
  4. Turn the oven to 450F. When the oven is preheated, place the chuck roast in the oven and roast for around 10 minutes to slightly brown.
  5. Take the roast out of the oven and turn it down to 350F.
  6. Pour the sauce over the chuck roast, and cover with aluminum foil. Roast the chuck for 2-3 hours.
  7. Take the roast out of the oven and shred with a fork and knife. Pour the sauce into a separate saucepan and add the orange slices. Ladle a few ladlefulls of sauce over the meat and place back in the oven uncovered. Reduce the sauce on medium-low in the saucepan while the meat continues to caramelize and brown for another 20 minutes or so.
  8. Serve the barbacoa in tacos like we did on Bob’s birthday, or eat it ladled over roasted butternut or other squash with winter greens, yogurt and extra sauce spooned on top.