February 4, 2011

Maple Granola

8 cups rolled oats, uncooked
1 cup unsweetened coconut
1 cup toasted wheat germ
1 cup chopped almonds
1 cup diced pecans or walnuts
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla
4 cups mixed dried fruit (cherries and cranberries are great!)

In a very large bowl, combine the oats, coconut, wheat germ and nuts.  Mix well.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, salt, maple syrup and vanilla.  Pour over the dry mixture in the bowl.  Toss until everything is well combined.  I use one of those huge spoonulas for this.  Spread granola on two large lightly greased baking sheets.  Bake in a preheated 250 oven for about 90 minutes.  About every 15 minutes or so, stir the mixture with a heatproof spatula so it browns evenly.  If you're not using a convection oven, rotate the sheets from top to bottom each time you stir.  When the granola is a nice light to medium golden brown, remove from the oven and cool completely on the pans.  Transfer to a large bowl, and mix in the dried fruit.  Store in a tightly closed container for several weeks.  This cereal freezes well also.

When my sweet daughter was watching me make this last week, she said, "When I be a mom, I'm going to make this cereal, but I'm going to need the recipe."  This was our first time with this one, and it was delicious!

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