1/4 cup vegetable oil, like soy, peanut, or corn
2/3 cup dark amber maple syrup, grade A or B
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
3 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup green pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1/2 cup cashews, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup whole almonds, coarsely chopped
1 cup mixed dried fruit, such as currants, diced pears, diced apricots, cranberries, raisins, blueberries, or chopped dates
Preheat oven to 225 degrees F.
In a small saucepan, combine the oil and syrup and heat, stirring, over low heat. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla extract.
In a large bowl, toss together the wheat germ, sesame seeds, coconut, oats, pumpkin seeds, cashews, and almonds. Add the syrup mixture and stir to coat evenly. Spread the granola mixture out on a baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, about an 1 hour and 30 minutes. Stir the mixture occasionally while baking so it toasts evenly.
Transfer the warm toasted granola to a large bowl and stir in the dried fruits and let cool. Store in a tightly sealed container a room temperature for 2 weeks or freeze for up to 2 months.
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