The Very Best Granola

Ingredients: – 4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (use certified gluten-free oats for gluten-free granola) – 1 ½ cups raw nuts and/or seeds (e.g., 1 cup pecans and ½ cup pepitas) – 1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt (if using standard table salt, scale back to ¾ teaspoon) – ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon – ½ cup melted coconut oil or olive oil

– ½ cup maple syrup or honey – 1 teaspoon vanilla extract – ⅔ cup dried fruit, chopped if large (e.g., dried cranberries) – Optional additional mix-ins: ½ cup chocolate chips or coconut flakes*

Instructions: 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius) and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, nuts and/or seeds, salt, and cinnamon. Stir to blend. 

Pour in the oil, maple syrup and/or honey, and vanilla. Mix well until every oat and nut is lightly coated. 

Spread the granola onto the prepared pan using a large spoon to create an even layer. 

Bake until lightly golden, about 21 to 24 minutes, stirring halfway through (for extra-clumpy granola, press the stirred granola down with your spatula to create a more even layer). The granola will further crisp up as it cools. 

Allow the granola to cool completely, undisturbed, for at least 45 minutes. 

Top with the dried fruit (and optional chocolate chips or coconut flakes, if using). Break the granola into pieces with your hands if you prefer large chunks, or stir it with a spoon for less clumpy granola. 

Store the granola in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 to 2 weeks, or in a sealed freezer bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. If frozen, let it warm to room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes before serving to allow the dried fruit to soften.