I was amazed when a friend said she made her own granola from scratch-- it seemed like a magical and mystical accomplishment. I tried it myself and it is SO easy, much less expensive and super satisfying. I am very picky about extraneous sugar in my life, so I doctored the following recipe to make it high in seeds, nuts and yum, low in sugar/fat. After a couple tries I decided to "go big or go home" when it comes to granola so I can gift some when I make it. I encourage you to use this recipe as a reference, but experiment with your favorite tastes.
1 cup each raw pecans, almonds, walnuts, cashews
1/2 cup each sesame seeds, sunflower seeds,pumpkin seeds, flax seeds
2 lbs old-fashioned oats (naturally gluten free, but has to be processed in a gluten free facility if you are super sensitive/celiac)
1 stick butter (or equal amount sunflower oil)
1/3 cup maple syrup (or honey, I prefer maple syrup)
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 cup chopped dates
1 cup raisins or dried blueberries
1/4 cup dried apples
2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice or ground cinnamon & nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Farenheit. Spread the nuts on 1-2 baking sheet and roast for 10-12 minutes, just lightly browning them. Transfer to a board to cool and chop. Set aside.
Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees F. Pour the oats and seeds into a mound in the center of each baking sheet (2). Melt the butter in a small pan and mix in maple syrup mixing constantly. Add the salt. Drizzle this into the center of the oat/seed mounds. Stir well and spread in an even layer on each baking sheet. Bake the oat mixture for 30 minutes. Let cool.
Combine the oats, dates, raisins/dried fruit, reserved nuts and spices in a huge bowl and mix. Eat, enjoy, repeat!