I have tried exchanging the almonds for walnuts or pecans, but find that they easily become over toasted. Almonds are regarded as a superior nut since they help tone and restore the digestive tract, have anticancer properties and can lower cholesterol. They are the only nut that alkalizes the blood, all others acidify. Since I like to keep sweeteners to a minimum, I often leave out the maple syrup. You can add more if you like a sweeter breakfast, but don’t forget the dried fruit that is stirred in at the end adds sweetness.more
Adapted from amychaplin.com
cups oats, use gluten free oats for a gluten free version
cups raw almonds, chopped
cup pumpkin seeds
cup sunflower seeds
cup sesame seeds
cup extra virgin olive oil
cup rice syrup
cup maple syrup
teaspoon sea salt
teaspoons vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean, I use both since I love vanilla.
cup unsulphured dried apricots, finely sliced
cup unslphured golden raisins, like Hunza
cups dried cherries or raisins
Pre-heat oven to 320 degrees (Fahrenheit) Place oats, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and cinnamon in a large bowl and toss to combine. Warm olive oil, rice syrup, maple syrup and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat*. Split vanilla bean (if using) and scrape out seeds with the tip of a small knife, place seeds and bean in the saucepan, whisk and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, add vanilla extract, pour into dry ingredients and mix well. Spread 1/3 of mixture on a parchment lined baking sheet in one layer (mine is 13 by 18 inches) and bake for 30 minutes, stirring after 15 minutes. Return to oven and bake 10 to 15 minutes more or until deep golden and toasty. Repeat with the remaining mixture, I did two trays at a time and rotated them. Place warm granola back in the large bowl, (don’t bother washing the bowl), and stir in the dried fruit while it’s still warm. Allow to cool and store in your favorite jars or cellophane bags to give as gifts. Makes about 15 cups. *Tip; measure oil before measuring rice syrup and it will easily slide out of the measuring cup.