Slow cooker granola sounds totally weird, right? Well, as you know, I've been looking for mulitple ways to use my crock pot/slow cooker and have looked up a lot of ideas on the interwebs and in books. I keep finding great recipes in this one that my parents got me a few Christmases ago (before they realized that I didn't have a functioning slow cooker.) This is the same book I got the apple butter recipe from. And we know how much I liked (loved) that. This is a great granola recipe, and the thing I love about granola is that it's so flexible. You can really change things up depending on what you have on hand or are just in the mood for. I was regretfully out of coconut (the horror!) and had some toasted macadamia nuts on hand so I changed things up a little from the original recipe, but you can really be loosey-goosey with these things.
5 cups rolled oats
1 cup sliced almonds (I added 1/2 cup of toasted macadamia nuts, as well)
3/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries (I used this amount of a mixed bag of dried fruit)
3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (it's near impossible to find unsweetened so just use what you can find)
1/2 cup chopped dates (I substituted raisins)
1/2 cup sesame seeds
2/3 cup pure maple syrup (this doesn't leave an overwhelming maple flavor. Just enough to sweeten)
1/4 cup canola oil (I did a little less)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1. Combine all the ingredients in a lightly buttered slow cooker and stir to combine. Cook on high for 1 1/2 hours, uncovered, stirring occasionally.
2. Reduce the heat to low and cook, uncovered, for 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is crisp and dry.
3. Spread the granola on a baking sheet to cool completely (I totally skipped this step). Store in airtight jars. It will taste best if used within 2 weeks.