The best part of making granola is being able to control exactly what's in it.
The second best part: it really is incredibly easy.
This is adapted from a granola recipe in the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book.
2 Cups rolled oats
1/2 Cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
1/2 Cup chopped walnuts
3/4 Cup any combination of sunflower, sesame and/or pumpkin seeds
1/2 Cup honey or brown rice syrup
1/3 Cup canola oil
Optional: 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and/or a dash of ground ginger
In a big bowl, stir together the dry ingredients. In a liquid measuring cup, whisk together the honey (or brown rice syrup) and oil plus any spices you are using. Stir the wet into the dry until well incorporated. Spread evenly onto a large well greased baking sheet. Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes or so, stirring after 20. When lightly browned, remove from oven and immediately turn out into a large piece of foil. Let cool. Break into clumps. Store in an airtight container.
Use a combination of pecans and walnuts for more variety.
Stir in 1/2 Cup raisins and 1/2 Cup chopped dates when you remove from oven.
Note: This dish can be gluten-free if you source gluten-free oats.
Improvements: The recipe avariation based on the technique from the granola recipe in Alana Chernila's cookbook The Homemade Pantry. My new method: use parchment paper instead of greasing the pan. Once the granola is lightly browned, turn off the oven but leave the pans in the oven to slowly cool over several hours for a toastier crunch, then add any fruit after it has completely cooled.
Further improvements: The granola recipe in Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Every Day calls for maple syrup instead of honey and for added orange zest and currants. I don't follow her recipe exactly (for example, it calls for butter and I prefer using oil), but the orange zest is a great addition and way to mix up the flavor profile.