Adapted from Cowgirl Cuisine: Rustic Recipes and Cogirl Adventures From a Texas Ranch, by Paula Disbrowe.
1 cup pure maple syrup (not maple-flavored)
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 cups old-fashioned oats (not instant)
4 ounces (about 1 cup) pecan halves
2 ounces (about 1/2 cup) raw unsalted pepitas (pumpkin seed kernels)
2 ounces (about 1/2 cup) raw unsalted sunflower seeds
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup nonfat dry milk powder
1/2 cup ground flaxseed meal
4 ounces (generous 1/2 cup) chopped dried peaches or nectarines
4 ounces (generous 1/2 cup) dried cherries or golden raisins
Position oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat to 300 degrees. Combine maple syrup, brown sugar, oil, and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until brown sugar is dissolved, and stir in vanilla. In a large bowl, combine oats, pecans, pepitas, sunflower seeds, flour, milk powder, and flaxseed meal. Pour warm syrup mixture over dry ingredients and mix well with a rubber spatula.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Spread the moistened oats evenly between the sheets. Bake for 20 minutes, then stir with a metal spatula and switch sheets to opposite racks to ensure even cooking. Bake another 20 minutes, then stir and switch pans again. Continue baking until mixture has a fragrant, toasty aroma, about another 10 to 15 minutes. Cool the granola in the pans, breaking up any unwieldy clumps with a spatula. When completely cool, mix in dried peaches and cherries. May be stored at room temperature in an airtight container. Makes 11 to 12 cups.
This recipe is one of several included in the Texas Monthly article From Husks Till Dawn by Patricia Sharpe, [March 2007]