Cranberry-Pecan Granola

3 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans [I left them halved]
3 TB melted butter [I used coconut oil]
1/3- 1/2 cup honey [I used real maple syrup]
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon 
1 cup dried cranberries [ or cherries, blueberries, dried apples, raisons] * I used blueberries, cranberries, and some raisons- for about 1.5 cups of added fruit*
*optional add-in* 1 cup pepita seeds (shelled pumpkin seeds), or 1/2 cup sunflower seeds [ *I added these- yum!], or flax seeds
** I also added about 1/3 cup Karo syrup becuase I like my granola with little clumps of goodness in it, and found that didn't happen without the Karo.

1. Mix the oats, pecans, butter, honey/maple syrup, vanilla extract, cinnamon and salt in a bowl and stir until evenly coated. 
2. Spread on big parchment lined [or aluminum foil sprayed lightly with cooking spray] baking sheet.  Bake at 250 degrees, stirring every 20 minutes or so, until golden brown.  This should take about 40 to 50 minutes.  After removing from oven immediately stir in cranberries.  [ I like my fruit chewy, so I added mine half way through baking time]

3. When completely cool, store in jars [or other tightly lidded container.  Can keep up to 2 months in a cool, dry place.

*Switch It Up!*

Just Nuts
Omit dried fruit. Double quantity of nuts, replacing berries with almonds or walnut halves.

Fragrant Spices
In place of cinnamon, use pumpkin pie spice.

**Bake in large skillet on the stove top instead of in the oven:
Heat 2 large non-stick frying pans over medium-high (use two pans cuts cooking time in half). When hot, divide oat mixture between pans. Cook, stirring frequently, about 1 min, then reduce heat to medium. Continue stirring, adjusting heat as needed, until golden and toasted, about 6 more min. Stir in cranberries.

So good as a snack by itself or in milk!

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