4-1/2cupsoatsor can use a mix of oats, bran, flax, etc
1cupunsweetened coconutI like the extra-large flakes
1cupnutschopped, toasted, of your choice (I like hazelnuts and almonds)
1cupdried cranberries or sour cherries, optional
Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit, and cover two baking sheets with foil. Spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, combine the oats and other optional grains, unsweetened coconut, and chopped, toasted nuts. Toss them briefly with your hands to combine.
In a medium saucepan, combine the vegetable oil, honey, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, and cocoa powder. Heat this mixture, stirring, over medium heat, until you have a smooth, flowing liquid without any cocoa lumps.
Carefully pour the hot cocoa syrup over the oats in the bowl. Stir until the oats are completely coated with the chocolate. Divide the granola evenly between the two baking sheets, and spread it out into a thin, even layer on each sheet.
Bake the granola in the 300 degree oven for about 45 minutes. Gently stir every 10-15 minutes, and rotate the trays between racks and front to back to make sure the granola doesn’t burn in spots. It’s difficult to gauge when it’s finished based on color, because the color won’t really change. The best way is to check it after 45 minutes-- let it sit out at room temperature for about 10 minutes, and if it gets hard and crispy, it’s finished. If it’s still not crunchy after this time, continue to bake it in 10-15 minute increments until it’s done.
Once it’s out of the oven, let it cool undisturbed, without stirring—if you stir it too much, you’ll break up the clumps! Once it’s cool, add the dried fruit, if you’re using it. Transfer the granola to a large airtight container or plastic storage bags. Store at room temperature or in the freezer.