This recipe can be made in smaller slow cookers, but it requires a lot more checking and needs more time to cook; I also I find the results are a bit uneven. More surface area means more even cooking, so use larger one if possible when in doubt.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, coconut oil, or cooking spray for greasing the slow cooker
- 2 cups raw and unsalted nuts and seeds
- 4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick cooking oats; gluten-free, if needed)
- 1 cup flaked unsweetened coconut
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/3 cup coconut oil (melted) or olive oil
- 1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cups freeze-dried fruit or 1 cup dried fruit, chopped if the fruits are larger than raisins (Or use a delicious mix of both!)
- Slow cooker, 3 1/2 quart or larger
1 Lightly spray or grease the inside of the slow cooker with oil.
2 Add the ingredients to the slow cooker: Combine the oats, coconut, nuts and seeds, spices, and salt in the slow cooker and stir to combine.
Whisk together the oil, liquid sweetener, and vanilla extract. Pour over the dry ingredients and mix together.
3 Slow cook the granola: Set the slow cooker to high and leave the lid a bit ajar. This will allow moisture to escape and encourage hot air to circulate.
Cook for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, stirring the mixture together thoroughly every 20 to 30 minutes. (For my decade-old slow cooker, the magic number for the total cooking time seems to be 2 hours and 15 minutes). Be aware that each slow cooker is different, so you may need more or less time.
Toward the end of cooking, keep a closer eye on it as the nuts and coconut may begin to burn if they’ve not been stirred enough. The granola is finished when it starts to smell fragrant and the ingredients take on a toasted color.
4 Cool the granola: Spread the granola out onto a few cookie sheets lined with foil or parchment (for easy transfer later) to encourage cooling. The granola will crisp further as it cools, about 10 to 15 minutes. Once cool, stir in any dried fruit as desired.
5 Store the granola: Place in an airtight container and store in a cool, dry place. Use within 2 weeks.