5 cups old-fashioned oats
2-3 cups sliced or slivered almonds, chopped walnuts or pecans, hazelnuts or a combination
3/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup ground flax seeds
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce (or a lunch box snack pack)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup honey
2 Tbsp. canola or flax oil
1/2 – 1 cup raisins, cranberries, chopped dried apricots or a combination (optional)
Set racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat it to 300°F.
In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients. In a small bowl, stir together all of the wet ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir well.
Spread the mixture evenly onto two rimmed baking sheets. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, stirring once or twice, until pale golden. Set aside to cool completely, then stir in the dried fruit if you like.
Store in zip-top bags or airtight containers. Makes 8-10 cups.