It's almost a misnomer to call fruit and nut granola a snack; once you start eating, you'll be hard pressed to stop!
This recipe makes something over two gallons of granola (I separate it into about 10 gift bags), so be sure you have a huge pot or bowl for mixing the ingredients.
18 cups of rolled oats
4 cups of sunflower seeds
2 cups each of pumpkin seeds and raw, unsalted peanuts
1 cup each of chopped cashews, almonds, walnuts, and filberts
1 cup each of wheat germ and wheat bran
1 cups of shredded, unsweetened coconut
3 cups of honey
1 cup of safflower or corn oil
1 cup of melted butter or margarine
1 tablespoon of vanilla
2 cups each of raisins and chopped, pitted dates
Mix together all the dry ingredients except the dates and raisins, then heat the honey, oil, butter, and vanilla until they're well warmed and blended. With that done, pour the honey mixture over the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Now spread the granola evenly over cookie sheets or into roasting pans. [EDITOR'S NOTE: When testing this recipe, MOTHER EARTH NEWS' baker used eight cookie sheets.] The thinner the granola is spread, the quicker it will cook; you'll need to watch it carefully lest it burn. Bake the mix for about 20-30 minutes in a 300°F oven, stirring every 3 minutes. Rotate the pans from the upper to the lower shelves to ensure even browning.
Remove the browned granola to a large bowl or bin for cooling (it becomes crisp when completely cool). Finally, mix in the raisins and dates, then package the cereal in ziplock bags ... but leave some for your own Christmas munching!