Stored in an airtight container, this granola keeps well for a week (after that, it loses some crunch and the dates begin to harden).
Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and heat the oven to 300°F. Spray two rimmed baking sheets with vegetable oil spray. In a large bowl, mix the oats, walnuts, whole-wheat flour, dry milk powder, and salt. In a medium bowl, combine the maple syrup, oil, and vanilla; stir well. Add the maple syrup mixture to the oats and mix to combine.
Divide the mixture between the two oiled baking sheets, distributing it in 1- to 2-inch clumps. Bake for 20 minutes and then flip the clusters with a metal spatula and switch the positions of the pans in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, flip the granola again, and bake until the granola has a very fragrant, toasty aroma and the nuts look well toasted, about another 15 minutes. Let cool completely in the pans. Break up any large clumps. When completely cool and dry, mix in the dates.
nutrition information (per serving):
per 1/2 cup serving;
Photo: Scott Phillips