1/2cupdried fruitchopped into pieces if large (I used low sugar dried cranberries and apricots)
Spray the bottom and sides of a 5-quart or larger slow cooker with cooking spray. Place the old fashioned oats, nuts and/or seeds, flaxseed, cinnamon, and salt in the slow cooker and stir to combine.
In a small bowl or large measuring cup, whisk the egg whites until frothy. Add the maple syrup (or honey), coconut oil, and vanilla extract. Stir to combine, then pour over the dry ingredients in the slow cooker and stir with a wooden spoon until the ingredients are evenly moistened.
Cover the slow cooker, leaving the lid slightly askew so that steam can escape. Cook on high (leaving the lid askew) for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, until the nuts are toasted and the granola feels dry to the touch, stirring the granola every 30 minutes. Ensure that you leave the lid askew after each stirring.
Turn off the slow cooker, then stir in the dried fruit. For maximum crispiness, spread the granola out onto a baking sheet to cool completely. The granola will continue to crisp as it cools. You can also let it cool in the slow cooker, but it will not be as crisp. Enjoy!
Store leftover slow cooker granola in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 weeks. The granola will lose some freshness over time, but will still be yummy.
To freeze, place the granola in an airtight container and press a sheet of plastic wrap over the top. The less air, the better! Freeze for up to 3 months and let thaw overnight. The dried fruit will become somewhat tough in the freezer, so consider adding it afterwards if this bothers you.