Combine the maple syrup, light brown sugar, water, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. Remove the saucepan from heat and let the mixture cool to lukewarm.
Meanwhile combine the oats, chopped almonds, dried fruit, chia seeds, sesame seeds, and almond flour in a large bowl.
If you're using the egg white, whisk it in a small bowl until it's frothy. If you leave out the egg white, the granola won't be as crunchy and won't hold together as well.
Once the maple syrup mixture has cooled, whisk in the oil or melted butter, then the egg white. Pour the liquid over the dry ingredients and mix well.
Spread the mixture evenly across the prepared baking sheet. Press down firmly to compact it before baking using another the bottom of a pot.
Bake for 40 to 50 minutes until dark golden brown, rotating the baking pan every 15 minutes to promote even browning.
Set the baking pan on a cooling rack until surface of the granola is crisp. Leave the oven on while the granola cools.
If the granola's surface is still tacky to the touch once cooled, return the baking pan to the oven and continue baking for another 10 to 15 minutes, checking every 5 minutes. Don’t let the granola get too dark or it will taste bitter.
Once the granola is totally cool, break it into pieces (and try to resist eating it all at once).
You can add 1/4 teaspoon of almond extract or Fiori di Sicilia with the vanilla for more depth of flavor.Use a single type of dried fruit (like raisins, cranberries, blueberries, or cherries), or mix up a medley.Feel free to substitute for or leave out the dried fruit, nuts, seeds, shredded coconut, etc...make the granola to your liking!Store the granola in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks, or in the fridge up to 1 month (if it lasts that long!). It freezes well, too!