"Originally given to me at work as a 'Hey! I made this, try it, it's vegan (I'm not vegan), you'll love it!' and I did; I really did love it. I've made it several times now and a modified version for my husband (omitted the chocolate and used deluxe mixed nuts). I have to stash some or get none in my house."
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Lightly grease a large baking sheet.
Pour the oats into a large bowl. Add almonds, cinnamon, cocoa powder, salt, brown sugar, and dried fruit into the oats respectively, stirring each into the mixture before adding the next.
Mix maple syrup and vanilla extract together in a small bowl. With a rubber spatula, add the maple syrup-vanilla mixture to your dry ingredients. Fold the two together until mixed and all dry ingredients are well coated.
Bake in preheated oven for about 20 minutes, stir, and continue baking until golden brown, about 25 minutes more. Set aside to cool slightly, about 20 minutes.
Gently fold chocolate chips into the granola mixture, allowing the chocolate to coat the granola as it melts slightly. Cool completely before storing.