I followed the recipe with a few modifications. I started by toasting the coconut, almonds, oats and since I could only find raw wheat germ I toasted it also, for 12 minutes. After toasting I put the mixture in a bowl. I decided to omit the brown sugar since many of the reviewers thought the recipe was too sweet. I also omitted the butter to make the bars healthier. I measured the honey, salt and vanilla, put them in a bowl and added a 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon. Then I measured the dried fruit and put them in another bowl. For the dried fruit I used 1/2 cup of Craisins and 1 cup of Sunmaid Fruit Bits (a mixture of dried fruit including raisins, apricots and apples).
Instead of boiling the honey mixture in a saucepan I microwaved it for a little over a minute then poured it over the oats mixture, added the bowl of fruit and mixed it thoroughly.
Then I placed in it a 12x8 pyrex dish which I lined with foil and sprayed with PAM for Baking. Since many of the reviewers indicated that pressing the ingredients into the dish was so important, I put my hand in a ziploc bag and pressed the mixture down with all my might. I then baked the granola for the full 30minutes.
I wasn't going to wait several hours for the bars to cool so I could cut them, I was way too excited for that. So I put them in the freezer and in about an hour I cut it into 16 bars. There were a few crumbs (which I promptly gobbled down) but for the most part the bars stuck together which was a major concern for me because so many people said this was a problem for them in the reviews. The bars taste really good, nice and nutty, not too sweet, and just the right amount of fruit. The next time I make these, and there will be a next time, I'll probably double the cinnamon. I'd also like to try other dried fruits fruits and nuts. I calculated the nutritional information for each bar.
Nutritional Information: Calories = 194 Total Fat = 6g Sodium = 37mg Cholesterol = 0g Total Carbs = 24g Protein = 4g
That's not too bad if you ask me. Now when I'm running out of the house in the mornings, I can grab one of these for breakfast with a cold glass of lowfat milk. Its also great for boosting my energy before evening dance rehearsals. I'll definitely be tweaking this recipe and I look forward to trying other granola recipes as well. I doubt I'll be buying these anymore.