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Granola Bites

Prep: 25 minutes plus chilling
Makes: 36 bites

2 tablespoons sliced almonds
Nonstick cooking spray
1-3/4cups quick oats
2/3 cup finely chopped dried apples and/or apricots
1/3 cup dried blueberries, cherries and/or cranberries
2 tablespoons roasted, salted sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons coconut flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup peanut or soynut butter
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract

1.In small skillet, toast almonds over medium heat 4 to 5 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring frequently.

2.Spray cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray. In bowl of food processor with knife blade attached, process 1/4 cup oats and almonds 15 seconds or to fine crumbs; transfer to medium bowl.

3.In large bowl, combine dried fruits, sunflower seeds, coconut, cinnamon and remaining 1-1/2 cups oats. Add peanut butter, honey and extract, and stir until well combined and mixture begins to stick together.

4.Using gloves or moist hands, form mixture into 1-inch balls, then coat lightly with almond-oat crumbs. Place on prepared cookie sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight to allow oats to absorb moisture.

Approximate nutritional values per serving (4 granola bites):
246 Calories, 11g Fat (2g Saturated),
0mg Cholesterol, 76mg Sodium,
33g Carbohydrates, 4g Fiber, 8g Protein

Dietitian’s tip:

Make a double batch and freeze all the leftovers. They make a perfect snack for a sweet tooth or can be an appetizer or dessert for unexpected guests! Try mixing it up by using your favorite dried fruits, nuts and nut or seed butters.