I love granola – as a cereal, as a snack, as a bar….  Which gave me the idea to play around and come up with a recipe for bite-size granola balls that I could set out as an “appetizer” for brunch.  These granola bites are packed with flavor and natural goodness.  They are sturdy enough to be eaten without a spoon, but remain moist and chewy.  The granola bites are best made a few days in advance so the oats have time to soften and the flavors have a chance to merry.  Leftovers (if there are any) make a great breakfast on-the-go or a pre-workout snack.

Granola Bites

1 ½ cup rolled oats
1 cup dried apricots, chopped
¼ cup dried blueberries or currants
¼ cup raw sunflower seeds, chopped
¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
¼ cup sliced almonds, chopped
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ cup natural peanut butter (smooth)
¼ cup agave nectar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Combine ground oats, chopped apricots, blueberries, sunflower seeds, coconut, almonds and cinnamon in a large bowl until well mixed.

2. Add peanut butter, agave nectar and vanilla to oat mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until mixture is slightly moist and sticky.

3. Using a 1” spring-loaded scoop or a melon baller, scoop out a small amount of mixture and form into round balls. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or waxed paper. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight to give oats time to absorb moisture and soften.

* These can be made gluten-free by making them with certified GF oats.