Recipe Crunchy Granola Bites

Crunchy Granola Bites

1 1/2 C. old-fashioned oats
1/4 C. flax seeds
1/4 C. sliced almonds
1/4 C. pumpkin seeds
1/2 C. shredded coconut
1/4 C. wheat germ
2 T. blonde coconut palm sugar (or light brown sugar is fine)
1 T. molasses
2 T. honey
1 T. agave nectar
1 T. almond butter
4 T. Earth Balance spread (or butter)
2 t. pure vanilla extract
1/8 - 1/4 t. salt (to taste)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Grease a 24-cup mini-muffin tin and set aside.

Combine oats, flax seeds, almonds, pumpkin seeds, coconut, and wheat germ on a rimmed baking sheet and spread into an even layer. Bake 20 minutes, stirring every 6 or 7 minutes, until ingredients are lightly toasted.

Meanwhile, combine sugar, honey, molasses, agave, almond butter, and Earth Balance spread in a small saucepan on stove. Heat over medium-low, stirring until melted, and bring to a gentle simmer. Stir occasionally, lowering heat if necessary to prevent burning, until oats are done.

Empty oat mixture from baking sheet into a bowl, and stir. Remove sugar syrup from stove, and add vanilla and salt. Pour syrup over oats in bowl, and stir to coat mixture well.

Increase oven heat to 325 degrees, then divide granola mixture among cups of prepared mini-muffin tin (I used a small cookie dough scoop to distribute evenly). Press mixture firmly into cups - you want the mixture to adhere to itself, otherwise you'll just end up with cups of loose granola!

Bake in pre-heated oven for 13-15 minutes until golden. Let bites sit in pan for 10 minutes before removing and cooling completely on wire rack.
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