Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Kalamata Fig & Toasted Almond Granola (Gluten Free, Vegan) #DetoxJanuary


If you're doing a post-New-Year-healthy-eating-detox-cleanse-resolution thingie, or you know, whatever you are calling it, breakfast can be hard. It is SO easy to either skip it (a problem in this house), reach for some sugary, carb-y pastry, or fall into a rut. I am guilty of the latter, while others in this household are chronic breakfast-skippers. We're all trying to reform though. 

Granola to the rescue! 

Granola gets a bad rap because the stuff you buy at the grocery store tends to be excessively calorie-dense and basically coated with sugar. Not so of homemade.  This entire recipe is sweetened by only two tablespoons of honey - not even sugar! - plus a tiny bit of cane sugar in the almond butter. It's worth it, I think, but if you are trying to avoid sugar, you can definitely swap the almond butter out for the unsweetened kind. 

Speaking of swapping ingredients out here, you may not be the kind of person who keeps their pantry fully stocked with such quotidien ingredients as Kalamata (I want to go to there) figs. The horror! Just kidding. I'm not either, and I don't know anyone who is. These figs were left over from Christmas cookies and I have been giving them the side eye ever since, wondering what I am going to do with them. I basically created this granola specifically to accommodate these sad/delicious leftover figs. If you can get your hands on some, it's well worth the extra effort to find them, but no need to run around on a wild goose fig chase. Feel free to swap it out for any old kind of dried fig, date, or apricot. (I would recommend cherries too, but we already did that one.)

No matter what kind of "___ and toasted almond" granola this becomes, it's a perfect quick and filling breakfast, snack, half-of-a-yogurt-parfait, or middle-of-the-night-when-I'm-too-hungry-to-fall-asleep nosh. Guaranteed.





Kalamata Fig & Toasted Almond Granola
From Buttercream Fanatic (2013)

2 cup oats (make sure you are using a brand that is labeled gluten-free if necessary)
1/2 cup ground flax seeds
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons honey (use agave if vegan)
3 Tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
2 Tablespoons sweetened almond butter
Heaping 1/2 cup chopped Kalamata figs, stems removed 
1/3 c. roughly chopped almonds, toasted in a dry pan and cooled (feel free to use untoasted if that's easier)

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Combine oats, flax seeds, cinnamon, allspice, and salt in a large mixing bowl and stir briefly to combine.

In a small microwave-safe bowl, heat honey, oil and almond butter in the microwave for about 20 seconds, until honey is liquified and almond butter is soft and smooth. Mix well to combine into a smooth, uniform consistency. Pour wet mixture over dry mixture and stir until oats are coated and clumps form.

Turn granola onto a cookie sheet and spread into a thick, even layer. Press gently to form a tight, level slab on the cookie sheet (this way, some of the granola sticks together and you'll get some clumps).

Bake for 18-20 minutes until oats are crisp and edges are deep brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely on the cookie sheet before pouring back into mixing bowl. Add figs and almonds and toss a few times to combine. Use your fingers to break up any very large clumps that may remain.

Serve immediately or store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Makes approximately 3+ cups. This recipe can easily be multiplied.

**

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12 comments:

  1. YUM! I just made granola a couple weeks ago - love making it but I don't do it nearly enough! Your version looks delicious! Homemade is the way to go :) The addition of figs makes this one so unique!

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  2. I love sprinkling granola on my yogurt in the morning before I head off to school! You definitely hooked me in with the figs. I come from a long line of fig obsessed people. I think it's in my blood to constantly crave a good one!

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  3. I know what you mean. it's so much fun to be creative with and make different version of...but it never lasts as long as you'd like it to!

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  4. Same here, Graham. Figs are such an unappreciated fruit!

    (PS: you'll like this, I think: http://www.buttercreamfanatic.com/2013/08/fig-and-almond-cake.html)

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  5. Cate @ Chez CateyLouJanuary 14, 2014 at 8:25 PM

    I've never heard of kalamata figs - they are gorgeous! Definitely worth making a recipe around! This granola looks delicious! What a great option for breakfast - I am not a breakfast skipper, but I am guilty of reaching for a pastry a bit too often...

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  6. This granola looks so great! I love the addition of figs.

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  7. Honestly, I had not heard of them either until my mom bought them for some Christmas cookies! I've seen figs that look like these called many things, but honestly, as long as you have figs, life is good right?

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  8. Thanks so much! Figs make everything just a little tastier, don't they?

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  9. Yummy! Granola is one of my favorite snack foods, and you're right that most store-bought brands pack it full of sugar and calories. I'm so glad that I can now refer to your recipe for a healthier homemade version. I've never tried figs in granola but I'm sure it tastes amazing (: Have a great day!

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  10. I'm so glad this recipe will be a good reference for you! I highly recommend the figs, but they can be hard to find and/or expensive. I've made this with raisins and walnuts, with dates and almonds, and it comes out great every time. Feel free to be creative!

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  11. Fig lovers unite! Dried figs are a really unexpected taste and texture in this granola. I think you'll love it!

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  12. Yum! We love dried figs around here (and always have them in the pantry- haha), but I've never thrown them in granola. Great idea! I've also never used almond butter in my granola..very intrigued.

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