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.
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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