Perhaps I created this recipe so I could simplify my morning ritual of bringing out ten different bags and jars of ingredients to make my breakfast. This Spiced Fig & Coconut granola recipe essentially combines several of my favourite porridge or smoothie bowl toppers into one convenient glass jar, that waits prettily on the counter for me each morning. It’s the wonderfully delicious combination of dried figs and cranberries, pecans, coconut chips, cacao nibs, oats and puffed quinoa, tossed together in a mixture of ground ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, maple syrup, almond butter, banana and sea salt. Yum! When you try this granola, your home will smell amazing while it bakes in the oven and your mornings will get a lot more exciting and tasty! This granola feels decadent while being a good source of fibre, healthy fats, antioxidants and low in sugar; unlike most commercial granola brands that are high in refined sugars, sodium, fats, preservatives, artificial sweeteners and colouring.

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Puffed Quinoa: This was my first time trying my hand at “puffed” quinoa. To my surprise, it is incredibly easy and quick to make; just like making popcorn. Also, to my surprise and delight, the quinoa gives this granola an added touch of crunch. To prepare the puffed quinoa, simply heat a pot (oil free) at medium low heat for a few minutes. Then begin “testing” a couple of quinoa kernels by listening for a popping sound, indicating your pot is hot enough to get started…or popping! Place a thin, even layer of quinoa in the bottom of the pot and let the quinoa do its thing. After about 30 seconds of popping I shake the pot to move the kernels around and to avoid burning. Once the popping sounds mostly stop and the kernels are lightly browned transfer the quinoa to a bowl and repeat this process as needed.

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Figs: One of the reasons I love this granola recipe so much is for the figs, which are one of my absolute favourite foods, fresh or dried. They feel like such a treat; likely in part because fresh figs are not easy to find and they come in and out of season far too quickly. They’re sweet, delicate, chewy and beautiful. One of the highlights of my last trip to Italy was picking fresh figs, perfectly ripe, straight from the tree. I was in my Dad’s hometown, San Bartelomeo en Galdo, visiting a relative’s farm when I spotted the fig tree. Within minutes, unable to contain my excitement, I had climbed that tree and was happily harvesting baskets of fresh, ripe figs. Needless to say, my fig dreams were made that day and I ate more than I’d like to admit. Nutritionally speaking, figs are high in fibre (soluble and insoluble) and are a good source of vitamins and minerals, including calcium, iron, potassium, and manganese. For this recipe, I used dried black mission figs (the dark purple coloured variety) and calimyrna figs (the greenish coloured variety). They each have a slightly different taste and of course, colour.

How to use: You can enjoy this Spiced Fig & Coconut Granola in oh-so many ways. I have been loving it paired with fresh pear slices on top of a steaming bowl of porridge with almond milk and an extra dash of cinnamon in the morning. You can also have it as a snack on its own or on top of yoghurt or a smoothie bowl. I typically use about 1/3 or 1/2 cup of granola when topping my porridge or smoothie bowl.

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I hope this beautiful Spiced Fig & Coconut Granola becomes a new staple on your kitchen countertop!

Ciao,

Sarah

Spiced Fig & Coconut Granola

Makes about 6 cups total
Prep/Cook Time: 15 minutes/30 minutes

INGREDIENTS

2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
2 tbsp almond butter or natural peanut butter
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 very ripe banana
1 tbsp vanilla
1/2 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tbsp ground ginger
1/2 tbsp cardamom
1/4 tsp sea salt
1.5 cups rolled oats
1 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup quinoa
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup dried figs, chopped
3/4 cup dried coconut chips or shredded
1/2 cup cocoa nibs

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
2. Combine coconut oil, almond butter, maple syrup, banana, vanilla and spices into a food processor and mix until smooth.
3. Combine oats and pecans in a mixing bowl and coat well with half of the “wet” mixture (saving the other half for the other ingredients).
4. Place oats and pecan mixture on a large parchment lined baking sheet and place in over for 15 minutes.
5. In the meantime, prepare the puffed quinoa by heating a pot (oil free) at medium low heat for a few minutes. Begin “testing” a couple of quinoa kernels by listening for a popping sound, indicating your pot is hot enough. Place a thin, even layer of quinoa in the bottom of a pot to allow it to start “popping”. After about 30 seconds shake the pot to move the kernels around and to avoid burning. Once the popping sounds mostly stop and the kernels are lightly browned transfer the quinoa to a bowl and repeat this process as needed.
6. In another mixing bowl, combine puffed quinoa, cranberries, figs, coconut, and cocoa nibs and coat well with the remaining “wet” mixture.
7. When the oats and pecans have baked for 15 minutes, stir well, and then add the other ingredients to the baking sheet. Combine and spread evenly; bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.
8. Let granola cool completely before storing in an air tight container at room temperature (will keep for weeks).

Note: I like to add an extra small handful of un-toasted coconut chips once the granola has baked and cooled.