Since we moved, Whole Foods is the biggest, closest grocery store to us. There was a Whole Foods where we lived in Vancouver but we never shopped there because of the plethora of convenient, high-quality, cheap, small grocery stores. Even though I had been in a number of Whole Foods, walking into the one in New York was a totally different experience. I felt overwhelmed for the first time since moving to the city. There was so much stuff and so many people buying that stuff. However, once I was able to repress how overwhelmed I felt, I was definitely intrigued by the varieties of peppers, apples, pears (etc, etc) that I had never heard of. There were also a lot of fruits and vegetables that were less commonly available in grocery stores back home (I tried sunchokes for the first time!).
During my most recent trip to the store, a small punnet of fresh black figs caught my eye. Even though I have seen fresh figs, this was my first time buying them. The main reason for buying them was to make this fig and granola yogurt bowl. It has taken some time for our blender (smoothies!) and pots (oatmeal!) to arrive so my breakfast routine has changed. Other than cold cereal, I have been eating yogurt bowls. I load up the yogurt with the same delicious seeds, nuts and fruit as I tend to do with my oatmeal or smoothie bowls: figs were a perfect addition.
I knew I wanted to be able to taste the figs in their juicy, raw state. I love their flavour but also their texture, especially the small seeds that pop and crunch as I eat them.
I decided to make the bowl extra special by adding some chewy granola that I could make quickly in a pan. I love toasting granola in a pan because it removes the hassle of pre-heating and cooking in the oven. Instead of making a loose muesli (which is what I tend to make in the pan), I toasted the oats and nuts for some extra flavour and blended them with some plump medjoool dates. The mixture is perfectly sticky and could easily be rolled into little granola clumps. The clumps of granola are so easy to make and are perfect for adding chewy sweetness to the bowl.
On another note, another big change is getting used to taking photos in a new space. A lot of people have asked me if I was going to continue blogging once we moved to New York and the natural lighting in our apartment was definitely a determining factor. I had no idea what to expect, especially since I had been so lucky in our last apartment, which had ample light that gave me time to take photos throughout the day. If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you may have noticed that I have two new photo-taking places. The first is the black windowsill that features heavily in this post. The second is the cardboard box that we’ve been using as our kitchen table for the past two weeks. In fact, the cardboard box is our only piece of “furniture” other than our bed at the moment (our bed came in the cardboard box!). I think things are looking good and am looking forward to continuing to try things out.
This recipe will make enough granola for about 4 bowls, but otherwise you can easily scale this recipe up or down.
This can easily be made vegan by using a non-dairy yogurt.
In a medium pan, over medium heat, toast your oats and almonds for a few minutes (until the oats start to brown).
In a food processor, blend together the oats, almonds, dates and cinnamon until the mixture is fully combined and sticks together when pressed between your fingers. If the mixture is too dry, add a date.
To assemble your bowl, place some yogurt and a drizzle of maple syrup (more or less depending on how sweet you want it to be).
Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds, coconut flakes and flax seeds.
Top with halved figs and some clumps of the granola.
Store any extra granola in an airtight container in the fridge.