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.
A couple of weeks ago I was going on a work retreat. A potluck was being organized and I decided to volunteer to make dessert. I chose dessert because I like posting recipes up here but don’t like having to eat it all by myself, so I figured a potluck was a perfect opportunity to make something sweet to share with lots of people. Let me tell you, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. As the food restrictions came pouring in, I realized that I had to make a gluten free, vegan, nut free dessert. That meant no eggs, no butter, no flour (unless it was an overwhelming combination of a bunch of flours I didn’t have), and no nuts to simulate all of the above. It wasn’t like I could back out, so I started to do my research. I came up with two viable options. The first, being a fruit crisp like this one on Cookie and Kate. I thought that maybe this was the most obvious choice and left it out there in case my co-worker who was also making dessert chose to go in that direction. The second option that I found was a recipe for Fig Newtons on My New Roots (a beautiful blog that focuses on healthy ingredients, which I knew would come through in terms of looking for a recipe built around dietary restrictions).