I love figs, especially the fresh ones. I really can’t get enough of them when they are in season, especially the ones with the blushing pink centres. They are oh so sweet and have such a soft delicate texture. Earlier this year I went to this lovely place in New Zealand called the Hawkes Bay. It has an almost Mediterranean climate so fruit, vegetables and grapes (yes, we’re talking great wine) do really well there. My soon to be sister in-law’s family owns two of the most gorgeous, quaint bed and breakfast cottages I have ever seen, tucked up in the hills there and we were lucky enough to stay in one of them. One morning I was in the back garden of the cottage and by chance, I discovered the biggest, tallest, most magnificent fig tree I have ever seen, laden with fruit. Well needless to say, I went a little silly with the figs and may have ate a few too many. The tree didn’t mind, I didn’t even put a dent in it’s supplies but my tummy was a little full.
Where I’m from fresh figs are often quite expensive, difficult to come by and sadly the season is all too short. Right now it is August (winter in New Zealand), so they’re definitely not anywhere to be seen. Whilst there is nothing quite like the fresh ones, this time of year the dried ones are a pretty good compromise. This hazelnut, fig and honey granola (muesli) makes the most of the delicious flavour of dried figs and pairs this nicely with crunchy hazelnuts and fragrant honey – a match made in heaven!
It is really easy to make your own homemade granola and the great thing is it allows you to control what you put in it, especially the sugar. It may seem rather expensive when you’re buying the ingredients but the recipe yields a large amount and because granola is so high in energy you only need a little for breakfast. Serve with a dollop of natural yoghurt and a drizzle of milk and you have a delicious and healthy breakfast.
When fresh figs are in season, cut some up on top of your hazelnut, fig and honey granola – yum!
Hazelnut, Fig and Honey Granola
- 1/3 cup rice bran oil
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 cup wheatgerm
- 1/2 cup long thread coconut
- 1/4 cup sesame seeds
- 1 cup hazelnuts roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds
- 250 g dried figs sliced
Preheat oven at 150C (300F).
In a small saucepan warm together the oil, honey and vanilla.
Mix together all the dry ingredients and warm honey mixture.
Spread out on a roasting dish. Bake for 20-30min or until golden. Stir the mixture every 10 mins to ensure granola bakes evenly and doesn’t burn.
Remove from the oven and mix through the dried fruit.
Store in an air-tight container for up to two weeks.