Cacao & Fig Granola
I have a confession; granola is a particular weakness of mine - often after breakfast I sneak an extra few mouthfuls straight from the jar. I love the medley of it, its crunch, its chew. To be honest though I find many conventional granolas leave much to be desired, they're either sickly sweet or barely toasted. I like mine erring on the savoury side & golden enough to happily take lashings of milk without turning limp. This version is on high rotation at home, it's wickedly dark and intense; bitter with the cacao but perfectly rounded out by maple syrup. It might seem unconventional but my secret ingredient is the addition of sea salt; it lifts the flavours ever so well; in fact I imagine you'll be just as tempted as I am to eat straight from the jar.
Cacao & Fig Granola
2 cups of oats, gluten free if necessary
1 1/2 cups of buckwheat groats
1 cup of mixed nuts (often I use whatever I have on hand - my favourite though is a combination of pecans, macadamias and pistachios)
1 cup of coconut flakes
1/2 cup of sunflower seeds
1/2 cup of pepitas
1 cup of unsulfured dried fig, roughly chopped
1/2 cup of dried currants
90ml of extra virgin coconut oil
75ml of pure maple syrup
30g of cacao powder
Two good pinches of sea salt
Start by preheating your oven to 160° celsius, then combine the oats, buckwheat groats, mixed nuts, coconut flakes, sunflower seeds and pepitas in a large bowl. Turn the mixture through with your hands and then spread it out over a deep baking tray lined with parchment paper. In a small saucepan over low heat gently melt the coconut oil and then remove it from the heat. Fold through the maple syrup and cacao powder until well combined and then drizzle the over the baking tray. Carefully turn all the wet and dry ingredients together, before adding those two good pinches of sea salt. Place the mixture in the oven and bake for approximately 30 mins, turning the granola over at 10 minute intervals. I like to bake mine until it's dark and golden but if you prefer a lighter toast remove it from the oven sooner. Remember that the last of the moisture will dry out as it cools and if necessary you can always return it to the oven and brown it for a little longer. Once it's cooled completely fold through the currants and chopped fig and then store it in a sealed glass container for up to a month. Serve with fresh fig and milk of your choice.
SEASONAL GUIDE / temperate CLIMATE
Figs; late summer through mid autumn.
ALSO COMPLEMENTARY TO SERVE WITH
Fresh figs, mixed berries, milk of your choosing, natural yoghurt.
Rolled rye and spelt / dried apricot / cashews / honey
Rolled barley flakes / dried apple / almonds / cinnamon