December 2017 Fig Focus

Happy Holidays!

This month’s feature recipe, Cal-Mediterranean Fig Granola, is full of goodies that we associate with the Mediterranean and California – figs, olive oil, oranges and nuts. When you’re looking for something homemade to offer as gifts this holiday season, consider our luscious and healthful snack or breakfast treat. Some additional recipes perfect for holiday gift giving featuring our Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice and Sun-Maid California Figs include Chocolate California Fig Banana Bread, Spanish Fig Cakes, Lemon California Fig Bread with Almond Streusel, and Herb Marinated California Figs.

Valley Fig Growers makes it easy to order California Figs in bulk or in beautiful packages to tuck in holiday gift baskets. Go to our Fig Store to find a wide variety of Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice and Sun-Maid California Figs.

California Mediterranean Fig Granola

Mix together dry ingredients

Mix together flavoring ingredients

Stir flavorings into dry ingredients

Add Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs and cranberries

Ready to serve. Package in decorative bags for gift giving.

California Mediterranean Fig Granola 

Makes about 13 cups, 26 (½-cup) servings

  • 4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted, raw walnut pieces
  • 1 cup, unsalted, raw hazelnuts or almonds
  • 1 cup shelled, unsalted, raw pistachios
  • ¼ cup chia, flax, unsalted raw pumpkin or sunflower seeds (or a combination)
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 package Blue Ribbon® Orchard Choice® or Sun-Maid® California Figs, stemmed and halved
  • 1/2 to ¾ cup dried cranberries, cherries or apricots (halved or sliced)
  1. Adjust oven racks to upper third and lower third of oven. Preheat oven to 300°. Line two large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or oiled foil.
  2. In a large bowl, combine oats, walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios and seeds.
  3. In separate bowl blend sugar and orange zest; add cinnamon and salt.  Whisk in honey and olive oil. Pour over oat mixture and stir to blend well. Spread mixture onto lined baking sheets, dividing evenly.  
  4. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until toasted, stirring and switching position of sheets on racks every 15 minutes.
  5. Cool. Break granola into chunks and stir in figs and cranberries.   
  6. Package in airtight containers.

Lorelle Del Matto, MS, RDN, is a nutrition and culinary professional who combines a passion for food (and California Figs) with a quest for nutrition knowledge. She believes well designed and tested recipes can be great communication tools. Lorelle has a Master’s of Science in nutrition biology and is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. Lorelle developed her culinary skills in France at La Varenne, Ecole de Cuisine. You can find more recipes and healthy lifestyle tips to inspire you to “savor the art of healthy eating” on her website lorelledelmatto.com and on Twitter and Facebook.

Season’s Bakings with Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice and Sun-Maid California Figs

Whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah, we’ve got you covered with recipes to warm up your kitchen and sweeten your holidays! Stay tuned on our Facebook page for bar cookies you won’t want to miss from Cakewhiz.   

We’re also teaming up with Rodelle, a premier producer of delicious baking ingredients, keeping the baking vibes going strong with a giveaway of their vanilla and cocoa for cookie and cake baking.   

Join us for our next episode of “Cooking with California Figs” on 12/20 at 8a PST when we go Facebook Live with MacKenzie of Grilled Cheese Social. She will be showing you how to make her Pound Cake Grilled Cheese with Orchard Choice Fig Spread.  

Need some cookie inspiration to get you started, print this recipe for California Fig Squares and then watch a video of cookie master Alice Medrich as she shows you how to make her California Fig Squares.

New Blood pressure Guidelines—What are you to do?

Leading heart health experts, including the American Heart Association, have issued new guidelines for what is considered high blood pressure. The new “high” blood pressure is a reading of 130/80 that is down from the old reading of 140/90. The reason behind lowering the numbers is to encourage people to make lifestyle changes early before blood vessels are damaged.

  • Be proactive. Eat a health healthy diet like the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet which recommends eating more fruits (hint: such as California Figs), vegetables, whole grains, low fat dairy, fish, poultry, beans, seeds and nuts. Cut back on foods high in saturated fat, cholesterol, and trans fats.
  • Know your numbers. Have your blood pressure checked every 2 years and more often if you are over 50. 
  • Exercise regularly. This means at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise, spread out over the week, and strengthening exercise at least two times a week. 

Happy Holidays from all of us at Valley Fig Growers!

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and tag us @valleyfig —we’d love to see what you’re cooking on Instagram and Facebook!

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