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Yogurt Parfaits with Vanilla Coconut Almond Granola & Balsamic Fig Sauce



My first week of law school has already endowed me with some stellar reasoning skills.

If a food item can reasonably be considered to exist in both the breakfast and the dessert category, that food item will be unequivocally delicious.

Thus, you should eat it.


Hello toasted vanilla coconut almond granola.  (Let's see...nuts, oats, flax seed...definitely breakfast)


 And hello sweet balsamic fig sauce. (Hmm...simple syrup, sugar, sauce...leaning toward dessert here, although there is fruit involved...)


When those two forces combine with greek yogurt, (uh, breakfast/dessert?) the result is unambiguously delicious. I am obsessed with these parfaits. The granola is lightly sweet, crunchy, and packed with healthy things. 

The balsamic fig sauce is inspired by the balsamic reduction I made to go with these ridiculous sandwiches.  The original recipe that I found for the balsamic fig sauce involved making caramel first, then adding in the water, balsamic, and butter.  As we all know (and as I enumerated in painful detail), I am a failure when it comes to caramel making.  I tried once again, and failed, once again. 

I then decided to go for the simple syrup approach instead, nix the butter, and throw the whole concoction into the food processor so that the figs would BE the sauce, rather than just chunks in the sauce. 


What resulted is a revelation. Who knew 4 simple ingredients should create such complex flavor? And sound fancy, while being super easy to make?

This sauce is SWEET, yet tempered by the slight acidity of the reduced balsamic. Words don't really do it justice, but suffice it to say that I will be eating it on everything (breakfast, dessert, and otherwise) and you should too.

Yogurt Parfaits with Vanilla Coconut Almond Granola & Balsamic Fig Sauce
   
Vanilla Coconut Almond Granola

Ingredients:

1 cup whole almonds
1/2 cup chopped almonds
3 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup flax seed
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1 tsp sea salt
1/3 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300. 

In a large bowl, combine almonds, oats, flax seed, coconut, sunflower seeds, and sea salt. 


In a small sauce pan, heat coconut oil & honey until melted. (You can also do this in the microwave) Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and almond extracts. 


Pour liquid mixture over oats mixture and stir well. Distribute granola evenly over a baking sheet at bake for 25-30 minutes, stirring halfway through. Let granola cool for 5-10 minutes, then use a spoon to stir it around and break up any large clumps. 



Balsamic Fig Sauce

Ingredients:

3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
8 soft dried figs, chopped

Directions:
In a small sauce pan, combine the sugar and water and bring to a rolling boil. Continue boiling for about 5 minutes, or until slightly reduced.

Add balsamic vinegar and figs. Bring to a boil again, and allow to simmer, stirring frequently, until mixture is reduced by a third. 


Remove from heat and let cool slightly. 


Pour mixture into a food processor and blend until smooth. 


**The sauce makes about 4 servings, but you will have plenty of granola left over!


To Assemble the Yogurt Parfaits


Sprinkle 3-4 tablespoons granola in the bottom of a glass. Dollop about 1/2 cup of plain greek yogurt on top, followed by 2-3 tablespoons of balsamic fig sauce, and a sprinkling of granola. Dig in! 


(The fig sauce is very sweet, so if you want to use an already sweetened yogurt or ice cream, I would reduce the amount of sauce you add.) 


Balsamic Fig Sauce inspired by Epicurious


Granola adapted from Iowa Girl Eats

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