Fresh Maple-Fig Spread and Exploring New Foods

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This week, I had the opportunity to guest post on The Whole Gang for a continuation of 30 Days to a Food Revolution. Along with the recipe for this Maple-Fig Spread, I’m sharing one of my favorite tips for leading a healthier lifestyle.

Tip: Treat yourself to a ‘new to you’ food at least once a month, and a healthy ‘splurge’ food at least once a week. This tip goes double for all of you just venturing a dairy-free or other free-from diet. Now is the time to explore! Read on, this tip gets better …fig spread

I confess, even though I love whole foods and eating seasonally, I can easily get caught in an ordinary repetitive rut … It wasn’t until I signed up for a CSA that I discovered the fun and excitement of trialing new-to-me foods. Throwing a new food in the mix on occasion really perks up my interest in from-scratch meals, and helps me to expand the variety in my diet.

Keep in mind, the “new” or “reintroduced” food could be fruit, vegetables, whole grains, organic meats, wild seafood, a drink (think herbal or antioxidant tea, kefir, or kombucha), a wholesome baking ingredient, or even or even a fun “superfood” like maca, acai, or mulberries. The sky is the limit!

As it happened, this month the fruit CSA delivered an item that I couldn’t believe I had never tried before, fresh figs. The dried, wrinkly ones have entered my kitchen on several occasions, but this was my first taste of a fresh fig, and it was delicious! I had an abundance, so I opted to make this nutty maple-fig spread to switch it up from my morning nut butter. I even used it to jazz up that banana smoothie!

If you don’t have fresh figs – feel free to rehydrate some dried figs! It’ll be just as delicious.

Special Diet Notes: Fresh Maple-Fig Spread

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, soy-free, peanut-free, vegan, plant-based, and vegetarian.

Fresh Maple-Fig Spread
 
Feel free to add more fresh figs if you want to highlight the fruit even more. If you only have dried figs on hand, rehydrate them in warm water and puree away.
Author:
Serves: 1 cup
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup cashews or almonds
  • ¼ cup walnuts
  • 6 medium-sized fresh figs
  • ½ to 1 tablespoon maple syrup (can sub honey or agave)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Grind the cashews or almonds somewhat into a powder (I use an electric spice/coffee grinder). Add all ingredients to your food processor, and pulse, chop, or blend to your desired consistency. I made mine fairly smooth, but with some walnut chunks. Feel free to adjust the sweetness, salt, and spices as desired.
Smoothie Option – The figs help to sweeten up smoothies, while the nuts add some creaminess, healthy fat, and protein. Here I simply blended about 1/3 cup of the spread with 1 frozen banana (and an extra dash of cinnamon) for a lightly sweet and tasty breakfast treat. Feel free to sweeten to taste if your fruit isn’t quite ripe and/or add some protein powder for a little more muscle in your beverage …

fig smoothie

About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Senior Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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