This dairy-free breakfast was inspired by a Theo chocolate bar made with almonds, figs and fresh fennel. If raspberries are ripe, they’re delicious layered in with the figs. The almonds for the almond cream take an overnight soak, so plan accordingly. If you’re short on time, make these with plain yogurt instead of almond cream. If you’ve never popped amaranth, it’s a simple, quick way to add protein-packed crunch to any morning recipe. The key is to use a very hot, dry pan wide enough so the amaranth can rest in one layer (don’t use a low-sided skillet because the grains will jump as they pop). I often pop in two batches to make sure each grain gets prime real estate in the pan.
Fresh Fig Parfait Recipe With Popped Amaranth and Almond Cream
• 1 cup raw almonds
• 3/4 cup water, plus extra if necessary
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
• 2 tablespoons honey, or to taste
• 1 tablespoon coconut oil
• 1/4 cup amaranth
• 1/2 cup sliced almonds
• 1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
• 2 teaspoons unsweetened dark cocoa or cacao powder
• 10 washed, ripe, fresh figs (about 8-1/2 ounces), quartered lengthwise, stem discarded, divided
• 1 tablespoon honey, for serving
1. To make almond cream: In a bowl, cover almonds in water and soak at room temperature for 6 hours or overnight. Drain.
2. In a blender or food processor fitted with a metal blade, combine soaked almonds, water, vanilla, salt, honey and coconut oil. Blend on high speed for 2 to 3 minutes, or until smooth. If the almond cream is still a bit chunky, add 1 to 2 tablespoons water and continue blending. It should be smooth yet textured. Taste and add more honey if desired. Cover and refrigerate before using for at least 1 hour or up to 3 days.
3. To pop amaranth: Place a small, dry saucepan over high heat and allow it to become quite hot before adding amaranth. Add amaranth and shimmy pan until most of the grains have puffed up or popped and turned white, 1 to 2 minutes. Some grains are stubborn and don’t want to pop, but if you have a mix of puffed and golden amaranth, you’re in business. If your amaranth is particularly jumpy, cover with a lid.
4. To toast almonds: Cook almonds in a dry skillet set over medium heat just until fragrant. They can go from raw to burned quickly, so jiggle and shake the pan as you go. Cool toasted nuts on a plate before using.
5. To assemble parfaits: Spoon popped amaranth into a bowl, add toasted almonds, fennel and cocoa powder, and toss to combine.
6. For each parfait, in a tall glass or Mason jar layer 3 tablespoons almond cream, 4 fig quarters and 2 tablespoons popped amaranth mixture. Repeat layers once more. Top with 2 fig quarters and drizzle with honey.
Note: Because the amaranth will get soggy, it’s best to assemble these parfaits to order. To save time, prepare all of the components—make the almond cream, toast the almonds, pop the amaranth, quarter the figs—and store them until ready to assemble (figs and almond cream in the fridge, amaranth and almonds covered at room temperature).
Find more power packed recipes: Read 4 High-Protein Breakfast Recipes.
This article was reprinted with permission from Whole-Grain Mornings by Megan Gordon. Whole-Grain Mornings offers recipes based on local harvests and organized by season, and all feature healthy whole grains and plenty of protein. Buy this book from the Mother Earth Living store: Whole-Grain Mornings.