Monday, September 2, 2013

Fig and Oat Bread

It's here!  Finally!  It's fig season in South Carolina.

Homegrown South Carolina Figs: BLTFoodies
Trevor and I got a bit anxious with our gardening this past year, and went ahead and planted a fig tree on a fluke warm weekend in late January.  Unfortunately, our South Carolina spring was not the best, and we had frequent temperatures below 40 degrees.  Despite this unfortunate weather, our fig tree survived!  And we could not be more excited.  

After much research on figs in the upstate Piedmont region of South Carolina, Trevor decided on a celeste fig tree.  Turns out, the celeste fig is known for it's cold hardiness. We sure put that claim to the test this spring!  The tree had buds in early summer, around May-June, and the figs just started to ripen within the past couple of weeks.  Ironically, after trying to convince Trevor to plant a fig tree for over a year, turns out we actually already had 2 fig trees behind the shed in the back yard!  So now with our abundance of figs, I have started to collect fig recipes for us to try this late summer/early fall.   Our celeste figs are decently sweet, and taste sort of like a plum and a strawberry mixed together.   Check out my fig Pinterest board here:

Our celeste fig tree: BLTFoodies

For our first bunch of figs we picked this labor day weekend, I decided to try this Fig and Oat bread recipe I found from Running to the Kitchen.  I love this recipe because it uses minimal saturated (bad) fat, and also does not have any added sugar!  It is sweet purely from the fresh figs and orange zest, which is perfect!  I made some slight changes to the recipe, but overall found it very easy and tasty.

No Sugar Added Fig and Oat Bread: BLTFoodies

No-Sugar Added Fig and Oat Bread
Yield: 1 loaf, about 8-12 servings

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup Old Fashioned Oats
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups almond milk (curdled with a squeeze of lemon juice)*
1 cup chopped fresh figs
zest of 1 orange
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 table spoon Smart Balance spread, melted
oats for topping
*almond milk with a squeeze of lemon juice mimics buttermilk with a lower fat content

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2.  Combine whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, oats, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl.
3.  Make a hole in the middle of the flour mixture and pour in the almond milk
4.  Loosely combine with a wooden spoon.
5.  Add chopped figs, orange zest and walnuts.  Fold in carefully with a wooden spoon.
6.  Once dough starts to form, transfer to a floured wood cutting board and gently combine until the dough forms a ball.  (Be careful of pushing on the dough too hard and smashing the figs)
7.  Spray a baking sheet with olive oil, and transfer the ball of dough onto the baking sheet. Make an "X" in the middle of the dough with a knife for added style.
8.  Brush the top of the dough with the melted Smart Balance spread, and sprinkle the oats on top of the bread.
9.  Bake for 35-40 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean, and top is golden brown.
10.  Serve warm with Smart Balance spread and local honey, or by itself.  Enjoy!

With the leftover meat of the orange, we decided to use our grapefruit mint and make Orange Mint Water!  Simply cut up the 1 orange you used for the zest in the Fig and Oat Bread recipe, and squeeze into a large pitcher.  Add the leaves off of 3-4 springs of fresh grapefruit mint.  Add water to the pitcher, stir and let sit for 30-60 minutes for flavors to infuse.   Serve in a perfectly southern mason jar!

Orange and Mint Water: BLTFoodies
For our next fig recipe, we really would like to use our dehydrator to dry the figs and use them as an appetizer with some brie cheese and local honey similar to this recipe .  Check back to see how it goes!  

If you have any fig recipes you think we should try, please leave the info in the comments below!

Until next time,

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