This recipe provides a quick-to-make breakfast if you’re on the go. If fresh figs aren’t in season, substitute dried figs. The daily inclusion of cinnamon can improve peripheral circulation and lower blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels in people who have diabetes.

GLUTEN-FREE, GRAIN-FREE, VEGETARIAN

MAKES 1 BREAKFAST BOWL AND 6 SERVINGS OF SPICED ALMONDS | PREP TIME: 5 MINUTES, PLUS 1 HOUR TO DRY AND COOL | COOK TIME: 20 MINUTES

FOR THE YOGURT

1 cup full-fat organic Greek yogurt

3 ripe figs, halved lengthwise

1 tablespoon maple syrup

⅓ cup Cinnamon-Spiced Almonds

FOR THE CINNAMON-SPICED ALMONDS

2 cups raw almonds

¼ cup pure maple syrup

1 tablespoon coconut oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 heaping tablespoon Ceylon cinnamon powder (see tip)

TO MAKE THE YOGURT

Put the yogurt in a bowl and top with the halved figs. Drizzle with the maple syrup and top with the cinnamon-spiced almonds.

TO MAKE THE CINNAMON-SPICED ALMONDS

1.Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2.Place the raw almonds on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 12 minutes.

3.In a medium saucepan, combine the maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla extract, and cinnamon.

4.Whisk until evenly blended and bring to a low boil over medium heat.

5.Turn the oven off and remove the almonds.

6.Using a wooden spoon, add the nuts to the hot syrup mixture. Stir to coat the nuts evenly.

7.Line the baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the coated almonds evenly on the baking sheet.

8.Put the baking sheet back into the warm oven and allow to dry and cool completely, about 1 hour.

9.Store in a sealed container.

MAKE-AHEAD TIP: Make your cinnamon-spiced almonds on the weekend or in the evening so they are ready to go in the morning or whenever you need a quick, spicy nibble.

INGREDIENT TIP: Both Ceylon (from Sri Lanka) and Cassia (from China) cinnamon are healthy and delicious. Cassia is the most commonly found cinnamon in U.S. grocery stores because it is very inexpensive. However, if you intend to consume daily therapeutic amounts of this spice (more than 1 tablespoon per day), it is important to note that Cassia has a high coumarin content. Large amounts of coumarin may interact with blood-thinning medications or cause liver problems. Ceylon cinnamon is considered much better quality, with only a trace amount of coumarin, but it is slightly more expensive. You can safely use up to 2½ teaspoons of Ceylon cinnamon per day. Look for clearly labeled Ceylon cinnamon in the grocery store.

HERB PROFILE

CINNAMON

Powdered bark, sticks, chips

SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS: Avoid during pregnancy in more than culinary amounts. Avoid using with stomach ulcers and gastritis. Use cautiously with blood-thinning medications.

TASTE/ACTIVITY: PUNGENT/SWEET/WARM/DRY

PROPERTIES: Analgesic, antibacterial, anticoagulant, antioxidant, antiviral, astringent, carminative, circulatory stimulant

USES: Treats impaired circulation, cold hands and feet, chills, rheumatism, inability to sweat, cold damp conditions, intestinal viruses, diarrhea, poor digestion, foodborne illnesses (those caused by Salmonella, E. coli, and H. pylori), menstrual pain, cramping, scanty flow, fibroids, ovarian cysts, flu with muscle pain, diabetes, insulin resistance, and food cravings; stabilizes blood sugar levels; lowers LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels; lowers blood pressure

SUGGESTED PREPARATIONS: Baking, infused vinegar, syrups, tea, tincture

ESPECIALLY GOOD FOR: ANTIOXIDANTS

Ceylon cinnamon has the highest antioxidant content of all the spices, which may protect against free radicals. Free radicals can cause oxidative damage, which is associated with risk of arthritis, cancer, heart disease, and neurological diseases.

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