Let me tell you what you have to look forward to in the next couple weeks. Fresh figs! They seem to always be dry at the regular markets or tease you for a stiff price at Whole Foods and farmers markets. However, they linger on the lower produce shelves at Trader Joe’s with a humble sweetness, both in flavor and price. It may be a different story where you live, but that’s the song I’m going to sing as I encourage you to start eating fresh figs… wherever you choose to find them.

After I graduated college, I spent some time working at Villa Lucia, a little bed and breakfast in the heart of Tuscany. Lots of stories, lessons learned and certainly a number of cooking tips acquired. Days were spent cooking for dinner parties, bottling tomato sauce and, in the fall, harvesting olives from sunrise to sunset. Hugh was there in the summer and fell in with the ex Italian Special Forces Paratrooper turned groundskeeper- but that is another story, and a far less glamorous on than mine. The property has ginormous fig trees, hence canning fig preserves. No sugar, no preservatives, just boiled figs. A few jars made their way home with me, and that is what I used in this recipe, but you could use any fruit preserve that is naturally sweetened. If you really want to be rustic, you could make your own (simmer berries in their own juices on low heat for about an hour+). This recipe is lowfat, high fiber and much more of a breakfast/snack bar than a dessert.oatfiggies_01oatfiggies_02oatfiggies_03


1 ¼ Cups Spelt Flour
1 ¾ Cups Oatmeal
1 tbsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp Baking Soda
½ tsp Salt
1 Large Egg
1 tsp. Real Vanilla Extract
½ tsp. Almond Extract
¾ Cup Brown Sugar
½ Cup Applesauce
2 tbsp. Butter (to ensure a crisp crumble topping)
1 ¼ Cups Fig Preserves (or any other fruit preserves, naturally sweetened)oatfiggies_04

1. Oven to 350’. In a large bowl, sift all dry ingredients together (spelt flour, 1 ½ cups oats, salt, cinnamon, baking soda ).
2. In a second bowl, whisk the brown sugar, egg, vanilla and almond extracts and applesauce. Add in the dry mixture, and mix to incorporate. It should look like cookie batter at this point.
3. Spray a 8x8 baking pan with cooking spray. Press 2/3 of the mixture into the bottom of the pan. Spread the preserves evenly over the bottom layer.
4. With the remaining mix, add another ¼ cup oats and 2tbsp of butter. Mix with your fingers. Crumble it on top of the preserve layer.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until the top is a bit crispy. Let them cool a bit before cutting.

*Enjoy with some greek yogurt or ice cream to balance this fibrous bar :)img_0064-copy

Reader Comments (30)

Yummy!! I want some of these!

June 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTerri

I too adore fresh figs, they remind me of little purses full of unique flavor and texture. I made an appetizer for our party of dried fig compote layered on crisp baguette slices with goat cheese, crispy prosciutto and a little balsamic reduction. It was a hit! I will have to try this recipe, it looks very good and much healthier than your traditional crumble. I am so jealous that you worked in Tuscany, what an experience!

June 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEatingRD

What was one of your favorite dishes there?

June 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEatingRD

These look absolutely delectable! Fresh figs are certainly undeservedly under-rated. I look forward to making these! :)

June 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLeah

these look really good. I LOVE figs and especailly oat bars!

June 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKatie

gimme those yummy bars for breakfast, an afternoon snack, a midnight post-party treat -- i want them in my belly now!!

June 25, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterleela

...i m in love :)

June 26, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterpierre

I made this a few minutes ago, though I made a few adjustments/mistakes. I ran out of almond extract, so I put a touch more of the vanilla in. My cinnamon was almost gone, so I put about 3/4 cinnamon and 1/4 freshly ground nutmeg. I didn't have any applesauce in house, and while I was preparing to make some, I found a jar of organic apple blueberry baby food. It was exactly 4 oz, so it worked out fine. I also misread the recipe, I put all of the cookie mixture on the bottom of the pan, and only the 1/4 cup of oatmeal, butter and a little bit of brown sugar on top. Oh, and my homemade strawberry preserves were a little runny... hopefully I don't have a mess in about 15 minutes!

June 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJess

They turned out great, even with the substitutions. They're a very dense and filling bar, but still feel healthy. My 21 month old daughter loves them, even if it's just for the preserves. :P

June 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJess

Delish!!! I just love these--i literally could eat these with every meal. I love, love, love them with greek yogurt. Thank you so much for this great recipe!

June 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

These look divine! I want to make this but with blackberries instead. There are tons of fresh ones at the market nowadays...

July 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

these looks lovely! great energy source!

July 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAubrey

Thanks so much for posting this recipe. I'm on a temporary non-dairy diet as my baby seems to have a real sensitivity to cow's and sheep's milk. I love to bake, but all of my favorites include butter, if not cream and other such good things.
I made these several days ago, and my husband and I really enjoyed them with breakfast and for snacking. I happened to have a jar of my grandmother's homemade fig preserves on hand, so your timing was especially good!

July 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnna

looks gorgeous and tasty. can't wait to try these!

August 21, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermav

oh i just love spelt. I think I might have a slight intolerance to wheat but spelt doesn't effect me at all so this would be great snack for my sensitive tummy, plus I've got loads of applesauce in the fridge! Thank you for sharing!

October 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCaitlin

These look so good! And I just happen to have a small jar of no sugar added white peach and blackberry preserves that one of my friends gave me as a birthday gift. I'll have to give these a shot since the "jam" is a bit too much like fruit puree for me to eat on toast.

November 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLynna

The bars turned out great. I just posted on my blog about them, check it out if you're interested:

Thanks for the recipe!

November 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLynna

This is so delicious! I used boysenberry preserves instead of fig and they turned out great- it's like a pie without the guilt :)

April 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKatie

Thanks so much for this recipe. These remind me of a bar I used to get every week at Tri-County produce in Santa Barbara while grocery shopping. Now I don't have to drive all the way there to enjoy the flavors. I had fresh strawberries from the central valley, so I simmered those down for my filling. GREAT recipe!!

April 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCandice

[...] that. Don’t feel overwhelmed if your newtons don’t turn out like Paul Newman’s. There are various takes on the fig bar, so find form that is the most friendly to [...]

This is one of my favorite bars to make for breakfast now! I made my own fig jam (really easy!) and it turned out great. Thank you for sharing!
Also, your blog is becoming a big hit amongst people in Houston. :)

July 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCandace

[...] Sprouted Kitchen This entry was posted in snel. Bookmark the permalink. ← Indische pindasoep met [...]

may i use rice flour instead of spelt flour?

May 22, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjb

@jb - I haven't tried it, but worth a shot? There is gluten in spelt, which helps hold everything together, but I don't think an experiment with rice flour would be wasted!

May 22, 2012 | Registered CommenterSara

I just made these yesterday and they were absolutely delicious!! I will definitely be making more of these soon and trying them with different preserves as well.

August 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmber

Fabulous! I made these with white grape juice sweetened raspberry preserves and it came out amazingly good! Thank you for the recipe!

November 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarie-Claude

are these considered gluten free?

January 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLiz

@Liz - no, spelt is not gluten free, just wheat free. You could substitute some gf oat flour. I haven't tried it but I'd suppose it'd work fine, may just be a bit crumbly.

January 7, 2013 | Registered CommenterSara

Oh man: these are fantastic! I made them for my rather particular brother and I after we had something similar from a local bakery. He tasted one, beamed, and said, "These are even BETTER than the ones from the bakery!" YIPEE!!! Thanks SO much for this one. I actually left the butter out of the top crust and it was still crispy. I used a thin layer of FROG preserves and dried blueberries and the flavor combination was very tasty! Thanks for providing this recipe!

May 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCharlotte

Amazing. It tasted like a crumbly, textured pie. Thank you for delicious recipes and inspirational words!

July 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVictoria

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