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Thursday
Jun122014

FIG BARS

Fig Bars . Sprouted Kitchen

We took the teeny snuggle bug for a picnic at "our spot" yesterday. He doesn't do much yet, but he does throw (be they accidental) smiles every now and then so we're going to assume he likes it there too. I've eaten on that hill dozens of times and have yet to pack as simple a meal as I did last night. Things have changed, we keep telling each other that. It didn't matter that the salad only included greens, dressing and parmesan, we needed out of the house. Curran is 18 days old, just tipping the scale somewhere over 8 lbs., so strangers are quick to come and look at him and coo. Two ladies, moms themselves, came over to our blanket as we were packing up and told me how proud they were of us for leaving the house with such a wee one. They wanted to know how I was doing, commiserated about how painful the healing part is, assured us that eventually it won't take an hour to pack a simple picnic and get out of the house. Or maybe it will, but it will become normal. I love where we live, but strangers don't engage in conversation all too often around here. It's sad, really, that it surprised me how friendly these ladies were. I was taken back at first and then so grateful. So grateful for their honesty and enthusiasm and friendliness. It was a small gesture but it reminded me of our need for community, our need for other people to draw from our humanity and be warmed by chatting about what we have in common. Be it motherhood for 18 days or years. Noted: talk to strangers. 

Don't think of these bars as a healthy Fig Newton. They taste nothing like them in a very good way. They taste light and barely sweet. I've been enjoying a larger bar for breakfast with some yogurt or packing up smaller pieces for running errands...yes, I pack snacks for errands. I imagine you could make a puree of dried apricots for the filling or another dried fruit you fancy. Either way, I am always collecting snack bars recipes and this is a keeper. 

Fig Bars . Sprouted Kitchen

FIG BARS // Makes 8 large or 16 small

Recipe adapted from The Vibrant Table by Anya Kassoff

These make for a perfectly sweetened snack or breakfast option. They are delicate and tender, so don't travel quite as well as your typical granola bar but are no less delicious. They are subtly sweet, not overly so which I really liked, but if you want more of a treat, simply add another few tablespoons sugar to the dough. These are wheat, dairy and egg free so work great for people with allergies. 

Figs come in two different colors, same goes for the dried variety. I used the lighter shade for these and it's the same color as the dough. Next time I will use dark ones so the contrast shows up. Tastes great either way but I'd prefer seeing the line of fig in between.

 

  • 1 1/2 cups dried figs, soaked overnight in water
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • Juice and zest of one lemon
  • 1 1/2 cups oat flour
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/3 cup almond butter
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats, divided
  • 5 Tbsp. coconut sugar, plus more for sprinkling (turbinado works as well)
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

 

Fig Bars . Sprouted Kitchen

Drain the figs, reserving the soaking liquid on the side. In a food processor, blend the soaked and drained figs with the honey and half the lemon juice. If your paste needs more liquid, add the soaking liquid 1 Tbsp. at a time. You want it thick, like jam, so use the liquid sparingly. You can make the fig puree up to three days in advance. 

Preheat the oven to 400'. In a mixing bowl, combine the oat, brown rice and almond flours along with the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix to combine. Add the remaing lemon juice and zest, almond milk, almond butter, half the oats, coconut sugar and vanilla and stir everything together to combine well. 

Line a 9x9 baking pan with parchment paper extending up the sides. Crumble half the dough into the bottom of the pan and press it down with clean fingers. Spread the fig puree on top in an even layer. Crumble the remaining dough on top of the fig puree and press it down so it sticks together, being careful not to disrupt the fig layer. Sprinkle the remaining oats on top and sprinkle with desired amount of coconut or turbinado sugar. 

Bake on the middle rack for 25 minutes. Remove to cool completely. Remove the bars with the parchment and gently cut into bars with a sharp knife (I found mine to be quite soft. Put them in the fridge for an hour to firm up for a cleaner cut).

Cover and keep stored in the fridge for up to a week. 

Fig Bars . Sprouted Kitchen

Reader Comments (50)

Figs are my favorite fruit. These look really interesting.

June 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSara

Ohh these look scrumptious! I have fond memories of bulk bin fig newton bars as a child. What a cool post. Makes me feel like I should talk to strangers more often! :)

Ooo! I'm making these immediately. I'm kind of shy when I'm out and about and sometimes have trouble talking to others, but I must admit, it really warms my heart when others approach and engage me. It's something I hope to do more of...

June 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJade Sheldon-Burnsed

These look absolutely delicious - anything with figs wins me over. And congratulations on your outing with bub - I remember my first outing with my daughter, surreal and wonderful!

June 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

Yummy! I guess they would go very well with a glass of milk :)

June 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMedeja

These look divine! How can anyone resist dried figs?
And you used all my favourite flours too- oat, almond & brown rice.

June 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEmma

Making these! I happen to have all the ingredients in my pantry--am I eating clean or what?

June 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLetty

Oh, dear, having children does change our lives. And eating habits. (I'm a mother of six I should know.)
But it's such a perfect gift of live, so do enjoy it. You look lovely and it's nice to see how you like being a mother. I wish you well, and thanks for sharing!

June 14, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterspela

These look and sound delicious! So many of my favorite ingredients; figs, oats, almond butter, yum. Figs are not always an easy sell with the family, but I think this recipe may just be. I've also been experimenting a lot lately using brown rice and almond flours and loving the results, so this is right up my current alley. A recent fave I've been working on and getting ready to post myself is gluten free blueberry corn muffins with brown rice and almond flours. So wonderful to here you're doing well with the wee one, they are a constant source of both joy and frustration, what a lovely and ever changing life experience!

Oh, these look great!

And it's awesome how having a child immediately initiates you into the Mom Tribe. I live in Boston, where strangers don't talk to each other, EVER, unless one is totally off their rocker. I was amazed and touched sometimes almost to the point of tears as a new mom when seasoned moms would come up and offer advice. I also learned I could go up to any mom, any time, and ask for advice. Now that my little guy is a little older and I have some tricks up my sleeve, I try to pay it forward by being brave and going up to brand new moms myself : ) .

June 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAm

What a sweet story! An these fig bars look delicious and perfect.

June 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKristie

I love figs :) I've had them once in my life and I basically ate my entire friend's tree's worth of them. Thank you for sharing these--I'm glad they don't taste like Fig Newtons because I imagine they'll be a million times better. Cheers!

June 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAla

Sara, you put the perfect words to my thoughts. We are American expats living in Switzerland, and never have I felt like we take for granted community and ease of chatting with neighbors or strangers until moving here. Community doesn't come as easily in a foreign language (or new community with a different dynamic, as in your case), but we don't realize how important it is until we miss it, do we?! Anyways, these bars look delightful as well. Yum!

I was just looking for a recipe like this on Friday for a weekend hike - will have to try's it next time, looks perfect...

June 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSophie

The perfect snack bars! Yum!

Congrats on the birth of your son! My children are adults now, 20 and almost 24. Treasure every single moment!! I am so happy to see your post on fig bars. I have been buying them at our co-op and love them. I grew up eating Fig Newtons but over the past year started eating the healthy ones. Last week in the middle of a long bike ride, we stopped for a snack at a convenience store and I bought FNs. Ugh! Too sweet! We also recently planted a fig tree. So now all the stars are aligned and I can make my own fig bars. Thx thx Thx!!!

June 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLisa M

Hi! Thanks for such an easy recipe. Im in the process of making these but the directions don't say what to do with the other half of the lemon juice or the zest of the lemon. Congratulations on your baby!

June 16, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterjen

As I am English, I have a deep seated hatred of making any kind of contact with strangers but this post makes me think that maybe I need to start getting over that and reaching out to other people because you never know what kind of effect it will have on them.

Also, I can totally see a book called 'Snacks for Errands'. I would buy that in a heartbeat.

June 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKathryn

Dear Sara,
Congratulations again on the little one! What a nice name you guys chose.
And thank you for trying out these bars, hope you enjoyed them :)

June 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAnya

About to make these now but reading the recipe (a few times) it doesn't say when to add the other half of the lemon juice or the zest.
Can you please add it to the recipe?
Thank you!

June 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDee

Gorgeous. I don't have any dried figs right now but have tons of fresh figs. Wonder if they would be suitable for this or if they would be too runny?

June 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJ.S. @ Sun Diego Eats

I've been trying so hard not-to make fig bars because I know I'll over-indulge. I love them way to much! You are not making it any easier! They look gorgeous.

June 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAngel Reyes

I like figs so I am going to try your recipe as it doesn't sound too hard
Thanks for sharing

June 16, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterchristine

those look so good!!!!!

The fact that I had insufficient crumble for the top layer had *nothing* to do with the fact of my scooping a lot of it into my mouth. Ahem.
I ran out of brown rice flour so sub'd the half cup with oat flour instead, which worked well. Congratulations on the gorgeous new addition to your family (and for still keeping us posted with amazing recipe ideas).Thank you. As for 'snacks for errands'. Yes!

June 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAsha

Wow, this recipe is exactly my speed!! I love that I have the ingredients on hand. Yay! I look forward to trying this one, thanks!!

June 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAlicia

These bars look amazing and I will be trying this recipe as soon as possible.
Congratulations on your little one. I have read your blog for years and love how you bring as much care to the words in your posts as to your recipes and photos. Your baby is so lucky to have been born in a home so filled with love.
How you EVER managed to create a new recipe, never mind having the courage to whip up a batch, with an 18-day old baby on your hands baffles me. I am awe-struck by your energy.
Nothing quite prepares us for the otherworldliness of motherhood. That precious, fatigue-drenched time of a new baby, where days blend into nights, blend into weeks. Eventually, it is nice to visit with "regular people" and when they compliment you on your baby, your head and your heart could burst from feeling such pride. My husband and I compare the feeling to a proud peacock rustling up his feathers... I always found the comparison to be so amusing.
Savour this precious time with your little one and take every opportunity to let the "old mothers" around you dote on him, and on you. You can't see it through your exhausted eyes, but they remember fondly those days of tiny nuzzling babies and are just the tiniest bit jealous of you for having that now. It seems like only weeks have passed, yet my own little man is finishing up Grade 1. However did that happen?
Best wishes.

June 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAA

we made these yesterday using dried apricots we had on hand. my two girls were begging for more after their first bite. ours are definitely crumbly, even out of the fridge but that's not an issue at all for us.
the two years prior to our first daughter being born and versus the years since and our sense of community has vastly changed even though we live in the same place. and i love the change :) hope this is just the beginning for you!

June 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMJ

Thanks for sharing the recipe. Can't wait to try out. Curious if you found this cookbook a keeper. I am looking for another vegetarian cookbook, and wonder what you might reccomend?

June 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJFranklin

I've been wanting to make something with figs...maybe a crostata....but these do look delish.

Enjoy that baby, eat well, and nap when he naps. The blog will still be there when you wake up.

June 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

Every time I have a little everyday conversation with a stranger, I am reminded of how very connected we are, and how much we need to be in connection with each other. Thanks so much for sharing!

June 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca

I am so happy to hear that your interaction with these women was a kind reminder of how important community really is. I am certain your darling baby will continue to be a fabulous ice breaker ;). This recipe looks delicious. Hope you and your family are well.

June 24, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterkristan

Wow!! These look amazing!! We love Figs and healthy treats at The Karioka Headquarters and always looking for ways to spruce up our breakfast meetings! This recipe will definitely be tried out!!

Thank you so much
Tchüss

June 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKarioka Berlin

Hi Sarah! I've been meaning to make these ever since you posted them but my local Trader Joe's has been out of dried figs! All i have are fresh black figs. Do you or anyone else have any suggestions on how to substitute fresh figs in for the dry figs?

June 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

I live in Dana Point too, and I noticed how much more people came up and initiated conversations when I had my baby (now 7 months). It's so much fun. "Your spot" sure is beautiful! Ours is Heritage Park :) Best of luck to you in new mommyhood!

June 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

@Ashley - my sister in law mentioned the same thing, I must have gotten one of the last bags. First off, ask them when they'll get more in, may be worth waiting. I would try another dried fruit you like, because you need a firmer consistency than just mashed fresh figs. I think you could cook down fresh figs (just halve them and simmer them with a little fruit juice to reduce) then food process them with some dried apricots (maybe 2:1 figs to apricots as a guess). The dried apricots will thicken the mixture while still leaving you with some fig flavor. Worth a shot!

June 27, 2014 | Registered CommenterSara

Congratulations on your beautiful little babe. Been a longtime reader and love your words, pictures and recipes. Thank you for all. I actually made my version of your Buttermilk Berry Crumb while I was in early labor with my 2 months old to then enjoyed it after the event! And bravo to you for already getting out of the house with your wee one. I'm still having difficulty getting out with mine... :)

June 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAria Alpert Adjani

these look so good, i will definitely be making when our oven gets fixed! and well done on the out of house :)

Thanks so much for this recipe -- I've always wanted to try and make Fig Bars!

June 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLindsay

Man, that looks may better than the processes crap you get in the centre aisles of grocery stores .... I'll have to try this for myself!

June 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDan

Fantastic looking recipe. It can definitely be gluten free with the right kind of oats etc. so we are going to be giving it a try. I also love what you said about getting the baby out and about. We took our daughter around with us when she was about 2 weeks old, maybe less, and people were so happy to see her. Everyone would come over and talk to us so they could get a closer look. Newborns bring so much joy to the community!

June 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterThe Brand Fam

Congratulations on the addition to your family and welcome to the world little Curran!

I love the sound of these fig bars - I actually picked up a copy of Anya's book today after randomly spotting it in a small bookstore in a train station in London and a few pages in I was unable to put it down. These fig bars will definitely go on my list of recipes to try - they sound wonderful and I like the fact you say they are not too sweet. I imagine they would work well with prunes too (and some star anise), maybe once the colder months are here.

Wishing you all the best as you get to know that little person of yours.

July 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSophia

These look delicious!! Thanks for your encouragement to keep creating!

July 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKristin

What a stunning recipe!!! And I love the pictures too.

Thanks for sharing it.

http://tinymarmalade.blogspot.co.uk/

July 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPaloma

Oh my word, stumbled upon your blog and must say everything looks divine! Your photos are gorgeous. May I ask what camera do you use?

Keep it coming! :D

B

July 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBinnie

I am soaking the figs now. Do you think soaking them for 5 hours would be enough or is 8+ hours is necessary?

Thanks!

July 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

Yummy! This is rich with amazing nuts and delightful taste. Thank you so much for sharing this detailed recipe. I was a little unsure about soaking figs when I first tried making them. And above all, Congratulations..Curran is a lovely name :)

August 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAnna_PMorgan!

Sara, these are amazingly good. I used black mission figs and, since meyer lemons just came into season, I was able to use a meyer lemon for zest and juice, which added a marvelous aroma and lovely taste. I will make them again, perhaps trying the lighter green figs another time. My husband and I love fig bars, especially when they are more of a crumb bar and wheat-free. Thank you so much!!

August 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJoAnn

Could fresh figs work in this recipe?

August 31, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

These turned out amazingly! I was too impatient to let them cool, so I ate the bars more as a crumble or granola type thing. I crumbled one up for breakfast, warmed it, and poured a little almond milk on top. So delicious!! Thanks for the wonderful recipe :)

September 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSophie

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