Snack, Breakfast, Dessert, Gluten Free


Fig Bars . Sprouted Kitchen
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 . 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
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
Fig Bars . Sprouted Kitchen
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Appetizer, Entrée, Summer



I’m not sure why I’ve been so intimidated to make my own pizza dough. It has a quick list of about 4 stand by ingredients and reaped a priceless amount of self accomplishment. I watched the dough ball slowly expand and immediately texted Hugh to mark my success. I used a combination of unbleached flour and whole wheat, resulting in a hearty yet pliable dough.

The attractive thing about pizza to any home cook, is that it is a blank canvas for flavors. You can use whatever cheese you have, maybe some leftover shredded chicken, marinara sauce or pesto. I wanted to wish my beloved figs a fond farewell this season, so a savory flatbread was just the place for final enjoyment. At some point this holiday weekend, I'm sure you'll be eating outside, and likely with other people. I've YET to meet someone who does not like pizza. Unless you're some low carb, gluten free, fat free diner, in which case Hugh will gladly consume your portion.


RUSTIC FIG AND GOAT CHEESE PIZZA // Makes 2 large, or 4 small pizzas

Dough //

2 Cups Unbleached Flour

1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour

1 to 1 1/4 Cup Water

1 tsp./ Half Packet Quick Rise Yeast

2 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 tsp. Sea Salt

3 tbsp. Fresh Chopped Chives

Goodies //

12 Fresh Figs, Sliced

½ Cup Soft Goat Cheese

½ Cup Fresh Shaved Parmesan Reggiano

¼ Cup Red Onion, VERY thinly sliced

¼ Cup Fresh Chives

2 Cups Organic Mache (Lambs Lettuce)

2 tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar

1 tsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Sea Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper


Turn your grill to medium high heat.

1. Make the dough according to instructions on Mark Bitten's blog. Please note I used 2 Cups Unbleached Flour and 1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour which provided both a chewy and crispy texture when pulled thin enough, I also added fresh chives for a bit of color and zing. This needs to be done 2 hrs. in advance.

2. Once you've made your dough, divide it and pull it out to desired size. With your hands, rub a little bit of oil on one side, and put the oiled side down on the grill. Close the lid and grill for about 3 minutes.

3. Flip the dough over and push the dough down with a spatula to create a thinner flatbread (if you desire... I desired). Evenly distribute the sliced figs, goat cheese, parmesan, chives and sliced red onion across the dough. Give it all a generous grind of pepper and sprinkle of salt. Close the lid and grill for another 6 to 8 minutes untill all toppings are melted and there are grill marks on the bottom of the dough.

4. In the meantime, toss the mache lettuce with the balsamic vinegar, olive oil and sprinkle of salt and pepper.

5. Remove the flatbreads and top with a hefty handful of the dressed mache. Chomp away while its hot!

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Snack, Breakfast



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.


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)

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 :)

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