Fig bars are NOT cookies… right? 😉
I’m nearly two-thirds of the way through my 30 day cookie cleanse (day 19!) and I’m feeling great! The first week was the most difficult as my body craved the sugar that I now limited in my diet. This week those cravings have waned and now I am simply trying to come up with other healthy snacks that can be substituted for cookies/chocolate.
A couple of months ago I came across a recipe for Fig Cereal Bars on the blog www.eatliverun.com. I made a mental note and put this recipe on my “to do” list; thankfully my 30-day cookie cleanse provided me with opportunity (and reason) to
desperately try out new delicious recipes.
A low-fat, carbohydrate rich snack that is slightly sweet and easily digestible, fig bars are the perfect fuel before a long run. Since I have been fueling my long runs with store bought fig bars for months it seems appropriate to finally test out this recipe and make make these tasty treats at home!
These bars came out perfectly! The fig paste was incredibly easy to make and the dough actually rolled out (with some added water) to an ideal size for bars. The bars are crunchy on the ends and soft and chewy in the middle. Also, they are easily portable and can be packed for a kid’s school lunch or brought to the gym for a post gym refuel. And best part- they are healthy! Yes!
This recipe is a win and I will definitely be making more fig bars again soon!!
*The recipe makes a TON of extra, delicious fig paste that can be used on breakfast toast or english muffins… yum!
1 1/2 cups apple juice + 1 1/2 cups water
2 cups dried figs
1/4 cup sugar
3 oz unsalted butter (substitute 3 oz earth balance buttery sticks to make the recipe vegan)
1/2 cup + 2 T brown sugar
2 T milk
2 T ground flax
1/3 cup warm water
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla extract
Directions (Total time about 1.5 hours)
Cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. In a separate small bowl whisk together the ground flax and warm water then add to butter/sugar mixture in two parts, blending well after each. Next, add the milk and mix until combined.
In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients (whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt). Add to the butter/sugar mixture and mix until a soft dough forms (it will be on the crumbly side, see picture below).
Bring the dough together onto a floured countertop and form a smooth ball. Chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the filling. Place the figs in a saucepot and cover with apple juice, water and sugar and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Let cool and puree figs, juice and vanilla extract together to form a smooth paste.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Remove half of dough from the fridge and roll out to be a long rectangle. This dough is a little dry so may want to add a sprinkle of water to help you form a smooth ball before rolling out. (Be sure to flour the counter top under the dough as it will likely stick! The dough may need to be worked through and kneaded a little in order to to properly roll out). Cover rectangle with fig paste, leaving a one inch border around edges. Set aside.
Roll out other half of dough to be a rectangle the same size then sandwich rectangles on each other, pressing down gently. Carefully cut into bars and use your fingers to crimp the edges a little bit.
Brush bars with warm water and add a sprinkle of oats if you like, then bake bars on a lined baking sheet for 25 minutes.