Gena’s Fig Bars


The above picture in NO way conveys the delicious of the fig bars I made this weekend. I made them in a hurry, on my way to a BBQ in New Jersey–so there wasn’t a lot of time for a photoshoot. Instead, you get to see them all piled up in a Tupperware ready for transport.

I saw this recipe a few weeks ago on my friend Gena’s blog, Choosing Raw. It looked amazing — and perfect for a family-friendly BBQ. ‘Cause who doesn’t like figs!?

Well, okay, I’m not a big fan of figs. That it, I wasn’t a big fan of figs before making these. I’ve now been converted.

The first step to making them it to make the fig jam — which is a (easy) recipe in itself. You could easily stop here and happily eat the fig jam for weeks to come.

But THEN you get to make this super-simple oat dough, put it all in the oven and in 30 minutes you have yourself a feast. Despite this being a vegan recipe, as the bars were cooking, I swear it smelled like butter. ‘Cause this recipe is a keeper.

I followed the recipe almost to a T, which is a huge compliment to Gena’s baking skills cause I usually always change a few things. The only change I  made–and this was pure necessity because I was out of cinnamon–is that I swapped it for nutmeg. I loved the results, but it also tasted a little Christmas-y. I’d recommend sticking with the original cinnamon.

Gena Hamshaw,
reprinted with permissio
vegan and can be gluten-free

For the fig filling:

About 12 large dried figs
6 pitted medjool dates
2 tbsp agave syrup or maple syrup [I used agave]
2 tbsp lemon juice (or the juice of 1 large lemon)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp brandy (if desired) [I skipped this]

For the oat dough:

1 1/4 cup oat flour (GF if following a GF diet)
1 cup rolled oats (see above)
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup sucanat or natural brown sugar [I used brown sugar]
*2 tbsp vanilla flavored brown rice protein powder (totally optional, but a nice way to amp up the protein if you want these bars to be a part of your breakfast) [I skipped this]
Dash salt
2 tsps cinnamon [I used nutmeg, see above]
1/2 cup almond milk
1/2 cup applesauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut oil (or safflower oil) [I used coconut oil]

1) Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Oil an 8 inch square baking pan and dust it with oat flour.

2) Place figs in a small pot with enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil and lower to a simmer; simmer for about five minutes. Remove figs from the pot, drain them, and place them in your food processor along with dates, lemon juice, agave or syrup, cinnamon, and brandy if using. Process until the mixture resembles a smooth fig jam.

4) Mix oats, oat flour, cinnamon, salt, protein powder if using, baking powder, and sugar in a large mixing bowl.

5) Whisk together almond milk, applesauce, vanilla and oil.

6) Add wet ingredients to dry, and mix till just combined.

7) Layer half of the oat mixture into your baking pan. Using an inverted spatula or regular spatula, spread all of the fig paste on top.

8  ) Spread remaining oat mixture on top of the fig paste.

9) Bake for about 35 minutes, or until top is golden.

10) Let cool, and cut into 9 squares.



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