Thursday, September 15, 2011

Gluten Free-Vegan Fig Bars!

Prior to our lifestyle change, my husband's favorite snack was fig bars, (a.k.a Fig Newtons).  Since we no longer purchase processed/artificial foods, the fig bars have vanished from our snack cabinet.  I have been so proud of him and my children for embracing our new way of eating, it still amazes me that my kids are choosing fruits and veggies for snacks without me nagging them!  As a little reward for all this fabulous behavior, I decided to go on a quest for a gluten free/vegan fig bar recipe!

In my search I came across a really fun and informative site called fitfortwo.tv.  What is different about this healthy plant based diet site is that they also produce video segments to go along with their recipes.  Their fig bar recipe sounded and looked so delicious, so I adapted it to fit our (no oil) diet plan with a few small changes. 

GF/Vegan Fig Bars:                                                          
Dough Ingredients-
1 1/2 cups  organic almonds
1 1/2 cups organic brown rice flour
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1/3 cup organic apple sauce (mine was homemade)
1 tsp pure organic vanilla extract

Fig Filling Ingredients:
1 cup dry organic figs
1/4 cup organic raisins
1/2 cup fresh organic lemon juice
1 tsp pure organic vanilla extract

Instructions:

In a food processor, put in almonds and process until they form an almond meal consistency.  Add in the flour and salt and process again until the almonds and flour are combined.  Combine the wet ingredients for the dough in a separate bowl.  While the food processor is on, add in the wet ingredients.  Once the dough is combined, place in a bowl and cover and refrigerate for about an hour.

While the dough is chilling, make the fig filling, (that rhymes :),  In the food processor, put in your figs (with the stem removed), and raisins and process until chopped.  Add the rest of the filling ingredients and process until a smooth paste is formed. 

Once your dough has chilled, split it in half.  Put the first half between two pieces of wax or parchment paper and roll it out into a rectangle shape, about 1/4 thick.  Spread half the fig mixture along one side of the dough, then fold the other side of the dough on top of the fig mixture and pinch the edges to keep them together.  Repeat the process with the remaining dough.  You can bake the cookies on the parchment paper on a cookie sheet or transfer the dough to a lightly sprayed cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.  You will know they are done when the bottom and edges brown.  Let them cool completely before cutting into squares.  Enjoy with your favorite cup of tea!

For fun,  here is the list of ingredients from store bought fig bars:

Ingredients: ENRICHED FLOUR (WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, THIAMINE MONONITRATE [VITAMIN B1], RIBOFLAVIN [VITAMIN B2], FOLIC ACID), FIGS PRESERVED WITH SULFUR DIOXIDE, CORN SYRUP, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, SUGAR, SOYBEAN OIL, WHEY (FROM MILK), PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED COTTONSEED OIL, SALT, BAKING SODA, CALCIUM LACTATE, MALIC ACID, SOY LECITHIN (EMULSIFIER), POTASSIUM SORBATE ADDED TO PRESERVE FRESHNESS, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR.






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