The Core Diet Blog

When I first started on my hunt for a homemade fig bar recipe to test, it was for athletes. The traditional Fig Newton has always been a Core Diet recommendation for a pre-workout fuel, so I thought, why not make my own? “If they can make it, so can I!.” That is sort of my mantra these days. From household cleaners to wreaths on my front door, I love “making my own stuff”.

When I tested the recipe on my 18-month old daughter, she gobbled it up. I guessed it passed the test! Who is a tougher judge than a child?? It was then I realized I wanted a version without added sugar. Something I could give her with some Greek yogurt as a snack ☺

We are not a vegan home, but rather a “quality food” home. But vegan food fits right in with my grass-fed beef, cage-free eggs and CSA farm share. We love it all! If you too are interested in both, you can actually make them at the same time, the filling is the same and there are SO many options to add to those figs. I say, have fun and experiment! Just let me know so I can try it!

Here we go…

BASIC FIG FILLING
Ingredients:
• 1 cup chopped dried figs

Options:
Figs:Mission Figs are the most common, but definitely try of batch of Golden Figs after you make these more than once. I would actually recommend making a little more than 1 cup. Save the extra to mix in steel cut oatmeal or spread on Ezekial bread – DELISH!
• Honey or Agave:You can add 1 Tbsp of honey or agave and it spikes the taste a bit. It doesn't add THAT much more carbs per square. But it is really not needed in my opinion.
Fruit:I experimented with strawberries and blueberries. I added in fresh berries (3 strawberries or ¼ cup blueberries) to the fig mix. I highly recommend this especially if you are not adding honey or agave.
• Spices:Experiment with spices such as cinnamon and ginger.

Instructions:
• Place chopped figs in a bowl of hot water for 10 minutes to soften.
• Using a slotted spoon, place half of the soaked figs in a food processor.  If you are only doing one flavor you can place all the figs in at once.
• Add about 1 spoonful of soaking liquid per whole cup of figs.
• Add optional ingredients (honey/agave or fruit).
• Puree about 1 minute until the texture looks “spreadable”.

NOTE:make some extra and spread on Ezekial bread, add to oatmeal or Greek yogurt!

Now it’s time to choose your outer layer…

PRE-WORKOUT DOUGH
Ingredients:
• 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
• ½ cup brown sugar
• 1 egg
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 cup whole wheat flour
• ½ cup white flour

NOTE:I used organic versions for the butter, sugar and flour and a local free-range egg!

Instructions:
• Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
• Cream the butter and sugar together with a mixer for about 1-2 minutes or until completely smooth.
• Mix in the egg and vanilla. Add in both flours and mix until a dough forms.
• Divide the dough in half and roll both in 2 balls.
• Place one of the dough balls on a piece of wax paper. Using a floured wooden rolling pin (so it doesn’t stick), roll into a thin layer about 12-14 inches x 4-6 inches.
• Spread half of your fig filling onto the dough but leave a border or the filling will ooze out ☺
• Fold the dough in half and press the edges together. This will keep the filling in!
• Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into about 10 pieces. You may get more or less depending on how thing you rolled the dough.
• Place the fig bars on a cookie sheet with a sheet of tin foil and a dab of oil so they do not stick.
• Repeat the process above for second half of dough.
• Bake 22 minutes or until golden.

NOTE:I found that the rolling the dough out thinner worked best. Otherwise the dough overpowers the fig filling.


VEGAN “DOUGH”
Ingredients:
• 1.25 cups oats
• 1.25 cups oats ground in a blender until fine
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• 1 rounded teaspoon baking powder
• 2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce (no high fructose corn syrup)
• 3 Tbsp honey (you can use agave as well)
• 1/3 cup water

Instructions:
• Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
• Combine oats (ground and unground), salt and baking powder in large bowl.
• Add applesauce, honey and water.
• Mix until it’s a thick consistency and the ingredients are well blended.
• Using an 8x8 inch oiled pan, press half of the oat mixture to the entire bottom. I found using your hands is the easiest otherwise the mixture sticks to a spoon. I tried ☺
• Spread fig filling entirely over this first layer of oats with a spoon.
• Spread the remaining oat mixture completely over the top of the figs.
• Bake 30 minutes or until you see the top lightly browned.
• Allow to cool before cutting into, but do not wait too long, they are delicious warm!

NOTE:I recommend keeping these in the frig to stay fresh.

ENJOY!

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