Raw Fig Bars

January 15th, 2011

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We’ve got a new staple food. One that often acts as an accompaniment to breakfast tea, or as a snack at work, or a dessert after dinner, or all of the above. It has earned an almost permanent nook in Paloma’s lunch box and a thumbs-up from all the friends who’ve tried it. Needles to say, our new staple tastes good. Delicious and satisfying, to be exact.

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Fig bars.
We didn’t have Fig Newtons when growing up, but had something similar – a cookie with a chewy, fruity filling. I’ve often thought about that cookie and craved a more nutritious alternative. Finally, I found the recipe, or, as I often feel with this sort of thing, the recipe found me.

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The recipe is adapted from Living Raw Food. It yields moist, chewy, and nourishing fig bars that, dare I say, taste better than any Fig Newton I’ve tried.

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Now, here’s a cooking mystery that I’ve been trying to solve. The original fig bar recipe calls for coconut oil in the “dough” part instead of the almond butter that I used in my adapted version. I’ve tried to use coconut oil, but it immediately went rancid in the dehydrator. I didn’t give up easily and tried to use different brands of coconut oil, but the result was always the same – rancid. I’m puzzled – it never happens when I use coconut oil in other recipes that require dehydration. If you happen to know the reason, please let me know. I’m truly curious.

Edit: Thanks so much for all your help in solving the mystery. It turns out that the sprouted oat flour+coconut oil=rancid formula is universal, literally. Many readers have lost trays of cookies and bars because of it. Some have suggested that it is because of the water in the recipe, some have said that it is because the coconut oil is raw and is not fit to be heated to higher temperatures. Since then, we’ve also tried to substitute the coconut oil with raw cacao butter and the bars turned out excellent!

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Have a lovely weekend.

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Fig Bars
(Adapted from Living Raw Food)

8 cups sprouted oat flour
2 cups maple syrup powder
1 cup raw almond butter OR raw cacao butter
1 cup date paste
1/4 cup vanilla extract
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoon purified water

In a large bowl, sift together all the dry ingredients. Add the almond butter and mix thoroughly. In a separate bowl, mix the date paste, vanilla extract, and water. Add to the dry mixture and combine well.

6 cups fig paste (see below)
1/2 cup raw agave syrup

To make fig paste, soak any kind of dried figs for 8 hours. Then blend in a food processor, adding the soaking water as needed to achieve a smooth consistency. Keep refrigerated in an air tight container.

In order to form the bars, you will need two trays that fit in the bottom of your dehydrator. We use half-sheet pans that can be found at any restaurant supply store.
Line the two pans with parchment paper. Divide the dough equally between them and press into the pans to achieve a uniform thickness. Using a knife, cut the dough in one of the pans into 4 even parts. Place that pan into the freezer for about 10 minutes, so that it becomes more firm for easier handling.
Meanwhile, mix the fig paste with the 1/2 cup of agave, and evenly spread this mixture on top of the uncut dough in the second pan. Remove the first pan from the freezer and carefully place each quadrant on top of the fig paste layer.
Place the sheet pan in the bottom of the dehydrator and dehydrate at 115F for about 6 hours. Remove from the dehydrator, cover with parchment paper and invert your second empty pan on top of it. Carefully flip over, holding both pans together and remove the upper pan. Peel away the parchment paper and place back into the dehydrator for another 6 hours. Once removed from the dehydrator, cut through all the layers to form bars of any size you like. I cut each quadrant in half lengthwise, then across into 8 sections to make 64 bars. Transfer the bars onto screen-covered dehydrator trays and dehydrate for another 10 hours.

Another great thing about these bars – you can always order them online through One Lucky Duck, or pick one up at their takeaway in NYC.

Tags: breakfast, dessert, food, raw food, recipe, snack, staple

  • Linni33 says:

    How wonderful! Great recipe, photos and description. Thanks xoxo

  • Silani Wahlgren says:

    How fresh is your coconut oil? It IS strange, because coconut oil is meant to be such a stable oil in high temperature environments. In summer months in lots of places it can reach 105 degrees. i wonder what the problem was?

  • hYfunda says:

    fig newtons have always been my favorite cookie. i dare not buy the ones from the store as i don’t want to eat any kind of gluten or flour(or anything tha’t not raw). these look so yummi i may have to try them. do you have any suggestion for what to use as a replacement for the oat flour? thanks

  • Sherryl says:

    Amazing, must try!

  • Anonymous says:

    Thank you for these! We love Newman fig cookies but these look amazing! Thank you for posting the recipe!

  • Luda Hiekin says:

    Can’t wait to try it

  • Connie Drost says:

    I soon have to buy a dehydrator (that mean as soon I’ve got the money for it)

  • Norka says:

    Great idea! I prepare similar, crunchy snacks for ourselves in these days for breakfast, will definitely try these:))

  • dragonmamma says:

    I’m always in awe of your presentation! I’ve got to ask: Do you make them look so spectacular for every meal or snack? For example, you say you make these regularly; do you always tie them up like little presents? And what is that fabric you have wrapped around them; is it something you buy specifically for food use?

  • Danny Boy says:

    What a great alternative to Mr. Keebler! I could eat these morning, noon and night as I’m sure Paloma does…or at least tries to. Love the contrast between the black and white & color photos! Thanks for sharing.

  • Iryna says:

    Beautiful! As always :-))

    I guess the coconut oil in the dough part goes rancid because of the added water… But it’s a guess..

  • dragonmamma says:

    I didn’t even notice the water. Unless needed to process the rest of the foods, why add water?

    I noticed this in a chocolate/zucchini dehydrator cookie recipe that I made. I left out the water, and they came out great.

  • Barbara Radojlovic says:

    Hi, It happened to me as well when I tried to make oatmeal cookies, using just oat flour&coconut oil, I had to throw them away, but when I use mixed flour ( almond, buckwheat and oat flour) it seem to work just fine – funny..:)

  • What a perfect addition to an afternoons cup of tea! These look sweet and chewy with perfect presentation. Great photographs.

  • Golubka says:

    Thanks so much everyone!

    Silani: Our coconut oil is fresh. And I’ve tried different brands! What is strange is that it doesn’t act that way in any other recipes that require dehydration. It must only react that way with the oat flour, I guess. It’s a true mystery :)

    hYfunda: The sprouted oat flour is raw. We sprout raw oat groats, dehydrate them, and grind in a coffee grinder. I’m not sure of a good substitute. Eventually, I want to try these with sprouted buckwheat flour, but I don’t know how it would work in this recipe.

    Connie: The dehydrator is one of my favourites in the kitchen :)

    Dragonmamma: Thank you! Normally, I just store them in an airtight glass container, nothing fancy. But if I were to give them as homemade gifts, I’d wrap them up like that. I collect props for my food photoshoots, so if I see an interesting fabric or, say, spoon, I save it for a future shoot. In this case it’s just a piece of burlap tied with cooking twine.

    Iryna: Thanks for your comment, you’ve got a great point! That may very well be the case. It’s just very hard to form the dough without water, as it’s very tight. There is also water in the date paste, so the recipe would have to change drastically if I eliminated water.

    Barbara: That’s so strange! Thanks for sharing, now I know that it’s definitely those two ingredients together that go rancid.

  • Silani Wahlgren says:

    Well, I heeded your words and made my oat and almond cookies with cacao butter. They were the best cookies I’ve made so far! Oh, Golubka, after my fuzzy monster nest -ike macarons, I decided I should look at some baked macarons at a French patiserie. They were wonderful to look at and now I understand why you used short cut coconut for them.

  • lynne says:

    Oh! I can’t wait to try this!

  • Renata Holicova says:

    You are absolutely amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Marlie Centawer says:

    Come to think of it, when I made oatmeal cookies, using raw oat groat flour and coconut oil, the cookies tasted rancid afterwards. Hmmm!

  • Anonymous says:

    Unfortunately, you’re not alone on the coconut oil-I lost 4 trays of protein bars from th oil going rancid. I used raw coconut flakes, and also lost them from going rancid. My only guess up to this point, is that I’m using RAW coconut oil-and you may be, as well? There is a processed version in the store that I avoid because it’s processed, but I noticed it says “for high heat”…unless coconut just goes rancid beging heated slowly?

    Btw-Thank you for the recipe-I’ve been looking for something like this, as well…yummo!


  • Callie! says:

    Beautiful – I must make these!

  • HiHoRosie says:

    Lovely! What a great idea!

  • This is the healthiest bar recipe I have seen ever wuth maple and figs..wow..I love figs n I will definetely make these.

  • Elizabeth says:

    Those look absolutely wonderful. I love figs in any way shape or form.
    Peace & Raw Health,

  • Norka says:

    Mine are almost ready now:))
    Apart from tiny changings -as adopted to my available ingredients- I tried to stick to the recipe. It’s a great one! Thanks again:))

  • Golubka says:

    Thanks for the comments everyone!!!

    Silani: So glad those cookies worked out! French macarons are very tasty and adorable, yes!

    Marlie: Thanks for your comment, now I know that it’s a common problem!

    Alicia: You’re very welcome! We use raw coconut oil only. That could also be the reason, thanks for your comment.

    Norka: We’re so excited that you made them! Hope you enjoy :)

  • Cameron says:

    This recipe sounds great! I adore fig newtons and your presentation of these fig bars is so adorable.

  • Eve says:

    I just wanted to tell you that, because of you I just bought an Excalibur, and because of this recipe my on-Dukan-diet-boyfriend just dropped his diet.
    Thank you SO much for allowing me to eat cook proper food :)

  • Norka says:

    These were excellent! Though I used much less sweetener, and I added a few drops of orange peel oil to the filling overwhelm the sweetness of the figs, It was just great! I definitely will play with the filling.
    Thanks again:)

  • Golubka says:

    Eve, so glad to hear that! Thanks so much for your wonderful comment.

    Norka, so glad you liked them! Orange peel oil sounds delicious, I’ve never tried it. Going to try to find some now :)

  • Alexander says:

    Hi there, I think this recipe looks absolutely wonderful, but I don’t have a dehydrator (yet!). Any ideas on how to convert this recipe into an oven-friendly one? I would really appreciate it! Thanks again for your great blog.

  • Golubka says:

    Alexander, thank you for your comment and sorry for such a late response! You could try to slow-bake these in your oven at about 118F and they would still stay raw. I know that’s not a very practical option, as it’s tough to keep an oven on for such long periods of time. You could also try to bake them at a higher temperature and in quicker time, but I couldn’t tell you exactly what temperature and how long. You would have to play around with it.

  • Oh wow! I have also been trying to solve the mystery of why a perfectly good batch of cookies will turn rancid…I could not figure out why. it did not happen instantly…I’d dehydrate them for several hours…but go to bed..and wake up in the morning…spoiled!!! Does anyone know why oat flour and coconut oil do this? Thanks so much..no one I asked could figure out what the problem was!! I thought it was the extracts I was using..but realized it had something to do with the coconut because it had that icky BAD coconut oil taste. Thanks much!


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