Homemade Fig Newtons

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I am not a fan of Fig Newtons. When I was a kid and attended after school daycare, they always served them as a snack. By the time my mom picked me and my brother up, I was basically starving. For elementary school Rachael, starvation was preferable to eating Fig Newtons. 

Why create a homemade version of something I despise? Party to clean out my freezer, which was packed with three containers of figs from the two trees in my mom's front yard. I made jam, I roasted them for salads, and even made a fancy dish of pan-seared chicken and figs. I was running out of ideas, and Fig Newtons seemed pretty obvious.

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Plus, these really aren't anything like Fig Newtons, other than the jammy, figgy filling. Instead of that weird cakey cookie, these are crusted in a crumbly gluten free crust. I made it with oat flour and almond meal, which has the yummiest texture and the almond meal gives it a hint of nuttiness. It's a little difficult to work with, so don't worry if your bars aren't the prettiest. Just call them rustic. 

Before you run to the kitchen to make these delish fig bars, check out this article I was featured in on Relish. A heart healthy menu I created was featured, along with menus from three other dietitians.  Relish is a fantastic site, so I'm so excited to be featured!  Check it out!


Homemade Fig Newtons

Makes 12

Ingredients

Filling: 

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh figs
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, diced
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Crust: 

  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 7 tablespoons water
  • 1 3/4 cup oat flour (grind oats in the food processor to make your own), plus additional oat flour for rolling.
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil

Instructions

  1. Place figs, apricots, lemon juice, and cinnamon in a medium pot. Cook on medium heat for 30 minutes, mashing with a potato masher or the back of a wooden spoon to break apart. Add a little water if it starts to look dry. When soft, mushy and jam-like in consistency, remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix 3 tablespoons of water with 1 tablespoon of chia seeds, set aside to swell for 5 minutes.
  3. Mix oat flour, almond meal, sugar and pinch of salt in a large bowl. Mix in the coconut oil and chia gel with your fingers until well combined. Divide into two sections and roll into balls. Place one in the bottom of an medium, oiled baking dish and press down evenly to flatten. Spread fig jam across the crust. Roll the other piece of dough out flat on a floured surface. Place over the fig jam, pressing down to remove any trapped air. Patch together top crust to cover the jam.
  4. Place in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until the pastry is golden brown. Set aside to cool before cutting into 12 bars. Store in airtight container up to 1 week at room temperature. 

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