I was surprised to find in my research, that figs are a natural food source to fight off parasites due to their high fiber content and ability to help clean the intestinal tract. After my own scare with parasites (you can read more here), I became focused on foods to keep me free of those pesky creatures.
Coincidentally, figs have become one of my favorite things to snack on, and you will rarely find me without figs when they are in season. You can imagine, I am overjoyed that my local health food markets have fresh figs fully stocked up at the moment!
I typically eat figs in two big bites or diced over my Coconut Kefir Yogurt, as a gut friendly way to start my day, but this week I decided to take it to the next level.
Why not make an adult friendly, grown up version of a fig newton? Without gluten and dairy, and using vegan ingredients, I made a treat that is healthy for the gut and satisfies my adult taste buds.
Grown Up Fig Bars
Makes 12 bars
1 ½ cups almond meal
1 ½ cups gluten free old fashioned oats
1 T organic unrefined coconut oil
1 T vanilla extract or vanilla powder
½ t cinnamon
½ cup fig jam
1 cup toasted pecans (for topping)
pinch of salt
2 cups fresh organic black mission figs, diced
1 T honey
zest of 1 lemon
Place diced fresh figs in a sauté pan with honey and lemon zest. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until figs start to break down and soften, approximately 5 minutes. Place fig mixture into a blender and blend until slightly smooth. Return back to sauté pan and cook down until figs have thickened and reduced, stirring frequently (should be the consistency of jam). When complete, set aside.
Line a square pan (I used an 8 x 8) with parchment paper. In a food processor, process the almond meal, oats, salt, vanilla, and cinnamon, add the 1/2 cup of fig spread and coconut oil. Process on low until fully blended and sticky. Remove from blender and press the mixture very firmly and evenly into your parchment lined pan.
Spread the remaining fig jam over the base dough in a nice even layer. Top with pecans (as much as you would like, you can add a little or a lot).
Immediately refrigerate until firm (minimum of 3 hours). Keep stored in the fridge or freezer and serve cold.