Editor's note: This recipe originally appeared on UNC Health Care's Health Talk blog.
If you’re looking for a healthy after-school snack and your kids love a sweet treat, then this recipe is for you. It’s a delicious and healthy take on the famous fig cookie. Homemade fig bars are a great source of fiber and don’t have preservatives like the store-bought version. An added bonus? They make your kitchen smell amazing.
Homemade Fig Bars
For the filling:
2 cups dried figs
3/4 cup cold water
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon orange zest
For the cookie:
2 cups oat flour
1 cup oats
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground chia seeds
1/3 cup honey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup olive oil
Cut off the stems and place the dried figs in a saucepan in the cold water. Allow them to soak for 15 minutes.
Add the honey, salt and orange zest. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Set aside to cool for about 15 minutes, then puree into a paste in a food processor.
Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a 9-by-9-inch baking dish with parchment paper. Combine the dry ingredients (oat flour, oats, walnuts, baking soda, cinnamon and ground chia seeds) in a bowl and set aside. If anyone in your crew has allergies, leave out the nuts.
In a separate large bowl, combine the wet ingredients (honey, vanilla extract, applesauce and olive oil) and stir.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until just combined.
Spoon half of the batter into the lined baking dish and press it firmly to form a base layer. The dough will be sticky; using another layer of parchment paper as you press down will keep it from sticking to your hands. You can also put olive oil on your hands to keep the dough from sticking to you.
Scoop out the fig paste from the processor and press it into a thin layer with your hands. Lay it on top of the base layer in the baking dish and press until it forms a smooth middle layer.
Spoon the rest of the oat batter on top and smooth down evenly.
Bake for 30 minutes until the edges are light golden brown.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for several hours. This will ensure the fig bars hold together properly. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.
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