Figs are definitely my favorite dried fruit. As a child, I loved Fig Newtons. I'd carefully eat all the cookie parts away, exposing the chewy, nutty, figgy center. I'd eat my prize slowly, savoring each bite.
Not only do they taste like candy, figs contain a plethora of nutrients. Figs are high in fiber, high in potassium, and rich in polyphenals, which offer anti-aging properties. Several studies show that some elements in figs are toxic to certain skin cancer cells, and are useful in treating common illnesses that effect the digestive, endocrine, reproductive, and respiratory systems. Since figs contain a significant amount of B6, they can also be a home remedy for anemia. Figs are known to cultivate good gut bacteria, and they also can provide a natural boost to the body's ability to ward off sickness.
This simple recipe for Fig and Maple Nut Bars makes it easy to incorporate figs into a healthy treat. The process takes a little more than half-an-hour from start to finish. The results will leave you with 12 snack-size bars to eat on the go!
- 1 cup dried figs, stems removed
- 1 3/4 cup cashews
- 5 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/2 tbsp vanilla
- 1 cup sunflower seeds
- 3 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/3 cup coconut flakes
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line a baking pan with parchment paper. Combine all the ingredients into a food processor. Mix everything up well, until you have a granola-like consistency. The resulting "dough" should be sticky yet loose. Transfer it to the baking dish, and press down with your hands until flat. You'll be cutting this gooey slab into bars when it's finished baking, so make sure the edges are even. Bake for 20 minutes, and allow the pan to cool before cutting the bars. I found it easy to use a pizza cutter for this step. Transfer to a sealed container to keep in the fridge for up to 7 days. You can freeze these as well.