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Healthy Homemade Vegan Fig Bars
These homemade Vegan Fig Bars are an homage to my childhood favourite snack! Well, one of them. Growing up, I was a huge fan of Fig Newtons (even though most of my fellow first grade peers seemed to hate them…). I loved them because they were sweet, but not Oreo level sweet, and they had a really nice soft bite too.
Now, while Oreos and Fig Newtons are supposedly “accidentally vegan”, neither are gluten free, which means if I want one, I’ve gotta DIY it! One of the perks of DIY-ing is a simpler ingredient list, so this homemade Vegan Fig Bar recipe calls for less than 10 ingredients, versus 20+ in the storebought formula.
Initially, I tried to make this recipe using fresh figs, during peak fig season but after multiple attempts, found that dried figs work best. This is actually great news because it means you can make these fig bars year round! And… maybe it’s just me, but I enjoy dried figs much more than I do fresh anyway.
These Vegan Fig Bars are gluten free, refined sugar free,made without added oils and can be made nut free too!
So what’s in these Vegan Fig Bars?
Dried mission figs → this is the base of our fig paste, of course! They are packed with natural sweetness, and have a sticky texture which is key.
Oat flour → to create a gluten free cookie, we’re using oat flour. If you have a serious gluten allergy, do make sure to use a certified gluten free oat flour (which ensures that the facility it was produced in does not process any wheat/gluten products).
Coconut sugar → is the granulated sweetener I like to use, but you can use any other granulated sugar.
Almond butter → to add a source of healthy fat, and moisture to the dough. To make nut-free, opt for a seed butter instead.
Plant milk → I opted for coconut milk, but any unsweetened non-dairy milk should work here.
Cinnamon → a little spice for your fig bar!
Lemon juice → to brighten things up.
And a few baking essentials like vanilla and baking powder, plus optional OJ (see recipe notes).
Secrets to success
As mentioned, you want to make sure you’re using dried figs, instead of fresh figs. This is important for texture (to achieve that classic fig paste texture), but also for sweetness level!
For this recipe, you’ll need a food processor or blender, but I highly recommend a food processor because the quantity of ingredients we’re blending up is not too large.
Finally, I recommend using parchment paper, which will be important in order to achieve the classic folded fig bar look.
If you try this recipe out, tag me on Instagram@veggiekinsso I can see your delicious re-creations and feature them! As always, I love when you share your reviews in the comments below, and if you make any fun substitutions, let me know how it worked out below too.
1/4 cup room temperature plant milk (I used light coconut milk), more as needed
1 tsp vanilla extract
(optional) orange juice
In a small bowl, soak dry figs, covering with hot water, for a least 1 hour. Once tender, strain the figs but reserve the soaking water for blending.
Preheat your oven to 350F.
Transfer the soaked figs to a food processor and add the juice of half a lemon. Blend to break down, then start to add soaking water by the tablespoon, blending in between. You want to achieve a spreadable paste, not too wet (refer to image above). Taste, and if desired, you can add a touch of maple syrup to sweeten. I personally found it to be naturally sweet. Alternatively, you can opt to blend with orange juice instead of the soaking water to add additional sweetness if you prefer something closer to the original.
Now prepare your fig bar dough. In a mixing bowl, sift flour, coconut sugar, baking powder and cinnamon. Add almond butter, plant milk and vanilla extract and mix with a spatula until a dough forms. If needed, you can add additional plant milk as needed. Dough should be workable with your hands.
Lay out 2 pieces of parchment paper or 2 nonstick baking sheets, and place dough in between. Use a rolling pin to roll out into a thin, long rectangle shape (see photos above). Spoon fig paste into a log shape in the center of the dough rectangle, and lift edges of the parchment paper to layer either side over the center fig paste. Flip so the seam side is down.
Slice your log into 10 pieces, or rectangle sizes of choice, then place onto a baking sheet. Bake at 350F for 12-15 minutes, or until just golden brown on the surface. Don’t overbake, or you’ll end up with a crunchy bar instead of a soft fig bar.
You will end up with a little leftover jam, but I find that 1 cup of dried figs was necessary as a minimum quantity so the blades of my food processor could effectively purée.
Hi there, I’m Remy! Welcome to Veggiekins Blog, home to nourishing vegan + gluten-free recipes and tips to live your best balanced and holistic life. I’m a human on a mission to empower you to be well and be kind to your mind, body and soul with the healing power of plants.
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