Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Fig Newton "Sarah-Bars"!


I'm not sure why, but I never really "got into" the energy bar craze as a teen and college student. There were certainly enough of them out there - from the cheap cereal-based "granola-y" snacks I could kill for as a kid (but which my mom would never buy) to the trail-mix "natural" bars in our vending machines, vegan options in the dorm convenience store and of course the quintessential PowerBar, they innundated us students from all angles. As I completed my nutrition programs, they showed up more and more around me, especially when classes were running to 9PM, and though I tried a few of them I just didn't "get" their appeal.

Amusingly, although I wasn't a fan of eating energy or snack bars, I had (and still have, obviously) no problem making them for those who are! More as an experiment on my end (and an excuse to play around with my Three Legume Butter), I set out to make a mock-Lara Bar concoction dubbed the "Sarah-Bar". The flavouring was dictated essentially by what I first laid eyes on when I went to my baking pantry - along with the necessary dates, I had a half package of dried figs and a goodly amount of raisins by the time I made it back to the kitchen. My idea was to make a sort of "Fig Newton" with the combination, and lightly coat the tops of the bars with poured fondant (yeah, I know - undoing any health benefits from the beans and fruit).

I soaked the (very) dried out figs and raisins first so that my poor off-brand food processor wouldn't conk out on me, draining them well and pressing out the liquid so that they were pliable but not soggy. Then I just chucked everything into the processor and let'er rip until it basically became a fruit-legume butter paste, scraping it into a plastic lined square pan. It was too soft to cut right away, so into the fridge it went overnight, after which they cut wonderfully with my bench scraper! All told, it took longer to mix up and glaze the bars with the fondant than it did to make the plain bars, and from what I heard from hungry snackers (especially those who were gluten-free and vegan) it was well worth the minimal time and expense!

Fig Newton "Sarah - Bars"
Makes 9 bars
2.6 oz raisins
4 oz chopped figs
Boiling water
2.5 oz dates
9.5 oz 3-legume butter or almond butter or your favourite!
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch sea salt
  1. In a bowl, combine raisins and figs.
  2. Cover with boiling water and let stand 10 minutes.
  3. Drain, pressing out residual liquid, and add the raisins and figs to a food processor with the dates, 3-legume butter, vanilla, cinnamon and salt.
  4. Puree until a thick doughy paste forms.
  5. Press evenly into a 9" square pan and chill until firm, then cut into bars
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 283.9
Total Fat: 18.0 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 8.2 mg
Total Carbs: 26.3 g
Dietary Fiber: 5.6 g
Protein: 9.1 g