Vegan fig bars starring homemade, no-cook fig jam and a whole grain crust. Think of these as healthy, vegan fig newtons!
These hearty, chewy vegan fig bars are perfect for breakfast or when you're craving a sweet treat. And they're super easy to make!
The crust for these vegan fig newtons is basically a granola bar. It uses quick oats -- the kind that cooks up in a minute -- for the crust.
I am using quick oats here instead of rolled oats because they're broken down a bit, but don't worry! This is still a whole grain recipe. Quick oats are just oats that have been blended quickly into smaller pieces.
Add the quick oats to a large bowl with the rest of the dry ingredients: more oats, a touch of brown sugar, flax meal, and salt.
Now, in a small bowl, whisk together tahini or your favorite nut butter with vanilla extract, applesauce, maple syrup, and a little bit of water.
Combine the wet and try ingredients, mixing until you have a dough that will stay in a ball. If needed, you can add more water, a teaspoon at a time, until you reach that texture.
Then, it's time to make the no-cook jam filling!
Making the fig jam filling
There's no need to stand over the stove to make this vegan fig jam! You make the filling for these vegan fig bars in your blender or food processor.
To make the jam, combine figs, maple syrup, and lemon juice in your blender or food processor. Blend until you have a sticky jam.
Depending on how dry your figs are, you may need to add water by the teaspoon to reach the desired consistency. If your figs have been sitting for a while -- either in your pantry or at the grocery store -- they may be a bit more dried out.
Assembling the fig newtons
To assemble the fig bars, line an 8x8" baking pan with parchment paper, and press half of the dough into the bottom. Then, spread the fig jam all over.
Top it off by carefully pressing the remaining dough into the pan. The oat topping is going to want to press into the jam layer, so I like to break up the dough into four or five pieces, and scatter them on top. Then, gently spread those out until you have a single, top layer of dough.
Then, you are ready to bake!
Let the fig bars cool in the baking pan for 10 minutes before you pop them out. Then, let them cool for another 10 minutes before you slice and serve.
Worried that figs aren't vegan?
There is an urban myth out there that figs aren't vegan, but don't worry! Figs are totally vegan.
Now that we've cleared that up, let's make some vegan fig bars, y'all!
Store leftover fig bars in an airtight container. They will keep for 2-3 days in the pantry or for up to a week in the fridge.
If you have to stack them to store, place a piece of parchment paper between rows, so the bars don't stick together.
To freeze, layer them in a freezer-safe container with parchment paper between the layers. They will keep for three months. Thaw them overnight in the refrigerator.
Vegan fig bars recipe
For the crust
- 2 cups quick oats - the kind that cooks in one minute
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup flax meal
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup tahini or nut butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup applesauce
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon water
For the fig filling
- 14 ounces dried mission figs - stems removed
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons water
- Preheat oven to 350° F and line an 8x8" pan with parchment paper.
- Soak the figs in hot water for 10 minutes while you're making the crust.
Make the crust
- In a large bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, flax meal, and salt.
- In a smaller bowl, combine the tahini, vanilla, applesauce, maple syrup, and water.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and stir well. Set this aside while you make the filling.
Make the filling
- Drain the figs, then combine them with maple syrup, lemon juice, and water in your food processor, and run it until you have a sticky jam-like mixture. You can add more water, a teaspoon at a time, if you need to get things moving. It depends on how dry your figs are.
Assemble & bake
- Press half of the oat dough into the bottom of your lined baking pan. Press the fig mixture into the pan on top of the dough. Carefully press the remaining oat dough on top of the fig layer (see note).
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the top is browned on the edges. Let the bars cool in the pan for 10 minutes before you pop them out. Then, let them cool on the cutting board for 10 more minutes before you slice and serve them.
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