Thursday, 16 August 2012

Lemon Fig Bars

Do you ever mysteriously have a craving some something you've never actually eaten? Or maybe for some long forgotten treat you haven't had in ages? By all logical arguments you have no memory of this food's taste, texture or smell, but somehow you still find yourself dreaming of it?

No? Just me? Well, that's ok. I'll embrace this particular peculiarity of mine if it means that I get to eat some fantastic treats like these!

I honestly cannot remember ever having a Fig Newton. Sure, I have memories of them being around, of seeing them in the store and watching my family eat them, but I'm not sure if I ever joined in. I was a very picky child, and I'm sure I turned my nose up at them if there were any other goodies being offered, but in the absence of an alternative I must have at least once given in and tried one. I mean, who's going to say no to a snack?

So it struck me as very odd when this spring I began to have sudden cravings for Fig Newtons. Of course I wasn't about to run to the store and buy the actual cookies, filled with processed sugar and other nasty things, so my craving continued.

I came across Rawified's recipe and decided that now was the time to finally give in to my mysterious craving.

Now of course, since I really can't claim to know what a true Fig Newton tastes like, I have decided that my imaginary treats come with a hefty kick of lemon. I know this is not traditional, but I am a sucker for anything sour, and I think this combination really works.

I should warn you though that these bad boys are TART, so if you are looking for something a little more mellow, please feel free to reduce the amount of lemon zest, and replace some of the juice with water (or even maple syrup).

These bars don't qualify as a true raw food, since I am using traditional oats and maple syrup, but of course you can replace these with raw oats and a raw sweetener if you'd like.

No-Bake Lemon Fig Bars

Fills a 5x7 inch pan; it's up to you how many servings that makes!

adapted from Rawified's Raw Fig Newtons

1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup flax seeds
1/3 cup almonds (or pre-ground almonds)
pinch salt
1-2 tsp lemon zest
2 tbsp maple syrup
8 large dried figs (approximately 1 packed cup)
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp water (more if needed)

In a food-processor, blend oats, flax seeds and almonds until coarsely ground (you can continue to a finer grind if you'd like, but be careful not to over-process the almonds). Add salt and lemon zest and pulse until combined. Add maple syrup and mix until a thick dough forms.

Line a baking dish or tart pan with wax paper or plastic wrap (I used a 5x7 inch baking pan, and this produced nice, thick bars). Spread about 2/3 of the dough into the pan, and press down firmly (If the dough sticks, try rubbing a little coconut oil onto your fingers and/or the pan).

Without bothering to rinse out the food processor, remove the stems from your figs and toss them in. Add lemon juice and blend until a paste forms, adding water as needed. Spread the fig filling over the crust and smooth out. Crumble the remaining dough on top, and press it down into the filling.

Cover the bars and let chill in the fridge for at least a couple hours. Slice into individual squares and enjoy!

The bars will keep nicely in the fridge for at least 3 or 4 days; however, mine were eaten long before that.


  1. these look awesome! absolutely delish. nice to see a fellow canadian!

    1. Thanks Ally! Us Canadians need to stick together ;)

  2. Will be trying these next week, they look perfect for me. I featured them and your blog in my Friday Food Blogger Favorites that will publish tonight at midnight. Can't wait to try making them for myself. Thanks!

    1. What a nice message to come home to after a week on holiday :) Thanks so much Angela, I really appreciate it!

  3. I've never heard of a Fig Newton, but I can't wait to make some. I just found you blog today and I'm super excited to see what you make next.

  4. I just made a batch of these - I added a couple of dates to the fig mixture, as well as some spices in the dough..

    They're absolutely wonderful! I used fresh figs, and no water.. The filling is a little bit mushy, but that's fine with me - more like a raw fig and lemon crisp!

    I used an 8x8 pan, but I only used half of the pan. I'm not sure what happened, but I might double the recipe next time since I only have one high-sided baking pan..

    Thank you so much for the wonderful recipe!

    1. Oh that is awesome! I have to admit that I am intimidated by fresh figs and I've never tried working with them, but maybe it's time I give them a try! I would definitely suggest doubling the recipe for an 8x8 pan; I only have a little 5x7 pan to work with in my flat this summer. Thank you so much for your comments and ideas :)