If you are looking for a healthful and different dessert or snack (or hey, breakfast bars), look no further. Our gluten-free vegan fig bars are it! With an easy press-in bottom crust, scrumptious filling made from dried figs (Costco has a great deal on them!), and lovely crumbly topping, these vegan fig bars are as easy to make as they are delicious!
Now, if you have never made something with dried figs before, you may be a bit reluctant to try something new. But trust us, cooking with dried figs couldn’t be easier! You just soak them in hot water for ten or more minutes, and drain them, and they’re ready to go! Dried figs also make for darned good snacking, no soaking required! Plus they are little bombs of superfood dynamite! One (just one!) fig has 1 gram of fiber, and provides calcium, iron, copper, magnesium, potassium, riboflavin, thiamine, B6, vitamin K, and much more! (You can read a great breakdown of the nutritional benefits of the powerhouse fig on Medical News Today.)
You will need a food processor to make this recipe. If you don’t already have one, this is a great excuse to get one. :~) People really seem to love this food processor, although in truth we’re a big fan of buying older Cuisinart models on eBay, from eras when they were made to last. (You can find wonderful vintage Cuisinart food processors on eBay here.)
You can serve these right of the pan, or you can dress them up with our vegan almond créme (this is what is in our picture).
Easy and Delicious Gluten-Free Vegan Fig Bars
1 1/2 cups oats (quick or rolled oats) which you will turn into flour, or 1 1/2 cups oat flour
1/4 cup solid coconut oil
1 Tablespoon sugar (can use less)
1/2 teaspoon salt (can omit but it does boost the flavor)
up to 1/4 cup filtered water
2 to 2 1/2 cups dried figs (we get ours from Costco, and they’re organic to boot!)
2 or 3 Tablespoons maple syrup
a little bit of filtered water
1 1/2 cups oats
1/2 cup solid coconut oil
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
1/8 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease an 8×8 baking pan (sometimes called a brownie pan) with solid coconut oil and set aside.
Place figs in a heat-proof bowl (be sure to remove any stems!), and cover with boiling water. Let the figs soak in the water for at least 10 minutes.
While your oven is preheating and your figs are soaking, place the oats for the bottom crust into your food processor (using the sharp metal S blade (so called because it’s shaped like an S)), and pulverize the oats into fine flour. If you have pre-made oat flour you can skip this step. Add the sugar and salt and process for a moment to get it mixed in. Now take the coconut oil and drop it spoonful at a time into the bowl of your food processor, and then pulse the processor (pulsing it means turning it on and off quickly, most food processors have a pulse button) until the coconut oil is cut into little lumps the size of peas (approximately). Now turn the processor back on and start drizzling water through the top just until a ball of dough forms and then turn your food processor off!
Don’t put the bowl of your food processor in the sink, you are going to use it again (and again)!
Put a light coating of coconut oil on your hands (it’s soooo good for your skin!) and take the dough ball and press it evenly into the bottom of your prepared 8×8 pan. Set aside.
Drain the figs, and put them in your food processor with the maple syrup. Turn on your food processor and process the bejeezus out of the figs until they become a smooth, thick paste, adding a tiny bit of filtered water if the mixture is too thick and needs help getting smooth.
Spread the fig filling evenly over the bottom crust in the pan. Get as much of the filling out of the food processor and off of the blade as you can, and do not put the bowl of your food processor in the sink yet!
Now make the topping. Put 1/2 cup of the oats for the topping in your food processor and turn it into flour. Now put the rest of the oats and the rest of the ingredients into your food processor (doing the same “spoonful at a time” thing with the coconut oil). Pulse the food processor until the coconut oil is cut in and the topping has lumps in it no bigger than peas.
Sprinkle the topping evenly all over the fig filling in the pan.
Place in preheated oven and bake for about 20 minutes, or until topping begins to turn golden brown in spots.
Remove from oven and cool on a rack until completely cool. Do not attempt to cut these until they are fully cooled.
Cut into bars and serve. We leave these in the pan, pre-cut, which is the surest way for them to hold together when you serve them.
Serve as is, or topped with our vegan almond créme.
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Gluten-Free Vegan Fig Bars with Vegan Almond Créme
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