I received free samples of California walnuts to make these walnut fig bars. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the California Walnut Commission and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.
You have to try these walnut fig bars. This paleo, vegan, gluten-free dessert taste just like Fig Newton bars, these walnut fig bars have a ton more nutrition as well as filling protein and fiber. Honestly you could have these for dessert, a snack or even breakfast. Yup they are that good for you!
Growing up we didn’t have very many store-bought snacks in her house. In fact thinking back the only store-bought cookie I can ever remember having were Fig Newton bars and Entenmann’s snacks, I did live in Philadelphia after all! And while I haven’t had a Fig Newton in quite some time, I still remember digging into the package getting for five at a time. Yeah I had no self control back then either!
With my birthday coming up soon (Friday yay!!) I thought that I would try to re-create this old favorite using healthier ingredients. Luckily I was just sent a big bag of walnuts to use in any recipe I’d like, and I was dreaming of how to make this recipe work with them! Seriously I couldn’t sleep one night and went through all the ways I could make this recipe as healthy as possible without losing any of the key flavors. I wanted to make a soft crust and a chewy center.
Instead of using almond flour, I had a revelation to use walnuts instead to make walnut flour! Don’t let that intimidate you, it’s so simple. It only takes 25 seconds and you are going to get the food processor dirty anyway, so why not use it! The food processor is critical component of making sure this recipe super simple, you really just need to make sure you have the right equipment.
A fig Newton copycat recipe wouldn’t be complete without figs right? I somehow managed to not eat the entire bag of figs before making this recipe (again I have no self control). Anyone else have that problem? I swear as soon as the bag is open the figs are gone. Whoops! I used dried figs in this recipe you can either use the black mission figs or like I did the smyrna figs (that I picked up from Trader Joe’s).
The trick to making this the simplest recipe ever is soaking the figs for at least 30 minutes in hot water. Soaking the figs in hot water helps them plump up it also makes them a lot easier to break down the figs in the food processor. It’s such a simple step that makes all the difference.
This wouldn’t be a dessert from PancakeWarriors without the addition of protein powder! Yup I always add it! It’s a great way to add a little bit of protein, which helps this recipe be very filling and nourishing. The protein powder also adds its own sweetness and without it, you will need to sweeten it with with something like stevia or maple syrup.
These walnut fig bars are packed with nutrition. The walnuts are a great source of fiber and Omega-3 fatty acids. They are a great snack but are also amazing in baked goods. The walnut flour is actually a bit softer than almond flour producing an even better texture crust than I was expecting.
I have to admit I took this recipe a step further and drizzled my walnut fig bar with a little organic honey while enjoying it with my coffee. It’s exactly how I remember it tasting as a kid. Now if I can just find a way to make these last until my birthday!
Get more protein packed desserts like these Baked Oatmeal Pumpkin Bars.
Walnut Fig Bars
- 1/2 cup walnuts chopped
- Sprinkle cinnamon
- Soak the figs in hot water for 30 minutes.
- Preheat Oven to 375.
- In a food processor, add the walnuts and blend into a fine flour, about 20-25 seconds.
- To the walnut flour, add the chia seeds, and water and blend again 5-10 seconds to incorporate.
- Add the protein powder, cinnamon, vanilla and coconut nectar or honey or maple syrup. Blend until well combined.
- Spray your tart pan or pie pan with non-stick spray (I use coconut oil)
- Dump the contents of the food processor out into a tart shell or pie pan and press with your fingers until it forms an even crust.
- Bake at 375 for 15 minutes.
- While the crust is baking, remove the figs from the water, reserving the water. Add the figs to the food processor along with 5 tbs. of the soaking water (add regular water if you don't have enough from soaking). Turn on the food processor and process 10 seconds.
- Scrape down the edges and add the chia seeds, coconut flour, vanilla protein powder and cinnamon. Blend until well combined, 30 seconds.
- Scrape the contents into the pie crust, smoothing down into one layer.
- Sprinkle with chopped walnuts and cinnamon.
- Bake for 10 minutes at 375.
- Cool and serve.
What about you?
- What is your favorite childhood treat you want to recreate?
- Anyone else lack all self control with figs?