Makes 16 servings
2 cups dried Calimyrna figs
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup raw cane sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus a pinch more
3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), slightly softened and cubed, plus more for greasing the baking dish
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
When fresh fruit offerings at the market are slim, turn to flavor- and nutrient-packed dried fruit instead. Dried figs are loaded with fiber, potassium, and iron—and taste like dessert when tucked into these whole grain snack bars. Look for tender Calimyrna figs (they’re the ones with the yellow skin) in the bulk section of well-stocked grocery stores.
Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease an 8-by-8-inch square baking dish with butter and line it parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides.
Place the figs in a heat-proof bowl and bring a kettle of water to a boil. Pour the boiling water over the figs, cover, and allow to sit for 15 minutes.
In a large bowl, add the flour, oats, sugars, cinnamon, and ½ teaspoon salt and whisk well to combine. Add the butter and use a pastry cutter, a fork, or your fingers to work the butter into the flour until evenly distributed. The dough will be slightly crumbly.
Drain the figs, reserving 2 tablespoons of the soaking water. Place the figs in a food processor, along with the orange juice, reserved water, honey, orange zest, vanilla, and pinch of salt. Process until smooth, about 1 minute.
Transfer two-thirds of the dough to the baking dish and press to distribute evenly. Use a spatula or spoon to spread the fig mixture over top. Crumble the remaining dough over the fig mixture.
Bake until the top begins to turn golden brown, about 30 minutes. Allow to cool completely in the pan.
Lift the unsliced cake out of the pan with the parchment overhang. Slice into 16 bars and serve, or store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
Carbohydrates: 46 g
Fat: 9 g
Protein: 3 g
Fiber: 5 g