I try to stay away from overly processed foods in general. If I don't recognize what an ingredient is, I tend to avoid the product. But let's be honest: can anyone resist unhealthy snack foods 100% of the time? Didn't think so.
One of my favorite unhealthy snacks is Fig Newtons. Since they're filled with dried fruit, Newtons seem like they would be pretty healthy, but I know that they're still pretty processed and filled with sugar. I decided to make a healthier version of this snack food that's both vegan and gluten-free friendly. The only sugar in these is from raw, unprocessed honey so they're wholesome enough to eat for breakfast too. Try them out sometime.Vegan Fig + Walnut Oat Bars: makes approximately 15 bars
1 cup dried figs
1 cup hot water
2 cups oats
1 cup oat flour (oats blended in a food processor)
1/2 cup applesauce
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 flax egg (1 tbsp flaxseed meal + 3 tbsp water)
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
In a large bowl, mix together oats and oat flour with baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir in vanilla, applesauce, honey, and flax egg. Dust surface with flour and roll out dough into a 1/2 inch rectangle. Cut in half and place one half on a parchment paper-covered baking sheet.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drain water from figs and place in food processor until smooth. Spread figs on the surface of the dough on the parchment paper. Sprinkle walnuts on top of figs. Place the other half of dough on top of the figs and walnuts. It should be like a big sandwich, with the figs in between the two dough rectangles. Press the dough sandwich down gradually so that it gets compressed to be about 3/4-inch thick. This ensures that the figs are properly smushed in the center of the bars and that the bars aren't too thick. Bake for 15 minutes, until the top is slightly browned. Allow to cool slightly before cutting into bars.Enjoy!