My relationship with technology borders on a constant love/hate status. The truth is, despite living in 2015, much of the world of technology still confuses me. This is where Dustin beautifully complements our working relationship (well, really just one of many ways)–he’s the technology guru! Live Simply just wouldn’t be the beautiful and functional place it is today without that amazing man.
Today has been one of those “I don’t understand you, Mr. Computer!” technology days. I’ve actually written the words for this post twice now, both times the words have mysteriously disappeared from existence. My first reaction was to throw my arms in the air and question my very involvement with a computer and the online world. Since that didn’t seem to help, I decided this may just be a sign. A reminder that it’s okay to let real food speak for itself. Instead of rewriting my story about our home remodel or my love for Fig Newtons as child, today, I’m actually going to be quiet. I know, strange times!
Here’s the thing about real food. Real food is about basic ingredients that beautifully come together to create flavor and textures processed food can’t ever mimic. Real food doesn’t need cartoon characters, commercials, or special words. Real food is naturally good and beautiful–no convincing needed. So let’s bask in the beauty of simple ingredients. While I love sharing life and stories here on Live Simply, the food and recipes often times speak for themselves, as fresh, real food should.
Today’s recipe consists of simple ingredients you can find in your pantry paired with fresh, seasonal figs. These ingredients are blended together to create a crumbly bar that is naturally sweet, gluten-free, and irresistible! Simplicity and beauty, my friend. Let’s behold…
- 2 cups toasted walnuts*
- 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (gluten-free for a gluten-free crumble)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp salt
- 6 TB butter, cubed and softened
- ⅓ cup honey
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract (homemade)
- 2 cups halved fresh figs--Brown or Turkish are my favorite (about 1-16 oz. package)
- 4 medjool dates (remove the seeds)--The dates should be moist, not dried out. If the dates are dry, soak them in water for 15-20 minutes before use.
- 1 lemon, juiced (about 2 TB juice)
- 2 TB honey
- 2 TB arrowroot starch/flour (where to buy) An organic non-GMO corn starch may be used as a substitute.
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the the rolled oats, toasted walnuts, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Pulse the dry ingredients until the oats and nuts resemble a crumbly flour. Add the cubed butter and continue to pulse until the "flour" begins to to stick together--about 30-40 seconds. Pour the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Add the remaining wet ingredients to the flour mixture: honey, egg, and vanilla extract. Stir the ingredients until combined.
- For the Filling: Wipe out the food processor, if needed. Add the figs, dates, lemon juice, honey, and arrowroot starch/flour. Pulse until the ingredients form a paste.
- Pour half the the crumble mixture into parchment-lined 9x9 baking dish (allow a small amount of excess parchment to rise up two sides of pan to lift the bars from the pan after baking). Press the crumbly mixture down into the pan with your hands. Pour the fig filling over the top. Drop the remaining crumble over the top of the filling.
- Bake for 25-30 until the top of the crumble begins to brown (not burn!). Remove the crumble from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes--don't skip this step!
- After 10 minutes, lift the sides of the parchment from the pan, pulling the crumble out of the pan. Cut the crumble into squares. Serve warm, or allow to cool and store in an air-tight container in the fridge. The bars should be soft and crumbly, but firm enough to form individual bars.
Serve Oat and Nut Fig Bars for breakfast, as a snack, or warm with a side of homemade vanilla ice cream.
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