Gluten-Free Quinoa Fig “Newton” and Whole Wheat Fig “Newton” Bars
I’ve been waiting for these fig bars to make it to the Ancient Harvest recipe pages so I could share! I love them, and they’re refined sugar free (nothing but figs, dates, and a little pure orange sweetening these), and most importantly, Little Monkey loves them, too. Or should I say, alas, Not-So-Little Monkey, *sniff*.
My “Fitty Big Boy”, as he’s called himself these past few months, is turning TWO. How did that happen? I’m trying to remember to keep mourning the baby times at bay. There is SO much to celebrate! This last year as our family has flown faster than the first, but with delightful go, go GO.
What’s not to love about Toddlerhood? Tantrums and all. Fitty Big Boy is bold–but careful in the best way–thinking deliberately, taking chances, and making gigantic strides in every way. He works hard and is courageous and joyful in that hard work. He can run like the wind, with a forward lean that tugs at my heart, seeing him so fleet, so small, moving away. He can lift gallon-jugs filled with orange juice, cool, proud little helper. He can hike almost 2 miles UPHILL IN THE MOUNTAINS, the whole time observing, noticing all the birds, wildlife, rocks, and flowers; laughing, and pulling words together to tell stories with sparkling eyes. He has big, brilliant energy, but he likes quiet times, too. He gives monster hugs and sweet kisses with gentle, loving pats.
I’m consumed with nostalgia and a little dread that sits on my back like the proverbial monkey…aching, wishing, hoping to learn to trust that as things evolve, so will we be ready to face new challenges and joys. I’m fearful, what if I can’t handle myself anymore, as he learns to need me less and less? What if I fall in an abyss of loneliness being left behind as just me, whoever that has become? Moms who have been there, or are here with me, I love your thoughts.
But…back to these bars. (Sorry.) I created the Gluten-Free version for Ancient Harvest, and decided why not make some whole wheat ones, too? The latter felt much easier…which is a bit ridiculous, because the difference is really just a case of opening a couple fewer bags (no almond meal or coconut flour). It reminds me of a Brian Regan sketch that cracked me up about those stripey peanut butter-jelly products (“I don’t want to open TWO jars!”). Seriously, both versions are simple to make, and the making of can be achieved in steps that are as drawn-out as you like. The dough needs to chill for an hour or more, but doesn’t hurt from even days of sitting in the fridge. The paste can be made well in advance, too. Then it’s just a question of finding 10 minutes to roll out your dough into a long rectangle, spread the paste onto half, fold over and bake. The gluten-free dough can be crumbly, so be sure to use parchment paper or a silicone baking mat (love these!) to assist easy folding.
Little Monkey doesn’t have much yet in the way of snack products. I’m sure there’s a good bit of naivete on my part in attempting to keep it that way, but that’s OK. He’s tried store-bought fig bars and loved them, and I love that I can make him a batch of fairly good lookalikes free from chemicals and preservatives, added sugars, and who knows what. And that creating like this is one thing I can do that looks set to grow, as he grows, at least for awhile.
Quinoa Fig “Newton” Cookies: Visit Ancient Harvest’s fabulous recipe pages for recipe!
Whole Wheat Fig “Newton” Cookies
Yield: 12 large or 24 small cookies
Prep time: 15 minutes active prep plus 1 hour+ for chilling dough
Cook time: 15 minutes
- 2 cups whole wheat flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- ⅓ cup liquid coconut oil
- ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup dried figs
- ½ cup pitted Medjool dates (about 5)
- ⅓ cup orange juice
- Prepare the dough: Mix all dry ingredients (flour through salt) in a bowl. In another bowl, combine eggs, coconut oil, applesauce, and vanilla. Add to dry mix and stir to just combine. (**Full disclosure, I do this all in one bowl, and it’s fine!)
- Use your hands, coated lightly with extra flour, to form a ball with dough and refrigerate at least one hour.
- Prepare the filling: Combine figs, dates, and orange juice in a saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring, 5 minutes. Transfer to a blender or food process and pulse or blend to form a soft paste. Add water to thin as needed.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place dough on a rimless baking sheet lined with parchment paper (consider spraying baking sheet and paper with cooking spray so it will stick better) and carefully roll into a long rectangle, about ¼ in thick.
- Working lengthwise, spread the filling mixture over half of the dough. Using parchment paper to assist and lift, carefully fold over remaining half to cover filling and pinch with fingers to seal edges.
- Use a knife or pizza cutter to cut into pieces (approximately 12 large rectangles or 24 smaller squares).
- Bake 15 – 20 minutes or until beginning to brown. Let cool 10 minutes before serving. Store in an airtight container.