Fig Oat Bars

It’s about time I posted something worthwhile like this! See, here’s the deal: as a runner, I try to keep myself in generally decent shape. I like to be able to run 20 miles at any given time (because, let’s be real here, you never know when you might need to run a marathon!). That being said, I’m trying to cut back to two marathons a year (don’t worry, you aren’t lazy. I’m crazy and I know it).

A couple of weeks ago I came out of my little pity party known as “resting” or “taking a break” and decided which races I would run next. Suddenly I find myself in training mode. Know what that means? It means I run a little faster, run a little more and all the normal (easy) stuff. But really, all it means is that I have to eat healthy.

Oh and I have to eat more. That may sound wonderful to you, but for me it’s a death sentence. Try ramping up those calories without putting a bunch of junk in your body. What I needed was an awesome bar cookie that was the dessert for my breakfast, the mid-morning snack and the dessert for my dinner. What I got was this delicious figgy, oat-acious creation. Whole wheat, fiber, potassium, all the greatest things you could ever want. And FAST. Isn’t that the American dream these days? You’re welcome.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb fresh figs
  • ¾ cup water
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 2/3 cup white whole wheat flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (cubed)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ¼ cup maple syrup

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Roughly chop the figs. Add to a medium saucepan along with the water, honey, brown sugar and orange zest.

Bring the mixture to a boil, let simmer for about 1 ½ hours. Once the mixture is thick and syrupy, add the 2 Tbsp flour. Stir for another minute, then remove from heat.

Pulse the oats, flour and salt together in a food processor.

Add the butter, pulse to combine. The mixture will be coarse crumbs. Do not overmix!

Add the milk and vanilla and pulse one or two more times until a dough barely forms.

Press 2/3 of the mixture into the bottom of an 8X11” pan.

Drizzle the maple syrup over the mixture.

Transfer the fig mixture to the food processor and pulse to create a smooth-ish mixture.

Spread over the dough.

Sprinkle the remaining dough over the top of the fig mixture. At this point you can add another sprinkle of brown sugar if you want the bar to be a bit sweeter.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until the top crumbs are golden brown.

Allow to cool, serve now or later! Take them to work, to the gym, to the kid’s soccer practice or as a post-long-run snack (with your chocolate milk, of course).

~Julianne 

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