Isn’t it time you trade your prepackaged snack bars for healthier homemade granola bars? Those store bought bars are loaded with sugar and packed with preservatives. When you make the switch and bake a batch at home, you control what goes into them — and what doesn’t. So what goes into our Honey Almond Fig Granola Bars?
Only the good stuff.
You won’t be able to stop craving the flavors in this delicious fall medley. Rolled oats are tossed with crunchy almonds and pumpkin seeds, tender dried cherries and chewy dates. Unsweetened applesauce and honey hold the mixture together, and the whole thing is kissed with a healthy serving of cinnamon.
And don’t forget the figs!
Don’t you just love figs? Figs are naturally sweet and good for your health. Throughout history, figs have been used as a natural sweetener in place of items like sugar — still common in many countries today. Figs are the fruit of the ficus tree, native to the Middle East and the Mediterranean. They have a unique texture littered with tiny, slightly crunchy seeds. Fresh figs can be delicate and spoil quickly, so they’re often dried to preserve them for enjoying throughout the year. The Greeks held figs in such high regard that laws existed to prevent their export from the country.
Luckily, laws aren’t so tight now days, and anyone with a little perseverance in Pittsburgh, can try their hand at growing a fig tree and enjoy a bountiful fall fig harvest.
Fresh or dried figs can be used in sweet or savory dishes including jams, preserves, desserts, salads, and other savory dishes.
Try them today in these chewy Honey Almond Fig Granola Bars. The whole family will love them. Pack them for road trips, take them to kids’ soccer practice, or grab one when you come home famished from a run.
It’s always a smart move to have healthy, homemade snacks on hand.
Note: Most well-stocked supermarkets will carry fig jam, but if you can’t find it, make your own! I like making my own anyway. I double or triple the recipe (below), so I have plenty for Honey Almond Fig Granola Bars, but also to enjoy on morning toast with coffee or on crostini appetizers with a crumble of goat cheese.
Honey Almond Fig Granola Bars
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup fig jam or preserves*
3/4 cup honey
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 1/2 cups rolled oats
2/3 cup sliced almonds
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
1 tbsp hemp hearts or flax seeds
1/3 cup chopped dried figs
1/3 cup chopped dried dates
1/3 cup chopped dried cherries
- Preheat oven to 325ºF. Line a 13” x 9” baking pan with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, add the applesauce, fig jam, honey, vanilla, and cinnamon. Stir until well combined.
- Add the oats, almonds, seeds, figs, dates, and cherries. Stir until ingredients are evenly coated.
- Transfer mixture to prepared baking pan and press to pack. Make sure mixture is evenly pressed and tightly packed.
- Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool briefly, then transfer to freezer to cool for one hour.
- After an hour or more, remove from freezer. Lift bars from pan. Cut in half longways down the center. Then cut across five times to make 12 even bars.
Tips: Bars can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Substitutions: Not a fan of figs? Replace them with dried apricots or any other dried fruit of your choosing. Prefer sunflower seeds over pumpkin? The substitutions are endless. Make these bars your own.
*How to Make Fresh Fig Jam
Several strips of lemon rind
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp honey
1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1 pound fresh, ripe figs, stemmed and quartered
- Place lemon rind strips and all other ingredients in medium saucepan. Stir well.
- On medium-high heat, stirring frequently, bring saucepan to a boil.
- Turn heat to medium-low and simmer for about 45 minutes, while stirring frequently as to not let the mixture stick to pot. Mixture should thicken.
- Discard lemon peels.
- Transfer to an 8-ounce jar.
Note: Fig jam will stay delicious for up to one month.