Sunday, April 14, 2013

Fresh Fig Squares


Figs are one of my favorite sweet foods. They are considered one of the world’s oldest known foods. Long before sugarcane was used, figs were the sweetener of choice and used in many dishes for that reason. Figs are great fresh and dried.  They are high in fiber and a great source of potassium, and are a natural rich source of phyto-nutrients, anti-oxidants, and vitamins. Figs are super delicious and sweet, and low in calories. It’s the perfect healthy snack for all. The nutritional benefits are unlimited!

Fig squares are such a delicious snack. However, most of the fig squares sold at the grocery store are over processed, and have little to no nutritional value at all. Plus they are high in fat and calories. Fresh fig squares are the best, and my raw fig square recipe is super yummy, healthy, fresh, and easy. Here’s the recipe:




Fresh Fig Squares
Sweet and healthy totally raw treats
Base (square cookie sandwich base)
Ingredients.
3 c raw almond meal
1 c coconut flour
¼ c Lucuma powder
1 tsp Himalayan pink salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp non-alcoholic vanilla extract
¼ c raw agave nectar (use up to 1/3 cup if needed)
1 c pitted Medjool dates (about 20-25 dates)

Preparation.
Combine all the dry ingredients in a food processor and process to mix. Add the vanilla and agave and process again until well combined. Add Medjool dates and process until a dough forms. Remove dough from processor and break into two equal parts. Roll each part into dough balls. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough into a well-shaped square that could fit on a dehydrator tray. Add almond meal as needed to keep dough consistency. Place dough sheets aside. Prepare fig mix as directed.



Tip: I place the dough in separate plastic storage bags and then use the rolling pin to spread them out. This helps get the perfect shape and keeps the dough from sticking to the roller. I cut the bag sides out to remove the dough square when ready.

Fig Paste Filling
Ingredients.
2 lbs freshly picked figs (stemmed)
1 T raw honey
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp Himalayan pink salt
½ tsp ground ginger
1 tsp non-alcoholic vanilla extract
1 T cold pressed coconut oil
¼ c chia seeds (use up to 1/3 cup if needed)

Preparation.
Wash fresh figs and place in the food processor. Process until figs are broken down. Add remaining ingredients except the coconut oil and chia seeds. Process until very well combined. Add the coconut oil and process until mixed. The consistency of the mixture should be that of a paste. Remove the fig mixture and place in a mixing bowl. Add the chia seeds and fold into the paste mixing well. (Chia seeds should be well incorporated and not bunched up to areas of the mix). Set aside for about 5 minutes.

Assembling the fig squares.
If you plan to dehydrate the squares, place one dough square on a dehydrator sheet onto a dehydrator tray. Spread entire fig paste mixture over the dough square, reaching every corner, and spreading evenly. It will be thick, but that’s what you want. Place the other dough square over top of the fig mixture – it should be like a giant sandwich. Trim of edges to make a clean thick giant squared off sandwich. Using a sharp clean knife, score into bite-size squares. Dehydrate for about 2 hours, then flip over to a mesh tray and dehydrate an additional 2 hours. Break apart squares and serve. You can leave fig squares out on the counter wrapped for up to a day, but store in the fridge for up to 3 days. The longer you dehydrate the squares the longer it can be stored. However, it may not be as moist and sweet.



Should you choose not to dehydrate, prepare the fig squares on a large flat surface or cutting board, and place cut squares on a tray to freeze for up to one hour, or refrigerate for several hours before serving. These squares will do best if eaten within 24 to 48 hours from time of prepping.