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Fig and Cherry Bars (raw, vegan, gluten-free)

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Don’t these Raw Fig and Cherry Bars look just heavenly?!!  I just want to sink my teeth into them.  Well, OK I did!  I made these this afternoon and used dried cranberries instead of the cherries.  I also have used raw almond butter in place of the tahini.  That’s the beauty of raw, you can easily substitute ingredients and create new masterpieces!


  • 2 cups raw almonds, soaked
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seeds
  • 2 organic lemons, zest only
  • 1 1/4 cups dried figs, stems removed and diced
  • 2 – 4 Tbsp raw agave nectar or maple syrup, to taste (and depending on how dry the mixture is)
  • 2 Tbsp raw tahini or almond butter
  • 1 cup organic dried tart cherries, unsweetened


  1. Line your container with plastic wrap.
  2. In the food processor, combine the nuts and flax, and process until you have a fine meal that begins to adhere to the sides of the processor bowl (it will appear as if the mixture has stopped spinning round the bowl).  Do not over process, however, or you’ll end up with nut butter!
  3. Add the lemon peel and figs, and process again until well blended and the mixture resembles a coarse meal.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients and process briefly to chop the cherries and create a moist “dough” (it will form a ball).  Pinch a bit of the mixture between your fingers to test the consistency.  If it sticks together and feels slightly moist, it’s ready.
  5. Turn the mixture into the pan and press down very firmly with your fist or the back of a metal spatula.  The mixture should be very compact and solid.
  6. Refrigerate until firm, about an hour, or at least 20 minutes.
  7. Cut into 12 bars and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator, or wrap each bar individually in plastic wrap.
  8. The bars will keep refrigerated for up to two weeks.  These freeze well too!

The Institute of Culinary Ingredients™

  • To learn more about maple syrup by clicking (here).
  • Click (here) for my thoughts on raw agave nectar.
  • What is Himalayan pink salt and does it really matter?  Click (here) to read more about it.
  • Learn how to make your own raw almond butter by clicking (here).


One of the greatest joys when creating raw food recipes is experimenting with different ingredients… a practice that I highly encourage.  Daily I get questions regarding substitutions.  Of course we all might have different dietary needs and tastes which could necessitate altering a recipe.    I love to share with you what I create for myself, my husband, friends and family.  I spend a lot of time selecting the right ingredients with a particular goal in mind, looking to build a certain flavor and texture.
So as you experiment with substitutions, remember they are what they sound like, they are substitutes for the preferred item.  Generally they are not going to behave, taste, or have the same texture as the suggested ingredient.   Some may work, and others may not and I can’t promise what the results will be unless I’ve tried them myself.   So have fun, don’t be afraid,  and remember, substituting is how I discovered many of my unique dishes.

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2 thoughts on “Fig and Cherry Bars (raw, vegan, gluten-free)

  1. nancy says:

    i have a couple of questions, but first….your site is awesome and thank you so much!
    (1) i do not like stevia at all and am not sure if agave or honey can be substituted in your recipes…can they?
    (2) why not always use agave or honey? why do you choose stevia?
    (3) sometimes you offer the option to dehydrate and sometimes not….what criteria do you use for that decision?

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Nancy… let me see if I can answer your questions

      Q ~ I do not like stevia at all and am not sure if agave or honey can be substituted in your recipes…can they? Why not always use agave or honey? why do you choose stevia?

      A ~ I use stevia in some of my recipes for various reasons. If I use it all by itself, it is because I just want to slightly give the recipe a twinge of sweetness, and not have the added “sugars”, calories or volume added to that particular recipe.

      When I use it in combination with other sweeteners, I use to enhance the sweetener that I am already using and to again not have to increase the use of the other sweetener. This helps me to control the overall measurement needed of a liquid sweetener and decreased the calories.

      Often you see multiple sweeteners used in a single recipes, this is done to elevate different flavor profiles. Like for instance, agave doesn’t lend a flavor like honey or maple syrup (not raw). To me it is also a “brighter” flavor of pure sweetness, so if I want that level of sweetness but also want it to taste “grounded, earthy, or warm”…. I will combine it with honey. Shew, is this confusing? Trying to explain it well enough.

      All that to say that in order to create unique sweet flavors that are tailored to a specific recipe, single or multiple sweeteners are used. Also, honey is very thick and may not work well consistency wise for some recipes. Agave might be too runny. If dehydrating a recipe, such as a granola, aiming to dry it to crunchy texture, honey doesn’t firm up like agave, coconut syrup or maple syrup.

      Some of it boils down to taste buds. You don’t like stevia, I do… all these recipes that I create, are the foods that are eaten in our house. So I use what works for our pallets. I know stevia is one of those love or hate sweeteners. I only like ONE brand and it took me some time to figure that out.

      And lastly, recipes are a base line. Everyone has different tastes, healthy issues, allergies and even beliefs in the ingredients that they use or don’t use. Honey, isn’t vegan, so those who use my recipes and are vegan, have to substitute. Agave is controversial. Some people don’t believe it can be made raw. The brand that I use and have listed on my store, is raw, according to the manufacture.

      To end this novel (sorry haha)… there might be times that I use certain sweeteners because it is all I have on hand. :) Thee End.

      Q ~ Sometimes you offer the option to dehydrate and sometimes not….what criteria do you use for that decision?

      A ~ This can be based on the end texture of the recipe that I am making. There are obvious things that require dehydrating, like crackers, breads, etc. Sometimes, bars and cookies can go either way. If the end texture is more dry and holds it shape well, it may not need dehydrating. When we dry foods, it removes moisture which will give it a firmer texture and give it a longer shelf life. Just depends on what a person is trying to achieve. This could turn into a novel too, but I am going to contain myself. hehe

      If you want or need further explanation, let me know more in detail on what you would like to know. Both issues presented here can differ from recipe to recipe. amie sue

      (3) sometimes you offer the option to dehydrate and sometimes not….what criteria do you use for that decision?

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