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
- Line your container with plastic wrap.
- 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!
- Add the lemon peel and figs, and process again until well blended and the mixture resembles a coarse meal.
- 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.
- 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.
- Refrigerate until firm, about an hour, or at least 20 minutes.
- Cut into 12 bars and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator, or wrap each bar individually in plastic wrap.
- 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.