All parents learn pretty quickly, when you have kids you must always have snacks on hand! As we approach the holiday season, this becomes even more true. The extra hustle and bustle adds more stress, but with California Fig and Pistachio Energy Bars on hand, I’m prepared and it’s one less thing to think about when snack time comes around and the kids are hungry. I like to make a batch of bars, muffins or energy bites each week. I know what goes into them, so I feel good feeding them to my kids. It saves money and cuts down on excess packaging waste. Having an easy grab-and-go snack available makes life just a little easier!
This recipe is from California Figs–A Collection of Recipes for Fig Lovers. You guys, this is my new favorite cookbook—every single fig recipe looks mouth-watering. Recipes range from appetizers to main courses, salads and desserts, all featuring (you guessed it) California figs! SO many of the recipes are super simple, yet elegant—perfect for a quick dish to bring to a potluck or to present to guests during the rush of the holidays. I think I’m just going to work my way through every recipe Julie and Julia-style! You can get your own copy of the California Figs cookbook here.
What Makes a Kid-Friendly Snack
- Kid approval is number one! Kids love bars; they’re easy and convenient to eat and can have any combination of fun flavors. Sweet and chewy figs are a favorite among kids.
- Kids need energy. Fruit, like California Dried Figs, and whole grains, like oats and whole grain rice cereal, provide the energy kids need to recharge and keep going.
- Kids need protein and healthy fats to feel satisfied. Protein from foods like pistachios and tahini will keep their bellies full so they’re not asking for another snack five minutes later!
Nutrient All Stars
California Dried Figs are a good source of fiber and minerals such as calcium, potassium and iron.
Pistachios provide protein, heart-healthy fats, antioxidants, and vitamin B6.
Oats are a whole grain and are a great source of beta glucan, a type of fiber that can help reduce cholesterol.
Tahini is a good source of healthy fats, vitamin E, calcium and zinc.
All these nutrients add up to nutrient-packed bars that are beneficial to your skin, bones and heart.
Tips for Making California Fig and Pistachio Energy Bars
- Find California Dried Figs in the dried fruit section of any grocery store. All the dried figs in the United States come from California. They’re available year-round and are a pantry staple!
- Use pistachios or substitute any roasted nuts or seeds you have on hand.
- When pressing the bar mixture into the pan, press the spatula firmly with your hand or fist as you move it over the entire pan. A compact mixture will make a bar that holds together.
How To Make These Bars
Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
Combine the wet ingredients in another bowl and combine. Warm the tahini and brown rice syrup, then add to the dry ingredients.
Mix all the ingredients well, then press into the prepared pan. I like to use a firm, flat tool, like a grilling spatula or a metal bench knife to really press down for bars that won’t fall apart.
Bake 20-35 minutes, depending on the texture you want—chewy or crunchy!
Allow bars to cool before serving.
|Prep Time||10 minutes|
|Cook Time||35 minutes|
- 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup crispy brown rice cereal
- 1 cup California Dried Figs stems removed and chopped
- 1 cup pistachios roasted and unsalted
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2/3 cup brown rice syrup
- 2/3 cup tahini
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with parchment paper, letting it overhang on two sides. Lightly coat it with cooking spray.
- Stir together the oats, rice cereal, figs, pistachios, cardamom and salt in a large bowl.
- Stir together brown rice syrup and tahini in a microwave-safe bowl, Microwave on high for 30 seconds (or heat in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring, for one minute). Add to the dry ingredients and stir until evenly combined. Firmly press into a prepared pan with a spatula.
- For chewy bars, bake until slightly starting to color around the edges and still soft in the middle, 20 to 25 minutes. For crunchier bars, bake until golden brown around edges and somewhat firm in the middle, 30 to 35 minutes.
- Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Using the overhanging parchment, lift the bars out of the pan onto a cutting board. Cut into 24 bars, but allow to cool for about 30 minutes before separating the bars to serve.