Raw fig and almond bars

July 11, 2010 at 11:10 pm (breakfast, Dessert, Granola & energy bars, unrated, Website / blog)

I felt like baking today, but it was way too hot to turn on the oven. (By 6pm it was about 93 degrees in my apartment.)  In particular, I wanted to use up two small bags of figs and some cocoa nibs.  The once-black figs had become a snowy white–they were covered with a fine, bloomy, powdery layer.  I used to think it was mold but then one day I got brave and tasted it.  If the white stuff is mold it’s a mold that’s a dead ringer for powdered sugar.  I looked around online and eventually found a recipe for raw fig and cherry bars, which (based on the photo) I assume are supposed to be similar in texture and taste to a Lara bar.   I like Lara bars a lot, so I decided to try the recipe, substituting ingredients for the ones I didn’t have. 

Here’s what I did:

  • 2 cups (290 g) raw natural almonds (with skin)  [I used 210 g almonds and 80 grams pepitas.]
  • 1/4 cup (25 g) finely ground flax seeds
  • Finely grated zest of 2 lemons, preferably organic [I only had one lemon]
  • 1-1/4 cups (190-200 g) quartered dried figs, stems removed (measure after removing stems)
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) to 1/4 cup (60 ml) agave nectar (to taste and depending on how dry the mixture is) [I used 3 Tbs. honey]
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml)  tahini (sesame paste)
  • 1 cup (120-130 g) dried tart cherries or dried cranberries [I used a mix of raisins and currants]

I also added 20 grams of cocoa nibs and a bit of cinnamon, because it’s healthy and makes things taste good.

I don’t have a big food processor so I mixed everything in batches in my mini-processor.  I think the honey and tahini didn’t get distributed that well, however.  Also I might not have ground my nuts fine enough.   Perhaps as a result, my bars did not hold together at all.  The mixture tasted great though.  Even Derek, who doesn’t generally like Lara bars, liked it.

I’ll definitely try this recipe again, making sure to mix everything evenly and grind the nuts very fine.  Maybe I’ll also try to get some agave, in case it’s stickier than honey?

The recipe author says that these bars were designed to be very high in calcium.  I never think of dried cherries as being high in calcium, so I looked them up on nutritiondata.com.  Here are the stats for a number of different dried fruits (in 100 grams):


  • mulberries: 188 mg calcium / 244 calories [note: only 75 grams!]
  • dried figs:  162mg calcium/ 249 calories
  • currants (dried zante): 86mg calcium / 283 calories
  • jujube, dried: 79mg calcium / 287 calories [shown at right]
  • dried cherries:  60mg calcium / 308 calories
  • dried apricots:  55mg calcium / 241 calories
  • raisins:  50mg calcium / 299 calories
  • prunes:  43 mg calcium / 240 calories
  • sweetened dried cranberries:  10mg calcium / 308 calories

I also looked up which nuts/seeds are highest in calcium (in 100 grams):

  • Sesame seeds: 989mg
  • Chia seeds:  631mg
  • Almonds:  266mg
  • Flaxseed: 255mg
  • Brazil nuts:  160mg
  • Hazelnut: 149mg
  • Pistachio: 110mg
  • Pepitas: 43mg

Update Sept 2010:  On a second attempt I used 200 grams almonds and 90 grams pepitas.  I used the zest from two lemons. 195 grams of figs, 4 Tbs. of date syrup, 125 gram of dried zante currants, 2 Tbs. of tahini, 25 grams of cocoa nibs, and  1 tsp. of cinnamon.  I made sure to ground everything much more finely.  I also added 1/4 tsp. salt.  It was a real pain to make these without a large food processor.  I won’t make them again until I get one.

To get more iron I looked up which dried fruits are highest in iron:

  • Mulberries: 8.3 mg iron / 200 calories
  • Dried peaches: 3 mg iron / 200 calories
  • Currants, zante:  2 mg iron  / 200 calories
  • Apricots:  2 mg iron / 200 calories
  • Figs:  2 mg iron / 200 calories
  • Pears:  2 mg iron / 200 calories

And which nuts/seeds:

  • Pepitas:  6 mg iron / 200 calories
  • Whole sesame seeds:  5 mg iron / 200 calories
  • Sesame seed kernels:  3 mg iron / 200 calories
  • Cashews:  2 mg iron / 200 calories
  • Sunflower seed kernels:  2 mg iron / 200 calories
  • Flaxseed:  2 mg iron / 200 calories
  • Pine nuts:  2 mg iron / 200 calories
  • Almonds, dry roasted:  2 mg iron / 200 calories

Next time I make these I may try subbing some of the almonds with sesame seeds to bump up the calcium, and definitely replacing some of the currants or figs with some dried mulberries from the Turkish store, to significantly increase the iron amounts.

Note that these bars are very high calorie, higher even than a typical Lara bar!  I think I would just eat half of one as a snack.  Compared to 1.18 cashew cookie lara bars (270 calories worth) these bars have 1 gram less sugar, .8 grams more fiber, .6 grams more protein, 100 mg more calcium, and 1.4 mg more iron.  Here are the exact stats for the recipe I used in my second attempt, but note that I cut them into 16 not 12 bars.  The recipe is 49% fat, 11% protein, and 40% carbs.

Raw fig and almond bars
Serving Size: 1/16 recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 202
Total Fat 11.8g
Saturated Fat 1.7g
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 41mg
Carbohydrate 22g
Dietary Fiber 4.1g
Sugars 15.1g
Protein 5.8g
Vitamin A 1% Vitamin C 1%
Calcium    7% Iron 14%


  1. austingardener said,

    Please identify the photo.

  2. Kelley said,

    I love lara bars too.
    These sound deluxe!!!

  3. Janelle said,

    Might have to try these. Sounds delicious!!

  4. Cathy said,

    sound just like what I’m looking for

  5. Fig Bars - Divide Bound | Divide Bound said,

    […] animals products or HFCS.  That’s at least as start…or you could always make your own (I have, it’s not insanely hard but time-consuming.  Make a big batch and they’ll last […]

  6. Fig Bars - Divide Bound said,

    […] animals products or HFCS.  That’s at least as start…or you could always make your own (I have, it’s not insanely hard but time-consuming.  Make a big batch and they’ll last […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: