No-Bake Chocolate Fig and Nut Bars are your new go-to snack for when you fancy a more nutritious nibble. Not only are they delicious and mainly whole food, these bars are easily customisable to your own taste. Make to take to work, the gym, school or camping. And of course, home snacking.
Not infrequently I fancy a little something chocolately. I am not by any stretch of the imagination a choc-o-holic, but I do sometimes crave a nibble of the dark stuff. Maybe once or twice a week. Where do you fall on the chocolate craving spectrum?
My go-to bought treats are Kallo mini chocolate rice cakes, or Nairns chocolate chip oatcakes. Perhaps a couple of squares of plain dark chocolate. I know these choices don’t sound very treat-like, but I think they are pretty yummy. Usually I prefer savoury snacks – homemade sourdough toast with butter and Marmite, kale crisps, popcorn, tortilla chips, roasted sunflower seeds (love love these. obsessed).
However, I know most people LOVE chocolate. Dark, plain, milk, white; as bars, chips, cakes, brownies, cookies, fudge; fancy-pants artisan and crappy, sickly-sweet chocolate-flavoured stuff. I’m pretty sure that most of us would rather have a rubbish bar of chocolate than no chocolate. Thankfully good quality can be had on a budget. In fact, the plain chocolate bars at both Aldi and Lidl consistently rate highly with taste testers.
Chocolate worship is quite a broad church.
No-Bake Chocolate, Fig and Nut Bars – familiar but different
For my classes at the cancer support centre I try my best to not only introduce my groups to new foods and flavours, but include the familiar. Even when I make for them something like my Beetroot and Tomato Gazpacho with Watermelon Salsa, I always also bring along something less “challenging” such as a homemade cake. Or a gooey-sticky fruity bar like my Blueberry and Rhubarb Cardamom Crunch Bars. My aim is to give participants a wholesome, delicious meal without any unusual, niche, hard-to-get ingredients. Rather, I like to show them that they can get everything they need for eating well through their treatment in a typical grocery store, emphasising the produce section, spices aisle and, of course, nuts, seeds, beans and whole-grains.
Today’s recipe is one that has gone down especially well. Tested extensively on – I hope – willing guinea pigs. The comforting familiarity of chocolate, but covering a chewy, sweet “dough” of dried figs and freshly-toasted nuts. It is more than the sum of its parts kind of food. A small, post-dinner square of this No-Bake Chocolate, Fig and Nut Bar served with a cup of coffee or tea really hits the spot. Especially if it follows a meal full of colourful plant foods. A case of having your (familiar) chocolate and eating it (very healthily).
And, if you want to know more about chocolate – it’s history and nutrition – see this article on Nutrition You Can Use.
I’ve also got these Healthy Fruit and Nut Clusters (great to make with the kids) and a Chocolate Truffle No-Bake Cake that’s really a bar. If you fancy something with these tastes but baked (not vegan or four ingredients), take a peek at this recipe from broma bakery.
PS look out for the optional (affiliate link) sweet white miso . It is a recent addition, and I think it’s pretty fab. Dark chocolate has umami already but the white miso adds even more, without being too weird. But it is kind of niche, kind of hard to get and a bit unusual. #sorrynotsorry. 🙂
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No-Bake Chocolate Fig and Nut Bar
A delicious, whole food, four-ingredient snack bar recipe.
- 135 g pumpkin seeds
- 100 g pecans
- 300 g dried figs chopped; any stems removed
- 100 g dark chocolate chips 75% or higher
- 2 tsp white miso optional
- salt for top; optional
Place the pumpkin seeds and pecans on a baking sheet and bake in a 180C/350F oven for 8 minutes. The toasting REALLY enhances the flavour, so don't skip this step.
While the nuts are roasting, melt the chocolate in a double boiler or microwave. If using the white miso, stir it in when the chocolate has melted.
Add most of the toasted nuts to a food processor, along with most of the chopped figs. Blend until it makes a dark, doughy mixture that is just starting to "ball up" as it blends.
Line a rectangular baking tin with baking parchment - I crumple it up to make it easier to fit. Press the fig mixture in until it is evenly spread. It will be stiff, so you will need to press with your hands or a spatula. You can also line the tin with clingfilm/wrap. Pour the chocolate over the mixture, spreading it to the sides with a spoon or spatula. Dot the top with chopped figs, pecans and a little salt. I also added some chocolate chips, mainly for the look!
Pop the tin into the refrigerator for at least half an hour so that the chocolate sets. Cut into bars just when it sets (to prevent the cracks that you see in the images!) and cover and store until eating.
The bars will keep in a lidded box in the refrigerator for about two weeks. I haven't tried to freeze them.
Feel free to use other kinds of nuts, just making sure to keep the same weights as given here.
Add any other flavourings to this that you like. Orange blossom water or rosewater would be nice. And of course vanilla, ginger or turmeric with black pepper would be winners, too. Make this recipes your own!
PIN NOW, MAKE SOON!