Vegan walnut fig bars are a not-too-sweet (but still sweet), nutty, vegan treat that makes a great grab-and-go breakfast or a little treat after dinner. Made with figs, walnuts, chia seeds, applesauce, and maple syrup, these snacks are something you’ll feel good about eating.

A pile of vegan walnut fig bars on a white background

Adapted from Sarah Britton | My New Roots | Clarkson Potter, 2015

Although these bars are in the sweets section, they would actually make a great breakfast on the go.–Sarah Britton

Vegan Walnut Fig Bars

A plate with parchment paper filed with squares of vegan walnut fig bars.

These bars are a not-too-sweet treat that really highlights the delectable dried figs in the rich and gooey filling. The crust is made of oats and walnuts, all ground up with chia and applesauce to bind the ingredients together.

Sarah Britton

Prep 45 mins

Cook 30 mins

Total 1 hr 15 mins

Make the crust

  • In a small bowl, combine chia seeds with water and let rest until gelled, 5 to 15 minutes.

  • Put 1 cup of walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet, place in the oven, and set the oven to 350°F (180°C). Toast walnuts while the oven is warming up (depending on how fast your oven heats up, this could take 5 to 15 minutes—just keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t burn!) Let walnuts cool but keep the oven on.
  • In a food processor, process 1 cup of oats on the highest setting until you have a rough flour, about 30 seconds. Add toasted walnuts and blend again until you have a sandy-textured meal. Add chia gel, applesauce, maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla. Pulse until moistened.
  • In a medium bowl, combine 1 cup rolled oats, salt, and baking powder. Add processed oat mixture and use your hands or a spatula to fold until thoroughly combined.

  • Take about 2/3 of the crust mixture and press it firmly into an 8 inch (20 cm) square baking pan. (It helps to wet your hands so that the dough doesn’t stick.)

Make the filling

  • Wipe your food processor clean (no need to wash it). Roughly chop figs and add them to the food processor, along with the cinnamon, ginger, applesauce, lemon zest, and salt. Blend on the highest setting until the desired consistency is reached, 30 to 60 seconds. (I leave mine a little chunky, but you can make it completely smooth.) Spread filling evenly over crust base.

  • Roughly chop 1 cup walnuts and sprinkle over top; firmly press nuts into filling. Drop the remaining crust mixture in small chunks all over the filling, covering as much of it as possible.

  • Bake until slightly golden on top, 25 to 30 minutes.

  • Let cool completely before cutting into 16 bars. Store in refrigerator, covered, for up to 5 days.

*What are chia seeds?

Chia seeds are an ancient food but they’ve seen a healthy resurgence in the past decade. A Central American seed related to mint, chia seeds are known for being hygroscopic (The ability to absorb and hold moisture) and they can absorb up to 12 times their weight in liquid.
In this recipe, the chia seeds are used to give the squares a more solid base. When soaked, chia seeds develop a gelatinous texture that adds firmness to baking in place of eggs.

Serving: 1barCalories: 207kcal (10%)Carbohydrates: 25g (8%)Protein: 4g (8%)Fat: 12g (18%)Saturated Fat: 2g (13%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 7gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gSodium: 149mg (6%)Potassium: 274mg (8%)Fiber: 4g (17%)Sugar: 12g (13%)Vitamin A: 9IUVitamin C: 1mg (1%)Calcium: 74mg (7%)Iron: 1mg (6%)

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Originally published September 14, 2021

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