. fig and date oatmeal bars .

by Amanda @ .running with spoons. on October 2, 2012

Oh Tuesday, why’d you have to go and be so dreary…

I woke up this morning and did not want to get out of bed, but that could have had as much to do with the miserable weather as it did with the strange happenings of last night…

Don’t ask – I have no idea. I literally woke up humming the song even thought I can’t even remember the last time I actually heard it. Random much? And yes, I write notes to myself in the middle of the night; doesn’t everyone? 😯

Either way, I eventually peeled myself out of bed (breakfast and hot tea were my main motivation) and somehow managed to make it through the day without freezing my fingers off. The joys of being Canadian, eh?

There’s something to be said about dreary days like today, though – they make for the perfect baking weather. Ever since rekindling my love for baking with my last baking endeavor, I’ve been itching to get back in the kitchen and play around with some other Fall flavors; I mean, pumpkin is great and all, but I really had my heart set on figs…

 While I’ve never been a huge fan of fresh figs, I do love them dried, especially when they come in bar form…

. – . – . – .

. fig and date oatmeal bars .

Ingredients (makes 9-12 bars)

For the filling:

  • 1 packed cup (8 oz.) dried figs
  • ½ packed cup (4 oz.) pitted dates
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp. water
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. ginger
For the crust:
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
  • ¼ cup oat bran
  • ¼ cup wheat bran
  • ¼ cup whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup vanilla protein powder (I used whey)
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
  • ¼ cup applesauce
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup


  1. Prepare filling. Place figs and dates into a food process (or high powered blender) and grind to a coarse paste. Add vanilla, lemon juice, water, and spices. Mix until combined and no large chunks remain. Set aside.
  2. Preheat your oven to 375ºF, and lightly grease a 8-inch square pan.
  3. Melt your coconut oil by placing it in a microwave safe dish and heating for 15 seconds. Remove, stir, and repeat until no chunks remain.
  4. Prepare crust. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine dry crust ingredients and mix well. Stir in applesauce, maple syrup, and coconut oil, mixing until a thick consistency is reached. Add more applesauce if needed.
  5. Divide crust mixture in half. Press half of the dough into the bottom of your square pan. Spread filling evenly over the bottom crust layer. Smooth remaining crust mixture on top of filling.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes, or until slightly browned.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool completely before cutting into bars.

. – . – . – .

Now, I may be slightly biased, but this is probably one of my favorite recipes to date. Gooey, sweet, crispy, crunchy… and good for both your body and mind to boot! I actually had a ridiculous time trying to photograph these because I couldn’t keep myself from continuously eating my props. I tell ya, the lengths I go to for you guys. Sheesh. I think I deserve a reward… and I think one of these will do just fine 😀

See you guys tomorrow for WIAW!

. – . – . – .

Do you prefer baking or cooking? Baking. swear I’ll make a savory recipe one day, but the results of baking just taste so much better!
Are you a fan of fresh figs? Not really, they taste like lettuce to me. Am I missing something?
How’s the weather where you live? Cold, wet, dreary :( But better days are coming!

{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Emma October 2, 2012 at 5:06 pm

Definitely a fan of baking! I seem to screw up more when I cook… Although today I knew it would be cold and dreary (I live in the same province as you – not being creepy, we’ve e-mailed before!) so I made a slow cooker recipe. I cannot wait to get off campus and go home to (hopefully) delicious smells and food! Also, we’re going to have to get ready for snow soon O_O I heard maybe tonight but fingers crossed it doesn’t!

Also, I’ve never had a fresh fig before, but those bars look so good!


2 Amanda @ .running with spoons. October 2, 2012 at 9:05 pm

Ugh today was pretty bad wasn’t it? And the next few days aren’t supposed to be too great either, but even if the wind would just die down a bit then that’d be alright. Snow though… I’m not quite sure I’m ready for that 😕


3 sarah October 2, 2012 at 5:32 pm

These look fab! I made something really similar last year…think it’s time to bring’ em back. Kinda like more rustic fig newtons. I put walnuts on top of mine, I really want to try your recipe too:). Dried figs & dates have got be some of theee best natures candy!
I remember you saying before you thought fresh figs tasted like lettuce, & I was like , that chick’s crazy. Haha. I think , like with quite a lot of fruit & veg, it depends on how ripe , in season, & luck, if they taste good or not. Like , have you ever had a really hard, not ripe enough, just bad, peach? And how that tastes TOTALLY different to a sweet , juicy , ripe peach? Figs are quite like that,( the CAN be good, but they can also taste bad), IMHO anywayz, sorry, I feel like I’m going off on a tangent here…


4 Amanda @ .running with spoons. October 2, 2012 at 9:07 pm

Hmmm maybe I just got a bad batch of them, then… but they seriously did taste like lettuce! I keep seeing them in the stores, and they look so pretty and tempting, but… I dunno. Maaaaaaybe I’ll give them one more shot.


5 Miss Polkadot October 2, 2012 at 5:35 pm

Baking all the way! What’s not to love about relieving stress while mixing delicious ingredients and then letting the oven do a little magic to reward you with a little piece of heaven :)? They don’t call it baking therapy for nothing, right? (Haha, okay, I might enjoy baking a little tooo much.)

Is it mean that I’m finding relief in the fact I’m not the only one not getting the whole fuss about fresh figs? I gave them several tries but always ended up disappointed. Still, I mean to give them one last chance: Baked and drizzled with honey or maple syrup. We’ll see … Your fig bars sound amazing!

The weather was surprisingly nice and warm for Fall today. Definitely one of the reasons making today simple but enjoyable.
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6 Amanda @ .running with spoons. October 2, 2012 at 9:10 pm

Actually, I hear that baked figs taste amazing because it really brings out the flavor and sweetness; and adding honey on top? Oooo heavenly. I think if I was going to give fresh figs another shot, that would be how I would have them :)


7 Matt @ The Athlete's Plate October 2, 2012 at 5:47 pm

These look flippin’ delicious!
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8 Liz (formerly VeggieGirl) October 2, 2012 at 6:09 pm

1.) Baking is WAY better than cooking, in my opinion.

2.) Dried figs are better than fresh figs – again, in my opinion 😉

3.) Cold, rainy, and misty. It’s like Sleepy Hollow around here.

Love your recipe!!!!!!!


9 Kaila @healthyhelperblog! October 2, 2012 at 6:22 pm

I LOVE FIGS!!!! These look SOO good. Need to make ASAP!
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10 Missy October 2, 2012 at 6:36 pm

Not a one of us will ever be able to look at a plain old fig newton the same EVER.
You are really on a roll with your fall bucket list!

PS- Could have been worse re: the middle of the night earworm….lie “Call Me Maybe” or something.
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11 Amanda @ .running with spoons. October 2, 2012 at 9:11 pm

Aaaaaand now that you mentioned it, that’s probably what’s going to happen to me tonight 😛


12 Cait @ Beyond Bananas October 2, 2012 at 6:50 pm

I’m not usually a fig fan (okay.. I’ve never tried them) .. but these look SO good, I think I may need to try!
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13 Brittany October 2, 2012 at 6:54 pm

YUUUUMMM. These look amazing AND they’re vegan friendly!!! YUMMMM!!! I love that you write yourself notes at night/early morning.. that’s not a bad idea to remember dreams! HAHA.


14 Brittany @ GOtheXtraMile October 2, 2012 at 7:10 pm

Drooling over here. These look to diiiiiie for. I can’t wait to bake for the holiday’s 😀
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15 kris October 2, 2012 at 7:18 pm

omg. these look deelish! i love fresh figs, but i also do love dried figs. i definitely prefer baking over cooking. its so much fun! :) hopefully the sun comes out soon for you, but until it does, its perfect baking weather, yes?
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16 Amanda @ .running with spoons. October 2, 2012 at 9:15 pm

Definitely perfect baking weather, but I think I’m going to have to start replacing some of the baking with actual cooking, because my snacks and desserts are all fancy, while my meals are basically all cereal, sandwiches, wraps, and pizza 😆


17 Danielle @ Clean Food Creative Fitness October 2, 2012 at 7:21 pm

this look so delicious! Kind of like an extra fancy fig newton!
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18 Sam @ Better With Sprinkles October 2, 2012 at 7:24 pm

I cook more often than I bake, but I much prefer baking. Those bars look so good!
And you miss, are awesome with a camera! Might have to get you to teach me. :-p
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19 lindsay October 2, 2012 at 7:37 pm

the only reason i’d get out of bed would be for this. the high here was 85F today. Don’t hate me. Just come visit. Salmon is baking now. Yes, this will be an ongoing joke.
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20 Amanda @ .running with spoons. October 2, 2012 at 9:36 pm

On my way. Can’t promise the bars will make it through unscathed though…


21 debbie October 2, 2012 at 8:37 pm

WHAAAAT. Fresh figs do NOT taste like lettuce :p
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22 Gina @ Health, Love, and Chocolate October 2, 2012 at 8:52 pm

As much as I love warm weather, I am actually looking forward to weather that is a little more fall like considering we seem to be experiencing a heat wave over here in CA…dark clouds aren’t so nice though. The fig bars look great, I will definitely be adding them to my increasingly large “to make” list for fall!
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23 Khushboo October 3, 2012 at 12:39 am

Oh gosh these do look amazing! I haven’t ever baked with figs but I know I’d be a fan….especially given my love for fig newtons! Baking aside, have you tried them in salads? They’re SO good with balsamic vinegar & feta (or goat cheese)!! Between baking & cooking, I think I prefer the former because it’s so precise…as long as you follow the recipe down to a T, you know you’re going to get the result! Although that being said, I do like the liberating aspect of cooking and adding a dash of this and a dash of that as I go along! As for eating the results, baking wins without a question! Can you tell I have a sweet tooth :)!
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24 Amanda @ .running with spoons. October 3, 2012 at 9:11 am

I’ve never actually used them in salads, but I heard the combination of figs, feta, and balsamic was amazing so I’m tempted to give it a shot! Can you use them dried? Or do they have to be fresh?


25 Aimee October 3, 2012 at 3:49 am

Wow! These fig bars look amazing! Too bad they can ‘t be made with fresh figs – i have a fig tree and I have waaaaaay too many ripe figs at the moment! :) thanks for sharing!


26 Jessie October 3, 2012 at 4:00 am

ha girl you crack me up with your notes to yourself!

I don’t enjoy one over the other.
I’m not sure if I’ve ever had a fig before… don’t even say it, I know what in the world am I waiting for
It’s hot, as always
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27 Floey October 3, 2012 at 4:12 am

It’s been in the 100s all week in Cali. Srsly.
And I love that song :)
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28 Sara @my less serious life October 3, 2012 at 4:40 am

ok these look like an indulgent fig newton! and i can make them now because i took the splurge and bought coconut oil.
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29 Amanda @ .running with spoons. October 3, 2012 at 9:17 am

!! You’ll -love- that stuff! Try using it on toast with a drizzle of honey on top… that combination makes me weak in the knees!


30 Laura Agar Wilson October 3, 2012 at 4:46 am

They look soooo yum! I love figs in whatever form, at the moment it could probably be classed as a minor addiction 😉


31 Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli October 3, 2012 at 5:17 am

Omg girl, these look PHENOMENAL!! And guess what! I was just reorganizing my pantry the over the weekend and found a bag of dates I didn’t know I had! *squeal* And after making your fabulous pumpkin bread, I am ALL OVER THESE!!

When it comes to creating recipes, I’d rather cook than bake, but if I’m following a recipe, nothing beats the stress-relief that comes with creaming butter and sugar and sifting flour! 😉

I like fresh figs, but only if they’re paired with just the right thing to help their flavor pop! Cinnamon and goat cheese are my favorites! I’m still experimenting though…and I really want to try them frozen! I hear it’s really good!

All of a sudden the weather here has gone from light and breezy to totally gloomy…rainy, overcast, and cold! I’m hating it! Hope we get a bit of good fall weather before the cold winter hits…I am so not a fan of winter! Bah humbug!
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32 Amanda @ .running with spoons. October 3, 2012 at 9:22 am

Haha finding delicious food buried in the pantry is like finding $20 in a jacket pocket. Love it! And I hear that baking figs really brings out the flavor and sweetness in them. If I was going to give them another shot, that’s probably how I’d want them.


33 Tessa @ Amazing Asset October 3, 2012 at 5:40 am

Perhaps too much of a fan of baking, I want to do it whenever I have free time lol. Not always the best use of my time, plus I go through ingredients like no other lol
On that note, I mighttt need to get my baking on today for these, glorious recipe Amanda :)
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34 Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin October 3, 2012 at 5:57 am

Oh my gosh Amanda did you read my mind when making these? This is exactly what I’ve been craving lately! I could just eat dried figs and dates all day long! I find fresh figs pretty bland too – but if you just saute them in some oil for a few minutes or roast them in the oven, it brings out the most incredible sweetness in them!

I prefer cooking because it’s harder to screw up, ha!
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35 Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers October 3, 2012 at 6:17 am

Yummy! I’ve had a hankering for figs lately. Odd…
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36 Kat October 3, 2012 at 7:10 am

I want cold weather. NOW!! I was wearing shorts and a tank last night at 9pm and wasnt even cold. That is so not ok in October!
And this bars…lady you just made me drool all over my computer. These look so so amazing!! I LOVE figs. I grew up with a fig tree in my yard, and I ate several a day, so anything fig tree reminds me of my childhood. Which is something I cherish very much!! Send me some bars? 😉
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37 Amanda @ .running with spoons. October 3, 2012 at 9:39 am

Stop making me jealous! I was wearing a hoodie, sweat pants, fuzzy socks, and constantly drinking hot cups of tea and I couldn’t stay warm! And today it’s more of the same. Brr.

And I -guess- I could share my bars with you… But only because I adore you 😉


38 Katie October 3, 2012 at 1:48 pm

These look amazing! I am no good at making home made bars! You could always come help me at that 😉

Hope your day is wonderful love!
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39 Lisa October 3, 2012 at 1:54 pm

These look amazing!!!! And I’ve never even tried figs. I need to find them stat!
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40 Irina @ Chocolatea Time October 4, 2012 at 5:19 am

Ok umm I bookmarked these and plan on making them this weekend!! I LOVE figs (fresh preferably) and oatmeal so these bars are basically perfect. They’ll be perfect to take to work too! On that note, how can yo possibly not obsess over fresh figs? When ripe, they are sweet like candy. My obsession was pretty intense this fall, and I craved figs for weeks!
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41 Amanda @ .running with spoons. October 4, 2012 at 9:47 am

I guess I just got bad figs! Everyone’s been saying that they’re so good, so I guess I’m gonna have to try them again and see for myself.


42 Sara @my less serious life October 7, 2012 at 3:35 pm

so i can i make these with fresh figs? i have a bunch leftover from a party. what do you think? how should i adapt? i have no idea…
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43 Amanda @ .running with spoons. October 7, 2012 at 7:31 pm

Hmm… you could probably give it a shot if you have fresh figs that need using up, but I don’t think it will end up being as sweet. I’ve heard that baking figs brings out their sweetness a little more, so you could also do that before you process them. And maybe cut back on the water at first and only add it if you see that you need it.


44 luv what you do October 7, 2012 at 7:37 pm

Those bars look so good! I will have to add them to my MUST MAKE this fall list!
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45 Jessy October 9, 2012 at 6:53 am

Wait, I thought you had an allergic reaction to oats? The bars look good, though.


46 Amanda @ .running with spoons. October 9, 2012 at 8:22 am

Having oats in bigger doses everyday, yes, but the spoonful or so that end up being in one of these bars hasn’t been bothering me.


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