Makes 16 squares
Rich, gooey and delicately scented with orange, cardamom and vanilla, this whole food plant based fig and walnut slice is delectably satisfying and definitely nourishing. It’s deliciousness you don’t have to die for!
2 tbsp chia seeds
¼ cup water
2 cups walnuts, divided
2 cups oats, divided
¾ cup apple puree*, divided
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract, divided
1 tsp fine sea salt, divided
1 tsp baking powder
2 cups (300g) dried figs, roughly chopped
½ tsp ground cardamom
¼ tsp ground ginger
Finely grated zest of half an orange
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
What to do:
Combine the chia seeds with the water in a small bowl and set aside for about 15 minutes to gel. Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a square baking dish with baking paper.
Place 1 cup of the walnuts onto another baking tray and put into the oven to toast to a golden brown colour. Remove and cool.
In a food processor or blender, blitz 1 cup of the oats until you have a rough flour. Add the toasted walnuts, then blitz again until you have a crumb-like consistency.
Turn out into a mixing bowl, then add the chia gel, ¼ cup of the apple puree, maple syrup and ½ tsp of the vanilla. Mix until combined. Sprinkle over the remaining cup of oats, ¾ teaspoon of the salt, and the baking powder. Combine, using your hands if needed. Roughly chop the remaining cup of walnuts and work through.
Place about two-thirds of the mixture into the prepared pan, and press out into an even layer, wetting your hands now and then to stop the dough sticking if needed.
Rinse out the blender or food processor, then add the figs, cardamom, ginger, the remaining ½ cup apple puree, orange zest, remaining 1 tsp vanilla and ¼ teaspoon salt. Blend until smoothish, with just a few chunks remaining.
Spread the fig mixture over the base, spreading out as evenly as you can.
Sprinkle dollops of the remaining crust mixture over the filling, covering it as much as possible. Press down lightly on it with your fingers to minimize gaps, then sprinkle over the coconut sugar.
Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool completely before cutting into squares.
*to make apple puree, simply peel, core and roughly chop apples and place into a lidded saucepan with a splash of water. Simmer until apples are soft, then drain and blend into a smooth puree. A small granny smith apple will yield approximately ¼ cup of puree. You can even make a big batch and store ¾ cup portions of apple puree in the freezer, so you have just the right amount for this recipe.