Tag Archives: figs

Shfiggy Bars? Fuggedaboutit.

Yesterday I posted this article about my findings at the local Farmer’s Market, and my attempt at some healthy fig bars. As promised, this is my report back.

I wish I had better news, but the recipe I made was not a huge success. The filling was good, but the crust was not what I had hoped for. It didn’t exactly taste like cardboard but it was close enough.

Yes, I have eaten cardboard before, so I know what I’m talking about. I was young. Don’t judge. I’ve also tried dog biscuits. They taste like doggy cardboard.

Dirk and I ate a couple of the fig bars last night, and while the flavors of the fig and date mixture worked well with the spice from the cinnamon and the crunch of the oats, I probably wouldn’t make these again.

This tasted just okay.

This tasted just okay.

I did end up using some of the bars in my morning breakfast, crumbled on top of plain yogurt and it was edible. One thing I will say about these bars, they kept me full all morning. I wasn’t hungry until lunchtime, which is usually not the case. My stomach will usually start to rumble a good hour before noon. Note to self: Cardboard is satiety.

In retrospect, I should have used my over-ripe figs, replacing the bananas to make these muffins. Ah well, live and learn.

My latest kitchen dilemma is finding a use for 2 pounds of strawberries which maybe only have a 24 hour window. I think I’ll head into the kitchen and whip up a batch of strawberry jam. Made with nothing more than sugar, strawberries and a bit of balsamic vinegar, I am hopeful it will extend the summer days long after strawberry season has passed. I suppose you could also use it as a topping for ice cream or frozen yogurt, top your morning waffles or pancakes, or serve with biscuits, toast or scones.

Since it doesn’t contain pectin, not canned with the usual sterilized lids, tops and bottoms, or finished in a water bath, we shall see. I’m not into to all that, especially when the temps are rising above 80 degrees, my small kitchen even hotter. No thanks.

Tomorrow I’ll post the results, good or bad.

Hell, if another kitchen disaster ensues, I can always make strawberry jam peanut butter muffins.

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I Bought the Farm

This past weekend Dirk and I went to the local Farmer’s Market for some supplies and inspiration.

We are lucky to live on the California Coast which is surrounded by endless agricultural wealth. The peak season for fruits and vegetables begins in late spring and continues through September. Right now, strawberries are still plentiful, but the blueberries have moved on. Heirloom tomatoes are at their height of glory, but the peaches are already losing some of their punch.

One of the bumper crops right now is figs. Dark, purple skins hiding a watermelon hued flesh, are firm yet yielding. They are perfect for an appetizer seared with a bit of prosciutto, black pepper and goat cheese.

That was the plan. However, after buying a large amount of tomatoes which needed to be consumed within 48 hours (success!), and the 5 pounds of strawberries filling our bellies but still more to go, the figs somehow got a bit lost in the fridge.

Fresh Figs from the Santa Barbara Farmer's Market

Fresh Figs from the Santa Barbara Farmer's Market

This morning as I rifled around for breakfast, I came across a bag of extremely ripe figs. There was no way they would hold up to a hot pan sear at this stage. Damn. I thought about slicing them into our yogurt and fruit bowls, but they were a little too soft for that. Squishy fruit doesn’t bode well with me. I know, it’s weird. I can eat live octopus, sushi of any kind, and endless offal, but the over-ripe texture of these figs were not going to make it into my breakfast bowl.

If you know us,then you know about our nearly one year long journey to weight loss and better health. Dirk has lost 40 pounds! He is amazing, and we are trying to do it the right way. Move more, eat less.

I’ve ┬álost nearly 20 pounds and have a good 5 more to go. The biggest challenge we face is to eat well and keep on track. We have our rogue moments. Cookies are still an absolute passion for us, so I immediately thought of Fig Newtons when I was met with the fig dilemma.

As healthy as they sound, they really aren’t. Chock full of sugar, saturated fat and calories, I needed to find a way to make a healthy version without the end result tasting like baked cardboard.

Tomorrow I will post the recipe (and results) of my newest invention. The pan of “Shfiggy Bars” is cooling as we speak, the recipe written down on my note pad. If all goes well, we will be enjoying some healthy yet delicious fruit bars after dinner with a cold glass of milk. And, if all goes well, you my dear reader, will have the recipe at your ready.

If all else fails, I still have several pints of strawberries to contend with…