Almost! Fig Newtons [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 16
Prep & Cooking Time: 45 mins

Notes: This recipe contains: B-Vitamins, protein, fibre, calcium, iron, potassium, zinc and (per serving) is low in salt, sat fats and contains a moderate quantity of sugars! 

If you’re like us, you’ll always have oats (#addicted) and a tonne of spices in your kitchen cupboards… and maybe even some dried fruits?! On this occasion we happened to have some tasty figs hiding in the ‘back and beyond’ too! So instead of devising some sort of cake, tart or muffin, we decided to whip up something that we haven’t enjoyed in over fifteen years- fig newtons! 

These ‘Almost! Fig Newtons’ are fantastic! Sure, ours are more like squares than little figgy, ‘pie/cookie-parcels’, but subsequently they contain a lot less fat and sugar as a result! The combination of baked oats and figs, in addition to this blend of spices and flavourings really make these delicious morsels something that you could eat everyday (but all good things should be in moderation right)?!

Luckily moderating them is made easier by the fact they freeze really well! I think next time we might even try experimenting with another flavour; apple, blueberry or strawberry would work quite well, but it’s impossible to pick just one… there are just too many flavours to choose from!

So, whatever your preferred ‘newton’ flavour may be, we hope that you enjoy one with your next cup of tea or especially when blogging! 😉

Have a great weekend and happy baking everyone!

 

Ingredients

+++++++++++++++++++++180g        Dried Figs
+++++++++++++++++++++———————————————————–
+++++++++++++++++++++100g        Porridge Oats (+ 5g for topping)
+++++++++++++++++++++220g        Plain GF Flour (or a quinoa flour)
+++++++++++++++++++++½ tsp       Baking Soda
+++++++++++++++++++++2g            Ground Cinnamon
+++++++++++++++++++++2g            Ground Ginger
+++++++++++++++++++++1g             Salt
+++++++++++++++++++++———————————————————–
+++++++++++++++++++++60ml        Rapeseed oil
+++++++++++++++++++++45ml         Agave Syrup
+++++++++++++++++++++125ml       Soya Milk (unsweetened & fortified)
+++++++++++++++++++++¼ tsp        Vanilla Paste (*optional)

 

Directions

Boil some water in a kettle. Place the figs into a small saucepan. Pour over the boiled water. Allow them to soak for 8-10 mins or until softened.

 

In the meantime…

  • Place the oats into a food processor and pulse until a flour consistency is achieved. Transfer the oat flour into another bowl. Add the GF flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Whisk and stir together until thoroughly combined.
  • Place the oil, syrup, soya milk and vanilla extract(*if using) into a mixing bowl and whisk together.
  • Spray a square baking tin with some low-fat cooking oil or grease with a little oil.

Make sure to grease all sides of the tin!

 

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.

Make a ‘well’ in the centre of the dry ingredients. Pour in the wet ingredients. Mix together until a dough forms. Tip: If it’s a little dry, add a splash of milk.

 

 

Place half of the dough into the baking tin. Spread and press it evenly over the base of the tin.

 

 

Remove the figs from the water with a slotted spoon (but reserve the water). Transfer the figs into the food processor. Add 4 tbsp of the reserved water. Pulse until smooth.

 

 

Pour and spread the fig mixture evenly over the dough base.

 

 

To assemble the top layer you can either:

A) Use a rolling pin and roll the remaining dough over a lightly floured piece of parchment paper (large and wide enough to cover the figs) and then carefully slide and transfer it over the fig layer.

B) Flatten pieces of the remaining dough between your hands and place them together like a jig-saw over the layer of fig. Use some parchment paper or a silicone spatula to help manipulate it, covering the figs as evenly as possible.

We went for option B and then sprinkled over a layer of oats!

 

 

Place the tin onto the middle oven shelf. Bake for about 25 mins or until lightly browned. Remove. Place the tin onto a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before cutting.

 

 

Slice into sixteen squares and enjoy!

 

Wrap any remaining squares in kitchen film and then freeze in an air tight and resealable container; defrost and consume within 2 months.

Recipe updated: 19/02/16
Advertisements

Simple Gluten Free Bread With Spices

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 8-9
Yield: approx.16-18 thin slices
Prep: 60-90 minutes
Cooking time: 45-60 minutes

Recipe adapted from: Dovesfarm

Notes: This recipe contains: B-Vitamins, protein, fibre, calcium, iron and (per serving) is low in salt and saturated fats!

This is a simple GF loaf that is easily adapted; the flavours are endless! We think that it’s a great accompaniment to a bowl of soup (as it makes a lovely piece of toast!); it can also be used to make delicious croutons or breadcrumbs.

When I began baking many years ago, I always appreciated the effort of other bakers who made recommendations and explained their processes; with all the baking terminology and various types of baking equipment on the market, it can all be a bit daunting at first! You don’t always have to buy the latest gadget either- occasionally a fork can work as a good substitute to a whisk! Sometimes a little experimentation is all it takes…and then ask yourself a few questions such as, how often will I use this device and will it make my life any easier??!

On that note, here is a list of utensils we used to make our bread (relevant substitutions included!).

 

 

 

Baking Equipment:

baking equipment_table_watermarked

NB: We used everything but disposable paper liners. 

 

 

Ingredients:

 

 

Directions:

Oil a loaf tin with 5ml (1tsp.) of the oil; apply it with some kitchen roll or parchment paper (do not throw this paper away!).

You can see that our loaf tin is well used. 😀

 

 

Create your ‘flax eggs’. Place the flaxseed into a small dish. Add the water. Stir until combined. Leave for 5 minutes.

The mixture will become quite gelatinous.

 

 

Place the oats into a food processor. Pulse until a flour-like consistency is achieved.

Obviously you can skip this step if you have already bought a ‘oat flour’!

 

 

Place the milk into a microwavable measuring jug. Heat until fairly warm but not scalding hot!

 

 

Place the oat and GF flour, sugar, salt, yeast, baking powder and xanthan gum into a small mixing bowl. Mix together.

 

 

Add the turmeric and cumin seeds. Mix to combine.

 

 

Check the temperature of the milk with a sugar thermometer; aim for 50-55°C or 120-130°F.

Allow it to cool (if necessary).Ours was a bit too hot = death to yeast.

 

 

Place the milk into a large mixing bowl. Add and whisk in the ‘flax seed eggs’ and vinegar.

 

 

Add the flour mixture. Mix together to form a sticky dough.

 

 

Add the remaining oil as you mix the dough.

 

 

Keep mixing and folding the dough with the spatula, until a smooth, ‘tacky’ and soft ball of dough is achieved.

If you find the dough is a little dry, add a bit of water. NB: You cannot ‘knead’ this  dough mixture.

 

 

Transfer the dough into the tin. Smooth the top with a damp spatula. Sprinkle over some seeds; gently press them down into the dough.

 

 

Cut a piece of kitchen film long enough to cover the tin; use the (reserved/oily) piece of kitchen roll to grease one side of it. Cover the tin with the film (oiled side down).

 

 

Place the tin in a warm place to prove for 60-80 minutes. NB: Heat the oven to 200°C/400°F at approx. 45/50 minutes into the proving time.

(NB: If your house if cold and you are struggling to find a warm place to proof your bread, 60 minutes will be long enough- any longer is futile! We put ours in the boiler cupboard!)

 

 

Remove the kitchen film. Place the tin into the oven. Bake for 45-60 minutes or its until firm and the crust is slightly golden.

This batch of bread was made in January. You can see that our bread was sweating but it didn’t rise very much- our home was just not warm enough!

 

 

Remove. Allow the bread to rest in the tin for approx.10 minutes.

 

 

Transfer the bread onto a cooling rack. Allow it to cool slightly before eating.

 

 

Best sliced using a bread knife.

NB: Place it into the toaster for a harder and crisp bread.

 

 

Enjoy! 🙂

 

 

Store any leftovers in a resealable container; freeze and defrost before use. Consume within 2 months of freezing. NB: Once defrosted, best consumed toasted.

 

 

If preferred…

  • Try using some other optional ingredients such as: brown mustard or poppy seeds (or any other seed!), ground nuts, onion powder, chillies, fresh or dried herbs, sun-dried tomatoes, olives etc.
  • Experiment with flour combinations. GF baking is an art and not always precise; some mixtures will work better than others. We’ve found that using some ground rice can produce a fluffier loaf.
  • Alternatively, divide the dough into two halves and bake in two separate 1lb. loaf tins.