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fig squares

The quinoa flakes and almond meal provide an extra protein boost in this fig-filled dessert with a crumble topping. Find quinoa flakes in the cereal aisle at health food stores. The fig filling can be made a day or two ahead and with fresh or dried figs. Try the fig filling as a spread on whole-grain toast or crackers, too.

Fig Filling

1 pint fresh figs, chopped or 2 cups dried figs, chopped

1 cup apple juice

1/2 cup honey

1 tablespoon orange peel (optional)

1 teaspoon (tsp) cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

Crust

1 cup quinoa flakes or quick-cooking oats

1 cup brown-rice flour

1 cup almond meal

1/4 cup Sucanat® (whole cane sugar)

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening, such as Spectrum®, or butter

1 egg

Place all fig filling ingredients in medium saucepan. Simmer until dark and thick, about 1 hour, slightly longer for dried figs. Allow mixture to cool. If using dried figs, purée cooled mixture to desired consistency in food processor fitted with S blade.

To prepare crust, place dry ingredients (quinoa flakes through salt) into food processor fitted with S blade. Whirl to combine. Add in shortening or butter, and pulse until dough resembles coarse meal. Add egg, and pulse until incorporated. Divide dough in half.

Lightly oil 8- or 9-inch square baking dish. Using damp hands, press half of dough in bottom of prepared baking dish. Spread fig filling over dough. Evenly crumble remaining dough over fig filling. Using back of spoon or slightly damp hands, press dough over fig filling.

Bake in 350-degree Farenheit oven for 20–25 minutes or until crust is golden. Allow to cool completely and cut into 16 squares.

Per Serving: 269 calories; 10.5 grams (g) fat; 4 g protein; 43 g carbs; 4.2 g fiber; 156 milligrams sodium.

Source: This is an original recipe by certified natural chef Sarah Kruse.

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