First of all – thank you all so much for all of the kind comments and messages on the girl’s dresses, you are all too nice!
Second – I am so excited to announce Toast’s first…
Well, almost announce it. For now, know it’s happening. And know you will NOT want to miss out! I’ll let you know all about it this weekend, so make sure to stop by then! Seriously. So cool.
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So earlier this year, our good friends challenged us to a month without white sugar. I was really hesitant at first, because I have such a strong sweet tooth – and I don’t like making commitments I can’t follow-through on. After a little self-deliberation, I decided I wanted to give it a shot. The Hubs and I decided to do it together – it ended up being such a good experience for us!
We were pretty strict the first few weeks (sugar is in EVERYTHING), but toward the end we relaxed a bit and allowed ourselves to have crackers, store-bought bread, and other foods that sneak sugar into their ingredient list.
At the end of the month, when we rewarded ourselves with our favorite candy – we didn’t even want to eat it! Our sugar cravings were completely gone.
Another thing that I loved about our sugar-free month- was that I tried out so many new, healthy, recipes – that probably would not have made my list otherwise. These fig bars were my favorite, by far. I have never been a fan of Fig Newtons – they are too awkwardly sweet, even for me. However, Winco started carrying a new variety of fig bars in their bulk section – we bought a little package on a whim – and fell in love with these yummy treats!
Our favorite are the whole-wheat blueberry and whole-wheat raspberry bars. I love them because the don’t have any white sugar or white flour – they are such a good treat for the girls! These have become our go-to snack, we always have a little stash in the car just in case the girls (or Mommy and Daddy) need to nibble on something on-the-go.
Because we love these so obsessively much, I thought I would try to make my own. While .50 for a two-bar package is a good deal (Winco price), at the rate we eat these – it adds up quick.
Oh my yum.
These homemade bars aren’t identical to the store-bought variety, they are even better! And, I love knowing every exact ingredient that goes into what we eat, and especially love that my kid’s favorite treat is actually very healthy for them!
You’ll have to give these a try. No white sugar, no white flour. The perfect balance of blueberry, fig and orange wrapped up in a healthy little cookie!
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups figs, de-stemmed (I use half black mission figs, half kadota)
1 cup dried blueberries
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon orange zest
1. In a medium bowl, cream 3/4 cup of the honey with the butter until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg.
2. Add the flour, baking powder, and baking soda and combine. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for about 2 hours, until firm (or overnight).
3. Meanwhile, in the bowl of a food processor with a metal blade, combine the remaining 1/2 cup of honey, the figs, orange juice, orange zest, and chopped nuts (if using). Process until the figs are finely chopped. Set aside.
4. When the dough is well chilled, dust a work surface and the dough with some flour. Roll half of the dough out into an 8×14-inch rectangle. Trim edges and cut in half lengthwise to form two long rectangles.
5. Spread 1/4 of the fig mixture evenly down the middle third of both dough rectangles. (I use my cookie scoop to place five scoops of filling across the dough, then spread out with the back of a spoon dipped in water.) Gently fold one side of the rectangle over the filling, then fold other over the right so they overlap slightly. Pinch the ends to seal.
6. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling (makes 4 bars). Carefully place the dough logs seam-side down on a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with wheat bran, if using.
7. Bake at 350 for about 12 minutes. Cut into 2-inch bars.