I have never liked Fig Newtons. At least the store bought kind that is. I always felt like they had a weird taste. But recently I had my first real fig and wowza! They’re amazing! It got me thinking about why I don’t like Fig Newtons so much if I like the taste of figs. Then it hit me that it’s probably because of all the weird additives and chemicals that are in store bought Fig Newtons. So before I get to the recipe for these delicious Homemade Whole Wheat Fig Newtons, I thought it’d be good to compare the ingredients in my homemade Fig Newtons with the ingredients in the store bought Fig Newtons. I think seeing this list will make you think twice about buying the store bought ones and want to make my recipe instead!
Ingredients in Store Bought Fig Newtons:
Whole Grain Wheat Flour, Figs, Sugar, Corn Syrup, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Soybean Oil, Soluble Corn Fiber, Partially Hydrogenated Cottonseed Oil, Oat Fiber, Salt, Resistant Corn Maltodextrin, Baking Soda, Calcium Lactate, Soy Lecithin, Malic Acid, Sodium Benzoate and Sulfur Dioxide (Sulfites) added to preserve freshness, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Vanillin (Artificial Flavor), Whey (From Milk)
Ingredients in My Homemade Whole Wheat Fig Newtons:
Dried Figs, Whole Wheat Flour, Almond Butter, Coconut Oil, Maple Syrup, Ground Flaxseed, Cinnamon, Baking Soda
I don’t know about you, but I’d so much rather put the ingredients from my Homemade Whole Wheat Fig Newtons into my body than all the weird ingredients from the store bought Fig Newtons. I hadn’t heard of so many of the ingredients in the store bought Fig Newtons so I decided to look them up on a website called Be Food Smart. This website is great because it has loads of information on the food additives, food colorings, chemicals, etc. that you’ll commonly find in processed foods. You can look up specific ingredients and see whether those ingredient have alternative names, what they’re used for, what effects they might have on your health, allergy information etc.
I never really looked at ingredient labels until a year or so ago. I always cared more about nutrition labels and whether something was low-calorie or low-fat. [I’m not even really sure why I cared about something being low-calorie or low-fat, but it probably had something to do with the media:)] It never occurred to me that most of the time the reason certain foods are able to be “low-calorie” or “low-fat” is because companies remove certain parts of whole foods and then use chemicals and additives to recreate the flavor and texture of those whole foods, but just without the calorie or fat. Yuck! I don’t like to think about all the horrible ingredients I’ve ingested over the years. Good thing are bodies are amazing organs that can quickly heal and adapt!
Well, enough of me ranting and raving. I just love when I’m able to recreate foods at home that are not only made up of whole ingredients, but are also delicious! These fig newtons have a gingerbread-like taste to the dough which complements the pure, fig filling so well. They’re hearty and subtly sweet and are great for a quick snack. Let me know if you try these out!
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1/4 cup almond butter
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flaxseed + 3 tablespoons water)
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 cups dried figs
- Start by prepping your flax egg by whisking together 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed with 3 tablespoons of water. Set aside for 5 minutes to gel.
- In a large bowl stir together the coconut oil, almond butter, maple syrup, vanilla and flax egg. Add in the remaining ingredients except for the dates (cinnamon, baking soda, and whole wheat flour) and stir to form a moist dough.
- Freeze the dough for 45 minutes or refrigerate for about 2 hours. You want the dough to be chilled.
- Before you dough is completely chilled soak your figs in boiling water for about 10 minutes. Once they're soft drain the water and add the figs to a food processor and process until a smooth puree forms, scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and remove your dough from the freezer or fridge. Divide the dough in half and place one half of the dough back in the fridge while you roll out the other half. On a piece of parchment paper or a silcone baking mat that has been lightly dusted with flour, roll the dough into a long rectangle that is about 5 inches wide and 1/4 inch thick. As you roll out the dough you may need to use your hands to fix slight tears and keep the edges in a straight line. If needed trim the edges to create a neat rectangle.
- Spread half of the fig puree down the middle of the dough from top to bottom, leaving about 1. 5 inches on the sides. Lift up one side of the dough using the parchment paper and fold it over the fig puree so that it covers half of the fig puree. Repeat with the other side of the dough. Press the middle seam together and press the ends of the dough together
- Place the fig newton "log" into the fridge to firm up while you repeat the process with the second piece of dough.*
- Cut the two logs into 8 newtons each and spread them out on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
- Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes. Let them cool completely before storing in an airtight container in the fridge.
- *How-to pictures are below!