Not only are these sugar free, but the ingredients are actually nutritious - particularly if you use organic where possible. No, I'm not made of money either, but in this increasingly toxic world I do my best to avoid all those disgusting agricultural and industrial chemicals, not to mention the highly processed ingredients often marketed as healthy and yet devoid of any real nutrition. Using quality organic ingredients means I can happily feed these to my infant son without worries.
When I create edibles, I'm not purely thinking about what will be tasty to eat, I'm thinking primarily about how to get as much balanced nutrition into my family as possible.
After seeing @gringalicious' delicious-looking Fig Newtons recipe yesterday, I fancied making something figgy myself. So these are what I came up with and Mmmmmmmm they're gooood!!! Similar to one of my previous creations Sweet Potato and Cacao Swirl Pastries, but with a different flavour of course, and this time nice and sticky too.
Like other natural sweetners (such as honey, dates, bananas, sweet potato, carrots, parsnips, etc) figs are a great substitute for sugar in recipes. Using naturally sweet ingredients is much better for your body too, as your body reacts to the sugar in a completely different way. For one thing, the fiber in fruit helps slow down glucose digestion, which means you don't get the sudden insulin spike. It's more satiating too, and doesn't have that scary addictive quality that sugar does, which can aid weight loss as you're not inclined to eat and eat and eat, as is so often the case with sugary snacks.
What you will need:
1 large apple
150g soft dried figs
2 tblsp honey
25g organic powdered cacao
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
50g ground almonds
200g fine wholewheat flour
3 tblsp (approx) water
Extra honey to glaze
100g chopped hazelnuts
Peel, core and roughly chop the apple. Mince in a food processor or manual veg chopper.
Finely chop the figs, then mash into a pulp using a fork.
Put the apple and figs into a pan, with about 2tblsp water, and saute on low heat for about 10 minutes until soft and pureed.
Mix in the honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground almonds and powdered cacao. Set aside whilst you make the pastry.
In a large bowl add the butter to the flour and rub in using your fingertips, until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Add the water, a little at a time, and blend (I use my hand) until you have a firm dough.
Roll out on a lightly floured surface to about 3mm thick.
Spread the cacao mixture evenly onto the pastry.
Sprinkle about 2/3 of the chopped hazelnuts on top of the cacao mixture.
Carefully roll up the pastry into a tube shape.
This is a messy part - drizzle honey all over the outside of the pastry, and sprinkle the remaining chopped hazelnuts onto the surface, so that you can roll the pastry over the nuts.
Using a sharp knife, slice the pastry into segments.
Lay the swirls onto lightly floured baking trays, and pop into a preheated oven at 200 degrees Celsius for about 30 minutes until golden brown and firm to the touch.
Allow to cool on a wire rack.
Enjoy your sugar-free treats!
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