If there is one culinary trend from the last year that I kept spotting, it was the popularity of power snacks. Easy, small, no-bake, healthful bites, balls, bars and chunks of food for quick snacking. My good friend from college introduced me to these tasty treats, and I’ve been gobbling them ever since. I’ve developed recipes and blogged about these popular snack foods before, cocoa + coconut power bites, power bites oatmeal + almond power bites, renewable energy squares, quinoa + oat breakfast bars and now these yummy coconut-fig chunks of energy.
This recipe is one I developed for my good friend’s daughter, Anna. Anna is 10 and a killer athlete (at least if you ask me). Anna is fearless, she can out-ski most people I know, both on snow and on water. She also plays soccer, softball and basketball. She is great at all of them. Anna also likes good food. This is something we have bonded over. She recently had a power bite that she liked that included fig and coconut. She “challenged” me to make one. And so I did.
I have always been a fig fan, so this was a happy challenge. Figs have numerous health benefits: they are rich in fiber, high in calcium, Vitamin A, B1, and B2. The base of this recipe involves dried figs mixed with some dried dates. They are combined with finely chopped unsweetened coconut, whole grain oats, almond butter, dark chocolate and flax seeds.
The fig-coconut mixture gets molded and set in a baking pan before slicing. The no-bake aspect makes these easy go-to treats. And kids Anna’s age can make these all by themselves. I cut these guys small, because they are sweet. Figs will do that to a recipe. So remember a little goes a long way.
To finish the chunks, just roll them in unsweetened shredded coconut to coat. I recommend storing them in the refrigerator to keep them fresh, plus, I think they are extra delicious when they are slightly chilled. Stored properly, they will keep for about two weeks. So you may want to make a double batch when you try them.
Anna has not yet tried my coconut-fig chunks: she was off skiing when I developed them. I will await my youngest reader’s verdict. Hopefully she will write up a review soon!
Coconut-Fig Chunks Of Energy
- 30 dried figs, stems removed
- 5 dried dates, pitted
- 1/2 cup walnuts, roughly shopped
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut, plus additional for rolling
- 3 tablespoons whole grain oats
- 1 tablespoon smooth almond butter
- 2 tablespoons dairy-free dark chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon ground flax seeds
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- dash of salt
- Step 1 Line a 9×9 baking pan or loaf pan with parchment paper, allowing enough for overhang on the two larger sides. Set aside.
- Step 2 Using a kitchen mixer, such as a Cusinart fitted with a blade attachment, add the figs, dates, walnuts, 2 tablespoons coconut, oats, almond butter, chocolate chips, flax feeds, vanilla extract and salt. Mix on high for 1-2 minutes until well blended. The mixture should resemble coarse sand as shown in the photo above.
- Step 3 Place the mixture into the prepared pan. Using a small glass or jar, press the mixture firmly and evenly making it as flat and uniform as possible.
- Step 4 Refrigerate for 1 hour to set.
- Step 5 To finish the power bites, place about 1/2 cup of shredded coconut on a small plate and set aside.
- Step 6 Gently lift the parchment paper out of the pan and place on a cutting board. Using a slicer knife, cut into small, 1-inch squares. Roll the bites in shredded coconut evenly to coat.
- Step 7 Store the power bites in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They should keep fresh for up tp two weeks.
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