1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest (from about 1 medium orange)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1 cup crispy brown rice cereal
About 40 mins, plus chilling time
Here’s a fiber-packed, joyful, fruity bar. Figgy Fuels are modeled on Lärabars, which we like because they don’t contain ingredients that we can’t pronounce. The label on the Pecan Pie bar lists dates, pecans, almonds—that’s it. We took out the pecans and added dried figs for more chewiness, and brown rice cereal for good crispy fun. Vanilla, cinnamon, and orange zest keep us running back for more.
What to buy: Crispy brown rice cereal can be found at most health food and grocery stores.
Nutritional information: Serving Size 1 Bar (1.6 oz/45g), Calories 252, Total Fat 8.9g, Saturated Fat 0.7g, Trans Fat 0g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 86.2mg, Total Carb 35.9g, Fiber 5.3g, Sugars 26.2g, Protein 4.6g. (Nutritional information was calculated via SparkRecipes’ Recipe Calculator.)
1Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Place an 8-by-18-inch piece of waxed or parchment paper in an 8-by-8-inch baking pan; set aside.
2Place almonds on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer and bake, stirring halfway through, until fragrant and light golden brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
3Place figs in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment and process until finely chopped, about 1 minute. Transfer to a small bowl.
4Place cooled almonds in the food processor and pulse until finely chopped and the texture of fine meal, about 25 (1-second) pulses. Add dates and process, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed, until dates and almonds are combined and dates are finely chopped, about 45 seconds. Add almond butter, orange zest, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, pepper, and reserved chopped figs and process until evenly combined, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed, about 45 seconds. Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Add rice cereal.
5Using your hands, knead the cereal into the fig-date-almond mixture until evenly incorporated, about 3 minutes. (The cereal will break up as you mix it.)
6Transfer mixture to the prepared baking pan and, using your hands, pat it into an even layer to the edges of the pan. Fold the waxed or parchment paper over and press down on it with the bottom of a measuring cup or a flat-bottomed cup until the mixture is firmly packed and the top is smooth. Freeze for 30 minutes or refrigerate overnight.
7Lift the paper and the energy bar slab out of the pan and place on a cutting board. Remove and discard the paper. Cut the slab into 4 squares, then cut each square into 4 (4-by-1-inch) bars to form 16 bars total. Wrap each bar in plastic wrap. Store at room temperature for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 weeks; let frozen bars come to room temperature before eating.