This past weekend, I attended the Fig Fest here in town. Various restaurants from the Valley sampled dishes using fresh or dried figs and competed to win votes for the best recipe. I saw some very creative dishes, my favorite for creativity being a Fig infused Macaron with marscapone & goat cheese, served with local balsamic vinegar. The event is in its third year one was really well attended. I see it becoming the equivalent of the Gilroy Garlic Festival for Fresno. It is even an alliteration (Fresno Fig Fest), so come on, it has to be a winner, right?
Since I was setting up a booth for Young Chefs Academy, we decided to make a kid friendly recipe using dried figs that is perfect for an afternoon snack or great for a busy morning on the go. We made 1,000 fig bites to sample. These little bites are packed with protein, fiber & nutrients to fire up kiddos brains and provide a healthy does of energy without a sugar rush. I will not go on a rant about how unhealthy a lot of kid's prepackaged snacks are but I will say that it is very important that we fuel our kids' bodies and brains to learn and grow.
I was lucky to have 2 adorable young chefs help pass out our samples. My daughter did a great job for the first 2 hours and then decided she was done and went on an Ice Cream strike. Kinsey did a fantastic job serving samples with a smile on her face. My youngest, 3 month old even made an appearance so that I could feed her since she has been refusing to take a bottle.. no stress there.
You can experiment making them at home with different ingredients and flavors. I love adding in Cacao powder for a chocolate like energy bar that is a crowd pleaser in my home. If you make a big batch you can store them in a plastic bag or tupperware container for at least 2 weeks. I suggest storing them in the fridge although it is not mandatory.
- 1/2 cup Oats
- 1/2 cup Dried Dates
- 1 cup Cashews
- 1 cup dried Mission Figs
- 1/2 cup coconut flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1 TB Honey
- Pinch Salt
Blend oats in a food processor until it is a coarse sand. Then add in Cashews and pulse a few times to dice. Next add in dates & figs & pulse until they become paste. Add in remaining ingredients and blend until well combined.
To start making the bites, gather a golf ball size amount of the mixture in the palm of your hand and roll firmly and pack into a ball. Continue with the remaining mixture. Place on a cookie sheet and let set in your refrigerator for 30 minutes minimum.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Make 15 energy bites.
If you prefer to watch the tutorial, here is the video clip from my segment on ABC30.