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Skinny Fig Bars

Friday, January 20th, 2012

Got a craving for something sweet? Scrounging through the pantry and fridge? Finding nothing but a dried up Special K bar and a lone piece of chocolate covered in sugar or fat bloom (that white stuff that makes you go ack, but oh, well, it’s a craving so I’ll eat it anyway)? Well, at 90 calories, the bar fits the bill for something low fat – but taste? Hmmmmm………….

My Alabama Southern belle friend from junior high school, Sharon, found just that. Being sick for a while and nursing a shoulder wrenched from the annual remove-the-Christmas-tree event, she was feeling a little low. So she posted her craving on Facebook. Then she posted her find. Diana Dietitian cannot sit idly by – off to the rescue. Here’s a healthy, tasty, zingy way to take care of the sugar blues.

Skinny Fig Bars



8 ounces dried figs (one round package)
4 ounces pitted dates
2 tbsp. silvered or chopped almonds (optional)
2 drops anise extract (optional)
1 tbsp. agave nectar (or other liquid sweetener)
2 tbsp. water
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ginger


1 cup regular or quick oats, ground in blender until fine
1 cup regular or quick oats, unground
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 ounces unsweetened apple sauce
3 tbsp. agave nectar (or other liquid sweetener)
1/4 cup water


  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Make the filling: Snip off the figs’ stems, and put the figs, dates, and almonds into the food processor. Grind to a coarse paste. Stir in the remaining filling ingredients and process until mixed. Set aside.
  3. For the crust, combine the oats (ground and unground), baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl. Stir in the apple sauce, agave nectar, and water, mixing well to a thick consistency. Press half the crust mixture into the bottom of an oiled, eight-inch square cake pan (use a wooden spoon or your hands). Spread the fig mixture evenly over the crust. Smooth the remaining crust mixture over the filling. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until lightly browned. Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars.
  4. Icing (optional): Mix powdered sugar (about 3 tbsp.) with a little water (Start with 1/2 tsp.) until the right consistency. Add vanilla or almond extract to taste (just drops). Drizzle over top of bars before cutting.

Preparation time: 15 minute(s) | Cooking time: 30 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 16

Makes 16 bars. Each bar (with almonds) contains: 117 Calories (kcal); 1 g Total Fat; (10% calories from fat); 2 g Protein; 26 g Carbohydrate; 0 mg Cholesterol; 67 mg Sodium; 4 g Fiber

Courtesy of www.fatfreevegan.com blogger Susan Voisin

Marvelous Mighty Magnificent Muesli

Monday, November 21st, 2011

A powerhouse mixture of grains and dried fruit, muesli adds punch to your morning. Muesli is an old standby, in fact, from the late 1800′s. Mostly whole grains, nuts, seeds and dried fruit, muesli is a power pack of long-lasting fuel.

There are 2 ways to enjoy this killer meal – make it yourself or buy it already prepared. Either way, keep a vat of it on hand for a quick start to a vibrant day!

Marvelous Mighty Magnificent Muesli

Hot or cold, this powerhouse packs a punch in the morning – or even an afternoon snack before a workout. Bonus – regularity!


• ¾ cup soy or fat-free milk
• ½ cup uncooked oatmeal (not quick cooking kind)
• 1 T. coarsely ground flaxseed
• 1 T. roasted or raw, unsalted pumpkin seeds

• 1 T. roasted or raw, unsalted sunflower seeds
• 1 T. slivered roasted or raw unsalted almonds
• 1 T. dried dates or figs
• 1 T. raisins
• ¼ cup kefir or high-protein yogurt (like plain Greek or Icelandic yogurt)
• ¼ cup fresh fruit (finely chopped apples in fall and winter, mixed berries in summer)
• Pinch ground cinnamon
• Pinch ground cloves


  1. Place all ingredients except soymilk, kefir and fruit into a bowl.
  2. Pour the warm or cold milk over the cereal.
  3. Add the kefir and berries and sprinkle cinnamon and cloves on top. 
  4. Note: no added sugar. If additional sweetness desired, drizzle in some honey, maple syrup or molasses (molasses is an iron booster).

Serves 2 (nutritional analysis per serving): 260 calories, 10 g protein, 33 g carbs, 10 g fat, 80 mg sodium, 6 g fiber.

Go Nuts for a Happy Heart

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

When it comes to nuts, bow in respect of King Walnut. Abounding in healthy omega-3 essential fatty acids, walnuts are cardio-protective, promote better cognitive function, and have anti-inflammatory benefits for asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, eczema and psoriasis.  

Walnuts also contain the antioxidant compound ellagic acid, a known cancer fighter and support for the immune system. But that’s not all – in a 2003 study in Phytochemistry, researchers identified 16 polyphenols in walnuts, including three new tannins, with antioxidant activity so powerful they described it as “remarkable.”

Walnuts are incredibly healthy for the heart. A 2004 study in Circulation found that when walnuts were substituted for about one-third of the calories supplied by olives and other monounsaturated fats in the Mediterranean diet: (more…)