August 2015 Fig Focus

fig nut bars

It’s Back to School Time

As the summer winds down, thoughts turn back to school. Fig Nut Bars make a great after school snack and tasty addition to lunch boxes–easy, flavorful, and packed with fiber.

Fig Nut Bars  

The dough may look dry at first, but it will come together as it is mixed.
Makes 12 servings

 cup packed (7 ounces) dark brown sugar

cup (3 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour

teaspoon baking powder

teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups (9 ounces) Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid Figs, stemmed and chopped into 1/4-inch pieces

cup pecans, toasted and chopped

large eggs, lightly beaten

tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

cup (2 ounces) confectioners’ sugar

fig nut bars

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 8-inch square baking pan. Combine brown sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt in large bowl. Stir in figs, pecans, eggs, and butter until combined. Scrape batter into prepared pan.

Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out with few crumbs attached, 25 to 30 minutes. Let bars cool in pan on wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool for 15 minutes. Cut into 12 equal pieces and roll in confectioners’ sugar. Transfer to wire rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour. Serve.

Recipe courtesy of Cook’s Country from America’s Test Kitchen. Valley Fig Growers is a proud sponsor of Cook’s Country TV.

More After School Snack Ideas

o   Cereal Snack Mix

o   Mini Empanadas

o   Fruit Salsa with Pita Crisps

o   Fruit Smoothie

o   Granola Bars

o   Energy Bars

o   Snack Cake

Joanne Weir Gets Fresh 

We want to share some exciting news about our friend, Joanne Weir. Coverage for the Joanne Weir Gets Fresh series on American Public Television (APT) stations nationwide is already at an impressive 92%. All 15 episodes of season one are available for download on Vimeo.  This option is great for home cooks who, in addition to catching the show on TV, love the ability to watch their favorite episodes anytime, anywhere and cook along with Joanne!  

Last but not least, season one of Gets Fresh began airing on Create® TV nationwide June 29—Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays & Sundays at 6:30 pm, with repeats at 9:30 pm and 3:30 am. 

joanne weir

VFigFeed – Feed Us Figs Instagram Photo Contest

figs feed graphic

You still have time to show us how you get figgy–snap a photo with figs (fresh, dried, or fig spread) in your prepared dish of food at home or in a restaurant. Follow @valleyfig and tag your photo @valleyfig and #VFigFeed for a chance to win a trip on September 22 to a taping of Cook’s Country in Vermont. You can encourage friends and followers to vote for your photo. Valley Fig will select the winning photo based on merit.

When: July 15 (8 AM PST)–August 17 (8 AM PST)

Who: Anyone over the age of 18 in the 48 contiguous United States

“Try ‘Em, You’ll Like ‘Em” Healthy Lifestyle Tips

Take steps every day to live a safe and healthy life. Tips for 2015:

figs on leaf

Our tip for August is to reduce your intake of added sugars. What are added sugars? These are sugars and syrups that are added to foods or beverages when they are processed or prepared. This does not include naturally occurring sugars such as those in milk and fruits. Reading the ingredient label on processed foods can help to identify added sugars. Names for added sugars on food labels include: corn syrup, corn syrup solids, dextrose, fructose, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, sucrose, raw sugar, white granulated sugar.

The 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee is recommending that Americans limit their added sugars intake to less than 10 percent of total calories. In addition, the Food and Drug Administration is proposing to include the percent daily value for added sugars on the Nutrition Facts label to help consumers make informed dietary decisions. 

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and tag us @valleyfig —we’d love to see what you’re cooking on Instagram and Facebook!

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