Larabar copycat recipes have been all the rage on the blogosphere for some time. Take a blender, throw in some dates and nuts and flavorings, et voilà, you too can sell food that looks like it’s already passed through your digestive system at an outrageously exorbitant price! There’s a reason everyone’s been imitating them, though: their bars taste amazing and are a fairly simple, healthful treat. Thusly inspired, I concocted these raw almond fig balls, which have the added benefits of being cheap and packed with calcium.
Don’t get me wrong; I love dates. One of my favorite memories of a cross-country road trip I took several years ago was tasting dates fresh off the tree in California (seriously, nothing else even comes close). And I am a sucker for those coconut date rolls you can find in the supermarket. But dates (particularly the good ones) are also expensive, and not particularly high in nutritional value. And besides, I didn’t have dates on my shelf. I had figs.
Dried figs are actually great for you. They’re also very high in fiber, magnesium, manganese, and potassium (even moreso than bananas!). They’re calcium-rich, too, just like the almonds and sesame seeds in this recipe. If you’re not concerned about this being raw, a bit of high-calcium blackstrap molasses might nicely round out the dark and sweet flavors here.
- 2 c raw almonds
- 12 oz dried black mission figs, soaked for a few hours and de-stemmed
- ½ c dried dark sweet cherries
- ⅓ c coconut
- ¼ c sesame seeds
- 1-2 tbsp agave nectar, optional
- In a food processor, grind almonds into a coarse meal. Some bits and pieces should remain. Take care not to grind them too long; you don’t want to end up with almond butter.
- Add figs and cherries and blend until mixture forms a ball.
- Fold in coconut, sesame seeds, and agave.
- Form the dough into 1″ balls and roll in a bowl of shredded coconut and sesame seeds.