I am super psyched to share today’s treat, not to mention the winner of Ricki Heller’s book Living Candida-Free! When my fig tree started blooming I begged for suggestions and one that grabbed me was fig frangipane thanks to Nicola. Almonds, as I’ve discovered, make everything better, so the combination of almond flour and almond butter, along with a few secret ingredients here and there, makes for something spectacularly decadent and shockingly healthy! Let’s ignore the fact that it isn’t in tart form, and probably doesn’t taste like a frangipane thing anyway – if it’s tasty it works! 😀
So you’re all probably super curious about the winner, I’m guessing! You can go read my review but I’ll say it again: this is an absolutely wonderful book for anyone to have on their shelf: whether you suffer from Candida or not, whether you are 100% vegan or just like to dabble in something delicious and healthy. Ricki always brings flavour to the plate and does so in a way that anyone can follow along. Other than that it’s just always interesting to read about people’s personal experiences with various diseases or ailments and how to tackle them head-on in a sustainable way.
Anyhow, before I go into another review of glee, the winner is:
Yay! Congratulations to you – I’ll be sending you an email, so please have a squizz at your email. Thank you to everyone else for entering! Your stories and comments were really inspiring, and it was wonderful to get a glimpse into so many people’s lives: a lot more people suffer from Candida than you’d imagine – even family and friends! Even if you aren’t the winner of this awesomesauce book, it’s still worth it to skip hop over to Amazon and buy yourself a copy. 😀
Onto the bars of doom: why bars instead of a lovely pie or tart in a thick, crumbly crust? Well, you must all by now know how fussy I am about what I eat – I’d happily go to a restaurant and eat such a treat in blissful ignorance of the ingredients (provided they are vegan!), but if I look at a recipe that calls for half a cup of butter or 2 cups of sugar I tap out and eat a carrot. These bars are low fat, low sugar, and won’t make you crash and burn, which are my top requirements for living responsibly AND abundantly! Alas, people who suffer from Candida can’t eat figs, but seriously this already yum compote has been haunting my fridge long enough, so it was time to transform it into its final manifestation: something ridiculously tasty.Upside down fig frangipane bars (serves 12 – 16)
- 1 cup sweet potato purée (measure after puréeing – is that even a word?)
- 1/4 cup almond butter
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 1 cup oats, ground into a flour (measure before grinding)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar of choice (I used sweetener)
- 2 vegan eggs (I used Orgran powdered vegan egg replacer, but you can use chia)
- 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
- 1/3 cup applesauce
- 1 TBSP apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 2 droppers NuNaturals NuStevia Pure Liquid Vanilla/3 tsp vanilla essence
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp cloves
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- pinch of salt
- Optional but so good: 2 TBSP Frangelico
- 2 TBSP flax powder for sprinkling (see instructions)
Carob chia fig compote:
- 5 medium ripe green figs, diced roughly (OR 3/4 cup dried figs, soaked overnight)
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 star anise
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 tsp cloves
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1 tsp cinnamon powder
- 1 tsp cayenne
- 2 tsp carob powder
- 1 TBSP chia seeds
- 1 TBSP lemon juice
- 2 tsp NuNaturals NoCarbs Stevia Blend/2 – 3 TBSP sugar of choice
- 1 dropper NuNaturals NuStevia Pure Liquid Vanilla/2 – 3 tsp vanilla essence
- Put all your compote ingredients in a large pot and bring to boiling point.
- Turn the heat to low and stir, cooking for 4o minutes. Use a wooden spoon to break up the larger chunks as they get softer.
- Add more water as necessary to keep it liquid but not so much that it becomes runny.
- Preheat oven to 180C and spray and line a 8″ square pan.
- Make your vegan eggs and set aside to gel.
- Blend your wet ingredients in a food processor, including your “eggs”.
- In a large bowl mix your dry ingredients, then add the wet blender mix and stir to combine.
- Spoon your fig compote onto the bottom of the pan, then sprinkle your flax powder on top evenly.
- Spoon your base ingredients into the baking pan and smooth over with the back of a wet spoon.
- Bake for 35 – 40 minutes.
- Let cool for 15 minutes before removing from the pan, then let it cool some more before carefully slicing into bars.
- Store in the fridge – they are even better and sweeter the next day!
Delicious! Not too sweet but sooo rich and decadent. Almond butter has this magical quality that just makes everything all the more flavourful, and the sweet potato gives the bars a creamy bite. Of course the carob chia compote just breaks that with some delicious natural sweetness with that hint of kapow from the cayenne, so you don’t sit with a mouthful of sugar.This was the perfect excuse to use more of the beautiful, precious almond butter I received from my awesome MIL for the holidays. I hoard the stuff because it costs a fortune and raw almonds are just as crazy expensive, so no chance of making my own at home. Once a bottle is open it takes all my self control not to sit with a long spoon and just eat it all, so baking it into goodies that can be shared is the only way forward. I managed to use the bottle rather effectively with two of Ricki’s magnificent recipes with much success and glee: the baked quinoa pudding/porridge and the sweet almond sauce. It makes me so despondent when I feel like I’ve wasted precious ingredients, but luckily all these treats, including these bars, have been almond butter well spent!
Naturally this is all a big excuse to also show off the delicious business from my espresso machine 😀 Seriously though, these bars are perfect as a filling little coffee snack when you just want something indulgent that isn’t going to make you count calories for the rest of the day.