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Vanilla Fig Bars

vanilla fig bars gluten-free dessert bar recipe

Easy Vanilla Fig Bars made with dried figs, shredded coconut and almonds –gluten free, Paleo, Primal, delicious.

I’ve been working on various power bar recipes lately as I need some easy to pack snacks for an upcoming adventure. My husband and I are planning on climbing a 14’er (that would be a 14,000 foot mountain) this summer and of course I want to make sure we have the proper nourishment. These bars will work well for the two of us given our constitutions.

Like all of my recipes, I tested this one many times before posting it here. During one of my test batches the mixture was so thick that the food processor could not spin it further. When this happened, I pulled the mixture out of the food processor and finished working it together with my hands before placing it in the pan. In the event that this happens to you, feel free to use this little trick.

Finally, if you are wanting to reproduce my exact results, use blanched slivered almonds. The key really is the blanched more than the slivered. Recently, I have been purchasing my blanched slivered almonds at the Whole Foods here in Boulder. You can use almonds that are not blanched and you will get more fiber, however, I found the flavor profile was not as good when I made them this way.

As always, feel free to try out any and all substitutions that come to mind so that you can customize these bars to your exact dietary needs. Unfortunately, I don’t know how things will turn out without testing your substitutions, so will not answer substitution questions. Besides, if I did, I’d spend my entire life chained to the computer, and I need to train for that 14’er, remember?

Vanilla Fig Bars


  1. Place almonds in food processor and pulse to texture of gravel
  2. Pulse in coconut, salt and stevia
  3. Pulse in figs
  4. Press mixture into an 8 x 8 inch baking dish
  5. Refrigerate for one hour
  6. Cut into 16 squares
  7. Serve

I like these bars as they have relatively few ingredients and are a fairly nutritious snack made of whole foods. Figs are antioxidant rich and full of fiber. Almonds (one of my favorite foods of all time) are a nutrient dense super food also full of fiber and substances that promote cardiovascular health. Coconut again provides fiber and good fats as well.

Just in case you have any big hiking or travel plans for this summer and need some good gluten free on the go snacks, here are a couple of my other bar recipes:
-Goji Power Bars
-Spicy Power Bars
-Cherry Vanilla Power Bars

posted on May 17, 2012, 50 comments

  1. Thanks for the recipe! We live in Colorado, too and hike a lot. I’ve resorted to packing a bunch of dates & eating them like energy gels and then eating a banana half way through the hike (we usually stick to 7 miles when we have the toddler with us on the hubby’s back). Would be nice to switch it up a bit!

  2. Rachel {My Coffee Cravings} @ mycoffeecravings.com

    It’s recipes like these that make me super jealous because I wish I had thought of it first! I think I’ll have to go out and buy some figs now!

  3. Yum! I love figs. Good luck on your strenuous climb!

  4. kathy scott


    Love your recipes. But, what is vanilla creme stevia and where can it be purchased? We only have powdered stevia and basic liquid stevia.

    Thanks so much

    Kathy S.

  5. SherriS.

    I love that your recipes have few ingredients! I will have to try this one for sure. I was just in Denver last month and couldn’t look and capture those Rockies enough! Good luck with your climb.

  6. Thanks for sharing! It looks yummy!

    How would I make these without the vanilla flavored stevia? Honey?


  7. Karri

    Just wondering if you had tried this with fresh versus dried figs? I have a fig tree in my yard, and want to try this when they come into season.

  8. Natasa

    How long can I keep them and where (do they need to be refrigerated)? Thanks for the nice recipe!

  9. San

    You can buy Sweetleaf liquid Stevia in 14 different flavors at amazon.com if your whole foods does not carry it.

  10. Those bars look really good! I am not crazy about dried figs, but could possibly like them in bars like these:)

  11. Elena

    Sounds deLISH!! Thank you for posting.. I’m going to try it this weekend!
    Do you drain the figs after you’ve soaked them? or add the water to the blender to? I’ve never heard of vanilla crème stevia but I’ll see if I can find some. Do you think vanilla essence would work instead?
    Thanks so much!
    Elena x

  12. sha

    these look delish! i am currently helping my bf train to hump the entire appilachain trail and have been looking for a replacement for those disgusting power bars that rip thru our belly’s something terrible. one question though….how long will they hold up outside the fridge? i would love to pack 6-8 of them for a weekend long camping hike? any thoughts?

    • Lynnette

      I back pack with similar recipes in the Rockies with no problem but at altitude heat usually isn’t a factor. They lasted in the car with heaters on for a week recently.

  13. Shari in NC


    Thanks for sharing another yummy & nutritious recipe! Could you please share more about your favorite foods for long hikes & overnight / weekend camping trips? I’m particularly interested in recipes to make with 12 middle-school Girl Scouts (either before or during the trip.) Sharing a bit about your hiking / camping food cooking & prep philosophies would be amazing!

    Thanks so much!

  14. These look so yummy! I can’t wait to try them once I get my hands on some figs! Thanks, as always, for sharing your deliciousness with us!

  15. Fig, almond and vanilla, in 1 bar, that is just pure delight in my mouth!

  16. Bernadette

    For those of you who are like me and think this sounds tasty, I looked up the total calories and it’s about 2600, dividing that into 16 squares means 160 for those little two-bite sized portions.

    Good for hiking and needing energy, but not if your big hike is to the kitchen for another portion :)

  17. Laura @ Gluten Free Pantry @ laurasglutenfreepantry.com

    I adore figs. These bars sound divine. Thank you Elana!

  18. Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy @ glutenfreehappytummy.com

    oh my Gosh, these sound fabulous! I LOVE figs — and this combo of tasty goodness sounds divine! thanks for the recipe!

  19. Cate @ Girl Cooks World @ girlcooksworld.com

    Oh my god- I can’t even imagine that hike. I feel like I’m winded going up the stairs these days! Need to get out and do some more hiking this summer.. hopefully after I’ve made a batch of these vanilla fig bars!

  20. Meghan @ After the Ivy League @ aftertheivyleague.wordpress.com

    These look delicious! I’m normally a chocolate freak but I’ve been craving something vanilla lately. I’ll have to try!

  21. AudreyV

    Thank you Elena! I just made these and they are super easy and so delicious! I forgot how good figs taste!

  22. Oh wow – those look delicious! You have tons of yummy recipes :)

  23. Susana

    I live in Australia…I could get the Stevia powder but not Stevia drops vanilla or anything similar… You guys are so lucky having everything u need at hand! Can anyone tell me the equivalent to: one drop= how many tsp in powder?
    Thank you.

  24. joanna perrin

    I’ve just recently gone gluten free and my stomach is definitely thanking me for it. I found your website and have tried some of the recipes including this fig bar. Thanks so much they’re yummy. I was wondering though why you don’t have any recipes with Quinoa.Is that not something that works well if you’re gluten free? Thanks again.

  25. RecipeNewZ @ recipenewz.com

    Wonderful recipe! So simple to make, and so filling and healthy. And tasty :-). This is a must-try!

    I would like to invite you to share this post (and other posts :-) ) on a new photo based recipe sharing site that launched this month. The idea is simple: all recipe photographs are published within minutes of submission. And, of course, the images link back to the author’s site.

    It’s called RecipeNewZ (with Z) – http://recipenewz.com

    I hope you get a chance to visit and to share some of your delicious posts with our viewers. It would be a pleasure to have you on board :-)

  26. Kathy

    I am wondering if you chopped the figs or left them whole while soaking. :o)

  27. Betty Rocker @ thebettyrocker.com

    This is awesome! I’ve been doing dates, pecans and cacao powder bars and love making raw bars in the food processor. What a great idea. You’re such an inspiration.

  28. gwen

    Does anyone know if you put the 1/2 cup of water in the food processor, or is it just used to plump up the figs?

    • acm

      I have the same question — seems it would work either way, but the water has a lot of stuff extracted into it by the end, so it might add flavor. Just not sure if it will make them hold together better or worse..

  29. naomi(onefitfoodie) @ onefitfoodie.com

    LOVE this recipe! its all about eating whole foods and when ingredients can come together in bar form, easy to grab and go? perfect!

  30. Sherry

    Good luck on your climb! My husband has climbed 10 14ers and my 12yo son has done 3 of them. Remember good shoes and a LOT of water are essential :) Thanks for this recipe. These bars sound good!

  31. This recipe sounds delicious! Great idea for power bars- definitely a necessity here in Colorado :) It’s very cool that you’re in Boulder- I live nearby!

  32. Candy sultan

    Sounds interesting think I will try then with ground almonds just wondering what is almond flour? Is it just ground almonds ?

  33. I love this idea. My husband and I are outdoorsy people and it’s hard finding things that are easy to make and easily transportable. Thanks!

  34. BEG65

    I understand that Elana won’t answer substitution questions; however I would think commenters could — have any of you tried substitutes for the stevia? Is vanilla creme stevia anything like vanilla extract? I won’t use sugar substitutes, myself, but this looks like a good recipe to tinker with.

    If no one has, I’ll see if I can make these with the extract & report back.

    • Janet

      I just used 2 packets of stevia and some vanilla. The figs are already sweet enough for me, so I don’t require much and may leave the extra sweetener out altogether next time. I drain the liquid. I have made this twice and I don’t see where you can go wrong doing any kind of sweetener and add some extra goodies too, like mini choc chips, etc. All you are doing is chopping it all up and mixing it. How hard is that?

  35. Oh my gosh, I love anything with figs. These look amazing!! I can’t wait to make them.

  36. Office Cleaning Sydney Michael @ iclean.com.au

    These power bars sound delicious. Almond and fig are a great combo. On my way to pick up ingredients. Thank you.

  37. Can I make these without the STEVIA? I really kinda hate the stuff. And my kids refuse to eat anything with it if they can taste it. However, I believe they love everything else in here….
    Thanks – I love your recipes. This is my first comment. Cheers!!

  38. Cristina @ mythineats.com

    These look delicious. And the fact that you used 3 of my favorite things to snack on almonds, coconut and figs means that I totally have to try these.

    Thanks for sharing

Leave a Reply

Comments are greatly appreciated! Unfortunately Elana is not able to answer substitution questions, as the only way to know if something works is to test it, and she does not provide this service. If you have a substitution question, please don't hesitate to leave a comment here, and another reader may jump in to answer. ↑ back to top