As published in Ecoparent Magazine  www.ecoparent.ca

An amazingly nutrient-dense, gluten-free sweet treat, these squares are healthy enough to eat for breakfast but taste like a traditional “dessert-only” date square! You will get some energy-enhancing protein and fibre from the almonds, blood sugar-balancing fibre from the dried fig, omega-3- and anti-inflammatory-rich chia and flax seeds, and good, satiating fat from the coconut oil, nuts, and seeds!

Figs aren’t just delicious, they’re also a great source of magnesium which is excellent for muscle and nervous system relaxation and something we need more of when experiencing stress and premenstrual hormone dips. And red raspberry leaf tea is great in this recipe as it’s especially nourishing for the uterus. When I make these, I like to brew a large pot of tea, pulling out one cup for the recipe and drinking the rest as I make it myself!

Ingredients

Filling
1 c dried figs, cut in quarters
1 c brewed red raspberry leaf tea
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Crust
1 c unsweetened shredded coconut
2/3 c blanched almond meal
1/4 c each tapioca flour, chia seeds, ground flax seeds
3 Tbsp monk fruit sugar (or coconut sugar)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/3 c coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

Filling
1 Preheat oven to 350° F. Brew herbal tea. Let steep for at least 5 minutes or up to an hour to extract the medicinal benefits.
2 Place dried figs and tea in a small saucepan and simmer for 15 minutes.
3 Purée the fig filling in your food processor to create a jam-like consistency.

Crust
1 Mix the dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.
2 Warm the coconut oil enough to melt it and add both it and vanilla to the dry ingredients and mix well.

To assemble
1 Dump about 1 c of the crust mixture into the pan and press it out with your hands to create the base layer.
2 Spread filling on top of the base layer crust. Sprinkle remaining cup of crust mixture evenly over top of filling and lightly press.
3 Bake for 25 minutes until crust is lightly browned. Let cool completely before cutting into squares. These are lovely straight from the fridge and freeze very well!

Completely customizable! Switch up the fig with dates, or flax with shredded coconut! Or add some spiciness by trading in the red raspberry leaf tea for a rooibos chai!

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