Tis the season for my favourite fruit! I’m a fig fancier by nature and can’t get enough of them when they’re in season.

Imagine my delight then, when I noticed that our Ibiza villa had two fig trees in the garden! To me the prospect of fresh and organic figs on tap for a week was more exciting than Pasha. I picked them fresh every morning for breakfast and snacked on them during the day and despite their delicate nature I couldn’t resist bringing a bag full home with me so I could enjoy my Spanish figs for just a little longer.

They didn’t last long in our house and so off I popped to the local shop to feed the fig habit. 70p a fig seemed a bit steep but a gal has to have her fix so I bought a bag full. Imagine my horror when I discovered that these fruits were mere imposters; tasteless, dry imposters! They were probably picked under-ripe in some far flung land and left to ripen unnaturally on the journey to my local market. There was nothing for it, I had to find another way to eat these that would introduce some flavour so I got all retro and tried my hand at some home made fig rolls (Fig Newtons in the states).  You remember the ones: 

Obviously I had to make a healthier version. If I couldn’t enjoy my figs fresh then the least I could do is make a healthier version of this classic high fat and high sugar treat. This recipe doesn’t include sugar and I’ve kept fat very very low. I've replaced refined white flour with (the gluten free, high protein) buckwheat flour and also some wholewheat flour. The fig rolls are sweetened with honey and apple puree and there is less than 100g of butter in the whole batch. These make a nice snack or are also good at breakfast.
A word on why we should eat fresh figs:

  • They’re low calorie. 100g of fresh figs contains just 74 calories (when dried 100g contains 249 calories!)
  • Excellent source of calcium, copper, potassium, manganese, iron, selenium and zinc.
  • High fibre
  • High in anti-oxidants
  • High in B vitamins, which aid metabolism
  • Contain chlorogenic acid, which can lower blood sugar levels and therefore help with the management and prevention of type 2 diabetes.

~ Recipe for Home-made, healthier fig rolls ~

Fig Jam:

3 tbsp unsweetened apple puree (I used a home made one but shop bought will also work)

8 fresh figs, roughly chopped and stems removed

2 tbsp honey (I used locally produced, organic honey)

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp all spice

1 star anise


110g buckwheat flour

110g wholewheat flour

100g butter

1 egg

2 tbsp honey

1 tsp vanilla extract

pinch of salt


To make the jam filling
place the figs, along with all the other ingredients, except the honey in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, and then let simmer for about an hour, or until the figs are soft and the jam has thickened. Stir in the honey (to taste). Cool and place in a food processor or blender, blend on a low setting until all big chunks are gone but some smaller chucks remain.

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees (Celsius).

To make the dough
blend all the ingredients well, either by hand or in a food processor until a ball of dough forms.

Separate the dough into 2 balls and chill for 30 minutes.

Take a ball of dough and place it on a piece of parchment paper. Roll the dough out to form a layer of about 12 by 4 inches and about ½ cm thickness.

Spread the jam along the length of the rectangle and fold the dough lengthways. Press the dough at the ends to seal it.

Repeat for the second ball of dough.

Keeping the dough on its parchment paper, place in a baking tray and bake for 15 minutes, or until they are browned on the sides and top.

Allow to cool or if you’re like me burn your mouth on the jam and eat them straight out of the oven!
05/28/2013 03:04

do you allow guest posting, i have some recipe of Fig Roll to post.


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