Ayurvedic Fig Newtons

Sedona has seen a particularly abundant harvest season this year. Not only has the fruit in the 7 Centers organic garden been plentiful, neighbors and friends have also generously shared their bounty. We have creatively cooked, made preserves, canned, and frozen many apricots, plums, cherries, and apples. And now, the fruit-of-the-moment, luscious figs! These we gathered from a large tree right in the 7 Center’s front yard.

Figs are considered to be very rejuvenating in Ayurveda. Figs nourish and replenish ojas, or protective energy cushion, which is often depleted due to stress and overwork. Figs are used in rasayanas, which is a combination of herbs, fruits and spices used to promote vitality and improve overall health. Figs are also high in iron, potassium, calcium, and fiber.

Figs are most often found dried, in which case they are best consumed after soaking in hot water for ten minutes. They can then be eaten solo, or added to a morning oatmeal or almond milk shake. Fresh figs, during the season, can also be enjoyed this way.

In the recipe below, we explore the use of this special fruit in an Ayurvedic fig newton!  The first part of the recipe calls for a simple fig jam.

7 Centers Figs (big) _ DSC_0079

Ayurvedic Fig Newtons

12-15 fresh figs
¼ cup organic turbinado sugar (add more if desired)
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ teaspoon lemon zest
½ teaspoon vanilla essence
1 cup distilled water

Begin by rinsing the figs well, then remove the stems. Roughly chop. Combine figs and water in a heavy-bottomed pan. Cook on a low flame for 4-5 minutes. Add the sugar, lemon juice, zest, and vanilla and continue to cook for 35-40 minutes, stirring frequently. If the mixture begins to look dry add more hot water.

To check for doneness, use the plate test. At the beginning of cooking, place a small plate in the freezer. When ready to test, remove frozen plate and place a dollop of jam in the center. If it takes on a solid nature after a few minutes, your jam is done.

Allow jam to cool a bit and blend to desired consistency. Pour into a clean jar and let cool before covering and storing in the refrigerator.

The next recipe involves creating the cookie part to hold the fig jam.

2 cups white whole wheat flour (or 1 cup unbleached white flour and 1 cup wheat flour)
2 eggs
⅓ cup coconut butter
⅓ cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla bean extract
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce

 Begin by preheating the oven to 350 degrees. Next, combine all the dry ingredients in one bowl. In another bowl, combine the wet ingredients. Pour the wet into the dry, and combine until everything is mixed together. You should end up with a soft dough similar to a sugar cookie dough. Wrap this tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate it until it’s firm enough to roll, about an hour.

Divide the dough in half and roll into a square shape onto a lightly floured surface or parchment paper. The dough will get sticky as it warms up, so do this quickly! Spread your freshly made fig jam onto half the dough. Fold the dough in half to make a sandwich.

Gently transfer the sandwich onto a baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until it is a bit golden around the edges. Cut into square shapes while still warm (a pizza cutter works well here). Recipe will yield approximately 16 cookies. These fig newtons can be stored in the fridge for about 2 weeks.

This recipe will suit all doshas, though if taken in excess, could imbalance Kapha due the density and sugar in the cookies!

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 Shruthi Bajaj,  Ayruvedic Chef at 7 Centers Yoga Arts, may be reached at 415-261-7575 or via email or her website.

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