When I was younger, my high school had a small cart in the cafeteria that served as an a la carte during lunch time. It was full of snacks and way too much sugar. Chips, ice cream, candy bars, pop tarts – you name any junk food, and this cart had it. But every time I chose to get something from the a la carte, I always bought fig newtons. My buddies teased me for having the taste preferences of an 80 year-old, but I didn’t mind. I thought fig newtons were the bees knees, and totally tasted better than sundae-flavored toaster treats. When I gave up my love for junk food and embraced a real food mentality, my beloved fig newtons got tossed out the window. But like most commonly-loved treats like cookies, brownies, chips, and ice cream, there is a healthy alternative that tastes even better than the original.
This recipe for probiotic fig newton butter is reminiscent of my favorite fig newtons and helps to support the immune system! It is easy to make, simple to store, looks beautiful, and makes a great partner to pancakes and almond flour biscuits.
“I love the winter.
I love the coziness of curling up by a fire after a long day of working or playing in the cold.
I love seeing candle-lined windows and houses lined with white Christmas lights bring a contemplative cheer to the long, dark nights.
I love Christmas and the celebratory sense of the holidays.
But come about mid-January, when the holidays are over and the snow or rain is no longer the novelty it was at Thanksgiving, that’s when I pull dried figs out of their hiding place in the cupboard and I am reminded of summer. Those sun-drenched days that produced more abundant fruit than we knew what to do with and when we lingered long into the evening without worrying about coats and boots and hats.
FRUIT BUTTERS: A QUICK, DELICIOUS WAY TO PRESERVE THE HARVEST
This fig butter is one of my favorite ways to preserve the summer’s abundance. I often slog through August and September when fruit and vegetables are at peak harvest – I often can’t keep up with preserving it all.
But I find that this fig butter is a great “cheater” version. All I have to do is dehydrate the figs when they’re ripe, then when I need a reminder of summer, just pull out the figs and whip up this fig butter then. It’s quick, it’s easy, and it’s delicious (and it’s seasonal eating at its best).
I also love this fig butter because it’s a super-easy and super-excellent way to add more probiotic goodness into your diet – or that of your child – if you choose to add the simple fermentation step. Eating fermented and cultured foods regularly is an essential part of vibrant health, so foods like this lacto-fermented fruit butter pack a needed punch.
And here’s the secret: Because this fruit butter starts with dehydrated fruit rather than fresh fruit and since dehydrating concentrates the sugars, so we don’t need to add any other sweetener unless desired. (Yes!)
Feel free to substitute other dried fruits as well – fig and apple just happens to be a favorite of mine. Try Cinnamon Raisin by substituting raisins for the figs, then spread the finished butter on sourdough toast for a quick and dirty version of cinnamon swirl toast. Or try Peach Butter using dried peaches and lemon zest. The options are endless!
If you don’t have access to fresh figs, you are certainly welcome to use store-bought dried figs. Otherwise, click here to learn how to dehydrate fresh figs.
And by the way, I call this “Fig Newton Butter” because I actually created it to be the filler for homemade fig newtons, but most of the time I don’t mess with the newton cookie dough, which is a bit finicky – I just make the filling, which is quick. Spread it on toast or use it in a sandwich for your child’s lunch and you’re golden.”