California Walnut and Fig Energy Bars
I am truly blessed to be a chef in California. We are spoiled by having the best selection of ingredients literally in our backyards. My wife and I truly love California walnuts. Not only are walnuts naturally great-tasting, but they are heart-healthy and offer antioxidants, melatonin and omega-3s. Figs naturally go with walnuts. Their flavor profile complements the walnut, while offering a great source of fiber. Add nutrient-rich chia seeds, the flavor profiles of ginger and cinnamon, plus the natural sweet taste of honey, and you have a winning combination that not only tastes outstanding, but is good for you.
I have used California Walnut and Fig Energy Bars in many different areas of the hotel at which I work. I have offered these as part of a morning coffee break for meeting attendees. They have been part of a continental breakfast. They have been part of an in-room amenity, and they have also been complimentary in our fitness facilities.
It’s important to balance nutrition and appealing flavor in a snack bar. This is a very important piece of what our guests expect. Ultimately, people want to snack on something that tastes great, while still offering nutritional benefits. When you reach for something to snack on, the full flavor and texture profile must be there.
The naturally nutrient-rich nutritional profiles of the walnuts and chia, including additions of omega-3s, fiber and protein to the bar, are hard to match. You don’t need to eat a lot to get your daily recommended values, and they add great texture to the bar as well.
When scaling the recipe up for more-dedicated production to create a shelf-stable product, some of the ingredients may require substitution, such as sourcing dried fig pieces and perhaps liquid egg products. There needs to be a strong focus on the R&D side to get it right. Ultimately, any scaled-up version should retain this bar’s signature flavor.