Fresh figs are an ancient delight and have been revered since 9200 B.C. Did you know…the ancient Greeks loved figs so much they created laws to prevent their export? Well thank goodness for us as that was several thousand years ago and now to enjoy this “fruit of the gods,” only requires a trip to your local grocery store.
Here’s a fun bit of fig trivia… figs aren’t really a fruit. It’s kind of like how a tomato isn’t really a vegetable. Figs are the flower of the plant and the seeds within the fig are the fruit. Strange, right? But oh so delicious.
Figs have a delicate floral honey taste and are succulent in texture. If you haven’t tried a fresh fig before the texture may surprise you, but once you taste it – I promise you’ll be hooked.
Always buy figs that are ripe. They should smell sweet and be soft, but never mushy. Make sure there are no bruises or blemishes on them.
Fresh figs are a favorite ancient superfood that can be used in sweet or savory dishes.
Fantastic Benefits of Figs
- Figs contain more calcium than a cup of milk. If you’re looking to increase your calcium intake you might want to pick up some dried figs. Half a cup of dried figs contains the same amount of calcium as half a cup of milk.
- The high potassium, magnesium, and vitamin K content of figs helps to counter act calcium loss and builds bone density.
- If you are watching your weight, figs are high in fiber, which can help you feel full longer and prevent hunger cravings.
- If you have a low iron count, are anemic, or expecting you’ll want to eat more figs since these little fruits are rich in iron that helps to create new red blood cells.
- Figs contain tryptophan, which aids in balancing moods, induces relaxation, prevents insomnia, and helps you sleep better at night.
- And even cancer prevention? The Hebrew University School of Pharmacy in Jerusalem, Israel found that fig resin suppressed cancer cells. A study on fig leaves from the University of Calabria in Italy, showed that the leaves contained a higher antioxidant potential for treating and inhibiting non-melanoma skin cancer growth.
Healthy Fig Recipe: Fresh Figs Fruit Salad
- 10 fresh figs (black Mission figs, green Calimyrna, or brown turkey figs)
- 2 red pluots
- 1 peach
- 10 strawberries
- 1 kiwi
- ¼ cup raw almonds
- ¼ cup pistachios
- ½ cup dried cherries
- ¼ cup dried coconut flakes
- ¼ tsp sea salt (optional)
- Thoroughly wash and dry all fruit.
- Remove skin from kiwi with a vegetable peeler and cut in ½ inch slices then cut in quarters.
- Remove pits from pluots and peach then cut in quarters.
- Cut tops off strawberries and fresh figs then cut in quarters.
- Add nuts, cherries, coconut flakes, and salt.
- Combine well and let sit in refrigerator for at least 20 minutes. This will give the flavors a chance to combine.
- Serve and enjoy! (Serves 6-8)
5 More Delicious Ways to Eat Fresh Figs
Fresh fig season doesn’t stay around for long, they appear at the beginning of summer around June and are in season through early fall, so enjoy them while you can.
Here’s some delicious ways to eat more figs:
- Drizzle cut fresh figs with aged balsamic vinegar. Serve in a wine glass for a impressive dessert presentation.
- Steep figs in orange zest with sherry or cognac for 5 hours (or up to 24 hours). Serve over Greek yogurt with a swirl of honey.
- Wrap bacon around a whole fig, skewer with a toothpick and broil for 5-7 minutes until bacon is crisp. This makes a great party appetizer.
- Serve cut fresh figs with fresh ricotta, thyme, and honey.
- Roast 10 whole garlic cloves, 8-10 fresh figs, 3 shallots, in a shallow ceramic baking dish, with 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until garlic and shallots are caramelized. Sprinkle with fresh crushed rosemary, red pepper flakes, & sea salt. This “spread” can be eaten with everything. Enjoy!