You probably remember eating Fig Newtons as a kid (and maybe not liking them), but there are so many more ways to prepare figs than in cookie form. Fresh figs are only available for a short time each year, in the summer and in the fall, but you can find dried figs all year round. There is something to be said about the unique taste and texture of fresh figs. They are lusciously sweet with a texture that combines the chewiness and crunchiness.
Both fresh and dried figs are high in pectin, a soluble fiber that helps lower blood cholesterol. Figs are a good source of potassium, which helps control blood pressure. If you’re looking to slim down, this fruit just might provide a sweet way of doing it. Because they are a good source of dietary fiber, they are linked to having a positive effect on weight management.
Since fresh figs are one of the most perishable fruits, they should be purchased only a day or two in advance of when you are planning on eating them. Look for figs that have a rich, deep color and are plump and tender, but not mushy. They should have firm stems and be free of bruises. Though you may look silly, smelling a fig can help you discover their freshness. If it smells sour, it’s probably past its best before date.
Before eating or cooking figs, wash them under cool water and then gently remove the stem. Gently wipe dry, their skin is delicate, but edible. You can replace dried figs in a recipe for fresh figs, or you can simply simmer them for several minutes in water or fruit juice to make them plumper and juicier.
We’re very excited to dive into the world of figs this week, and here are some recipe we’ll be trying:
- Winter Wheat Berry Salad with Figs & Red Onion (the Kitchn)
- Fig & Walnut Bread (Dinner with Julie)
- Pancakes with Fig Balsamic Jam (Authentic Suburban Gourmet)