Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Delicious Early Fall Snack: FIGS!

Ever tried a fresh fig? I hadn't until just a couple months ago. Wow... what a great experience! Go find some while it's still FIG SEASON! :) It's almost over!

Figs have been part of the culinary scene for a very long time. We can be sure they were a frequent treat in the Garden of Eden, as the noted presence of their leaves (Genesis 3:7) makes quite likely. They can be used in all kinds of different ways... in salads, as a sauce, on a pizza, in ice cream... I like them best like this:

Doesn't it look delicious?! YUM.

There are a few different kinds of figs that are usually available in our grocery stores (if you, like me, do not live in "fig country"). The kind pictured is called a Brown Turkey fig. Other common varieties are the dark-colored Black Mission, and greenish hued Kadota, Calimyrna, and Adriatic. Each has its own unique flavor, some sweeter, others less so.

According to the World's Healthiest Foods website, figs are a good source of:
  • Antioxidants
  • Dietary fiber
  • Calcium
  • Potassium
  • Manganese
  • Their leaves have also been used to treat diabetes, cancer, and conditions of high triglycerides.
Their season is June through early October... so get some while you can! (If you do miss out though, dried figs are also delicious).
Here are some ways to use fresh and dried figs:
  • Fresh Fig and Rose Smoothie: (Add some red lettuce to make it more nutritious, without spoiling the color with greens)
  • Fruit Salad of fresh figs, grapes, and kiwi
  • A HUGE salad of leafy greens (mixed spring greens or fresh herb salad) + grapefruit sections + dried figs (cut in halves or quarters) + pecans + dressing of olive oil, grapefruit juice, honey, sea salt
  • Add dried figs to your favorite homemade granola recipe
  • Stir dried figs into your breakfast porridge
  • Eat a fresh fig like an apple and savor the flavor...
  • Take a dried fig in one hand and some good organic dark chocolate in the other. Nibble some fig, then chocolate, then fig, then chocolate. Get more figs and chocolate. Continue. ;)
How about you? Have you had fresh or dried figs? How do you most enjoy them? Any ideas or recipes to share?

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