When I was little I had a thing against Fig Newtons which automatically made me assume I didn’t like figs.
It wasn’t until a few months back when my husband brought home fresh figs and forced me to try them. I attempted to sputter out my 10-year-old Fig Newton experience and how I didn’t like them…it didn’t work. Now I have to say I LOVE figs and I have been missing out. Big time. Scrumptiously sweet with velvety skin and crunchy seeds, all combined to make a unique fruit that deserves to be talked about.
My fig obsession continues to grow. The other day for lunch I had a sandwich with fresh mozzarella and fig spread. Heaven in my mouth. I swear recently everywhere I go I scan a menu first to see if there are any figs to be eaten and then for what healthy options they have. I know…I am ridiculous. But for good reason! The delectable fig fruit that is subtle in honey-like sweetness is not so understated in the nutrition department. High in fiber, potassium and manganese, the low calorie fruit from paradise is a sweet way to lose weight and lower high blood pressure. Not to mention the health benefiting antioxidants, vitamins and phytonutrients that the mulberry family spin-off is packed with. I mean, can it get any better?
The mild flavor of the fig fruit combines well with all of your kitchen favorites. Gorge on figs from morning to night by topping your morning cereal or yogurt, nestling the versatile fruit in your salads or pairing your cheese platters with the fruit that can do it all—bleu, goat, brie or mozzarella cheese all taste divine! Snack on your own trail mix with dried figs or create a scrumptious snack bar made of fig and pumpkin seeds. Dive into a figgy dinner of chicken breasts with honey balsamic fig sauce and end the meal with fig sorbet. And once you make your way out of your fig-coma (as if this would ever happen to the fig obsessed me) make some jam so you can continue to have a taste of the forbidden fruit for days to come.
There are multiple varieties of figs, but the common cultivars are:
- Brown Turkey: Known for the copper skin and sweet, juicy pulp, this is the multipurpose fig that can be eaten and used in many forms.
- Celeste: The violet skinned fig is very sweet with white pulp and can be enjoyed fresh or dry.
- Calimyrna: The green, thick skinned variety is most popular consumed in its dry form as it is less moist and sweet.
- Mission: Best for eating fresh, the purplish black fig is full-flavored with red flesh and a chewy texture.
- Kadota: Another all-purpose fig, the yellow-green variety is sweet with a few small seeds.
Figs are available year round in their dry form, but usually only available fresh from June through September. So just a few short months of waiting! In the meantime I would like to publicly apologize to the Fig Newton team for my completely foolish thoughts about figs (and their newton counterpart). Your new fig and honey fruit thins are the only thing getting me through this fig-less time of my life.
And, in case it wasn’t clear…you should get your fig on ASAP!
Are you fig obsessed like me? Link up your recipes and share your thoughts below. Don’t be shy!