Nothing can compare to the yummy and unique taste and the texture of fresh figs. They are lusciously sweet, smooth and moist and also crunchy thanks to their seeds. Finally it is autumn and we can indulge in them.
But not only is this ancient fruit which can be traced back to the earliest of times with mentions in the Bible and other ancient writings , super yummy but also really healthy: 1 medium fig contains 6% fiber, 4% B6 , 3% copper, 3% manganese, 3% potassium and 3% pantothenic acid.
The health benefits range from lowering high blood pressure, losing weight, protection against postmenopausal breast cancer, insulin lowering leaf in Diabetes, cardiovascular effects, protection against macular degeneration.
How to Select and Store
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 colour and are plump and tender, but not mushy. They should have firm stems and be free of bruises. Smelling figs can also give you clues into their freshness and taste. They should have a mildly sweet fragrance and should not smell sour, which is an indication that they may be spoiled.
Ripe figs should be kept in the refrigerator where they will stay fresh for about two days. Since they have a delicate nature and can easily bruise, you should store them either arranged on a paper towel-lined plate or shallow container. They should be covered or wrapped in order to ensure that they do not dry out, get crushed or pick up odours from neighbouring foods. If you have purchased slightly under-ripe figs, you should keep them on a plate, at room temperature, away from direct sunlight. Dried figs will stay fresh for several months and can either be kept in a cool, dark place or stored in the refrigerator. They should be well wrapped so that they are not over exposed to air that may cause them to become hard or dry.
Tips for Preparing and Cooking
Before eating or cooking figs, wash them under cool water and then gently remove the stem. Gently wipe dry.
A few Serving Ideas
When preparing oatmeal or any other whole grain breakfast porridge, add some dried or fresh figs.
Poach figs in juice or red wine and serve with yogurt or frozen desserts.
Add quartered figs to a salad of fennel, arugula and shaved Parmesan cheese.
Fresh figs stuffed with goat cheese and chopped almonds can be served as hors d'oeuvres or desserts.