Figs are one of my favorite fruits, and fig season is one of the delicious previews of the fall season. However, figs are only with us for a short time each year and I practically live on them when they are available. We are near the end of this year’s season, which runs July through September. So savor them while you still can. You can find dried figs all year long, but fresh are really the best.
Did you know that although we refer to the fig as a fruit, it is actually a flower inverted into itself? How cool is that! Of the hundreds of varieties, the most commonly known are the Calimyrna, Mission, Kadota, and the Brown Turkey Fig (my favorite).
Have you ever gently sunk your lips into a fresh fig? If all you have ever tried are Fig Newtons, you do not know what you are missing! If you like(d) the Fig Newton, you will probably be delighted with the fresh fig. I can make a meal on them, and have many times. One of my favorite ways to enjoy figs is in a smoothie (see below for recipe).
The best way to choose them fresh is to look for figs that are soft and smell sweet. You must handle them gently though as their fragile skins do bruise easily. Once you purchase them, you should eat them quickly because they only last a couple of days in the frig. They are a delicious addition to smoothies and make the perfect sugar substitute for a change from honey, agave or maple syrup.
Here is the nutritional breakdown of a half cup of fresh raw figs:
Serving Size 1/2 cup raw (74g)
Amounts Per Serving
% Daily Value
Calories from Fat 0
Total Fat 0g
Saturated Fat 0g
Total Carbohydrate 24g
Dietary Fiber 2g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
2 organic bananas
3 or 4 fresh organic figs
2 handfuls of fresh organic baby spinach, or other leafy green of your choice
4-6 ounces of filtered water, or coconut water
You can accent the flavor with fresh or frozen berries, peaches or nectarines.
Sometimes I toss in a heaping tablespoon of raw organic cacao powder.
If you are a connoisseur of figs and have a good recipe to share, please do.