Facts About Figs

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Even though you can purchase dried figs throughout the year, there is nothing like the unique taste and texture of fresh figs. In season now the fresh fruit are lusciously sweet with a texture that combines the chewiness of their flesh, the smoothness of their skin, and the crunchiness of their seeds. Figs range dramatically in color and subtly in texture depending upon the variety.

Figs are often called one of the “world’s healthiest foods” because of the numerous health benefits they provide. One medium fig contains only 37 calories. Figs are known to:

  • Aid in cancer prevention, regular consumption of figs can reduce the risk of breast cancer and colon cancer.
  • Reduce cholesterol, the soluble fiber found in figs called pectin helps in reducing blood cholesterol.
  • Prevent high blood pressure and heart attack. The content of potassium, omega 3 and omega 6 on fig fruit helps to maintain blood pressure and coronary heart attacks.
  • Reduce fatigue, improve brain memory and prevent anemia.
  • Aid in weight loss, due to the high fiber content.

Ginger-Glazed Figs & Yams

Ingredients

  • 1½ pounds yams (about 3 medium)
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) thinly sliced fresh figs
  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1½ teaspoons grated fresh gingerroot or 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ⅓ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon pepper

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Peel yams and cut into ½-inch thick slices. In large saucepan fitted with a steamer basket, bring 2 inches of water to a boil. Add yams and cover. Cook until just tender when pierced with a knife, about 8 minutes.
  2. In shallow, greased 1 or 1½-quart baking dish, arrange yams, slightly overlapping, and top with figs. (Recipe can be made one day in advance up to this point.)
  3. Melt butter in small saucepan over low heat. Stir in ginger and heat about 1 minute. Add brown sugar and stir until dissolved; add lemon juice, salt and pepper. Pour mixture evenly over yams and figs and bake until the yams are lightly glazed on top, about 15 minutes.

Serves 6. Each serving contains: 226 calories, 6 g fat, 15 mg cholesterol, 2 g protein, 41 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber, 1 mg iron, 186 mg sodium, 65 mg calcium, 411 mg potassium.

Roasted Pork with Spicy Fig Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 can (4 to 5 ounces) chopped mild green chilies
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 packet (1⅜ ounce or 1.5 ounce) enchilada sauce mix, divided
  • 14 ounces reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup chopped fresh figs
  • 2½ pounds pork tenderloin
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Directions

  1. For sauce: heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Stir in onion; cook 4 minutes. Add canned chilies, garlic, and marjoram; cook 3 minutes. Stir ¼ cup dry enchilada sauce mix into skillet; reserve remaining mix (about 1 tablespoon) to rub on pork. Add broth, stirring to dissolve sauce mix. Add figs, cover and simmer 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and puree half the sauce mixture in a blender or food processor; stir back into remaining sauce in skillet. Sauce will be thick. Add ¼- to ½-cup (or more) water and thin sauce to desired consistency.
  2. To cook pork, heat oven to 325ºF. Rub reserved enchilada sauce mix on pork tenderloins and place on roasting pan. Cook until internal temperature of thickest part of tenderloins registers 160ºF on meat thermometer, about 35 to 45 minutes. To serve, gently reheat fig sauce; stir in cilantro. Slice pork and arrange on a serving platter; top with sauce.

TIP: The spicy fig sauce is even better made a few hours or a day ahead. Refrigerate sauce and reheat gently before serving.

Serves 8. Each serving contains: 299 calories, 6 g fat, 83 mg cholesterol, 30 g protein, 28 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber, 2 mg iron, 409 mg sodium, 64 mg calcium, 677 mg potassium.

Fig and Lime Jam

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice (about 3 limes)
  • 2 pounds fresh Brown Turkey figs, cut into (¼-inch) pieces (about 6 cups)

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large heavy saucepan; mash fig mixture with a potato masher until combined. Let stand 2 hours.
  2. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat; simmer 35 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken slightly, stirring occasionally. Cool completely. Cover and chill overnight.

Yields 4 cups. 2 tablespoons per serving contains: 70 calories 70, 0.1 g fat, 0.2 g protein, 18.1 g carbohydrate, 0.8 g fiber, 0.0 mg cholesterol, 0.0 mg sodium, 10 mg calcium.

Fudgy Fig Pudding Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • 1½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped fresh figs
  • ⅓ cup semisweet chocolate morsels, optional
  • ¼ cup chopped, toasted pecans
  • ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1¾ cup hottest tap water

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. In ungreased 8 or 9-inch square pan, stir together flour, sugar, 3 tablespoons cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. With fork, blend in milk, butter and vanilla until smooth. Stir in figs, chocolate morsels and pecans. Sprinkle brown sugar and remaining ¼ cup cocoa evenly over top. Pour hot water evenly over top. Do not stir.
  2. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until sauce forms on bottom and cake on top is set. Cool for 15 minutes. Serve in dessert dishes, spooning sauce from bottom of pan over each serving. Top with ice cream or whipped cream and fresh raspberries, if desired.

Serves 9. Each serving contains: 317 calories, 8 g fat, 15 mg cholesterol, 3 g protein, 60 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 222 mg sodium, 130 mg calcium, 291 mg potassium.