The Fig…You can get it dried almost anywhere in the world and fresh and luscious from September through to autumn.
There is nought like the taste of a fresh fig and dried they are different but sweet, with a chewy flesh and crunchy edible seeds.
Fig trees have no blossoms on their branches …The blossoms are inside the fig. Many tiny flowers which produce the crunchy little edible seeds that give figs their unique texture.
They are sweet with a chewy flesh, smooth skin and crunchy edible seeds.They are also one of the only fruits to ripen on the tree.
Did you know? Fig puree can replace fat/sugar in baked goods? Well neither did I until fairly recently a fig puree can be used as a sugar and fat substitution.
Just combine 8 ounces of fresh figs and 1/4 -1/3 cup of water in a blender; puree until smooth. If using dried figs, soak figs in water until softened before pureeing. Use as you would applesauce in baked recipes, as a substitution for both fat and sugar. Replace up to half the fat in a recipe with fig puree, and reduce or eliminate the sugar required.
Or use the puree as a spread over toast and fruits; or thin it out with more water and use as a liquid sweetener for coffee, drinks and in place of honey or maple syrup in your recipes.
The fig is also a great source of fibre, vitamins and minerals. It has Vitamin A, B1, and B2…. 3 figs have 5 gm of fibre..so if you are not careful you could if you eat too many figs end up with the “back door trots”. This is an old English saying just in case you were wondering.
In the Indian sub-continent, it is made into a soothing, calming salve which if applied by a topical application it can provide relief to Venereal Disease. Although more research needs to be done to prove its effectiveness.
The Spaniards introduced figs to California in the early 16th century. The priests who lived in San Diego at the “Mission” originally planted the figs and the dark purple figs became known as Mission figs.
Native to the Middle East and western Asia the fig tree Ficus Carica is also a symbol of abundance, fertility and sweetness cultivated since ancient times it is mentioned many times in the bible and probably why many also believe that it was not apples in the garden of Eden but figs which tempted Adam and Eve. Now that is a thought.
Figs made their first commercial product appearance with the 1982 introduction of Fig Newtons cookies…I just love fig bars.
Did you know that eating one-half a cup of figs has as much calcium as drinking a half a cup of milk?
Figs also go wonderfully with blue cheese and wrapped in parma ham they are to die for. Just saying…
So all in all like The Fig lots of these herbs, fruits and vegetables which we take for granted or don’t think about even think of trying…and if you did you may even like them… Most have amazing healing properties and I think we should look at what we have growing naturally in our beautiful world instead of buying all these ready-made processed foods which are not even convenient most of the time and full of nasties…
Here endeth the sermon…
This fig sauce is made with dried figs and is lovely over duck breasts or chicken.
- 12 dried black figs with the stems trimmed off.
- 1 1/2 cups of fresh chicken stock
- 2 sliced mushrooms
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
- 2 tbsp brandy
- 1 sprig rosemary although I will admit to adding a bit more…
- Salt and pepper to Taste
Firstly in a small saucepan cook the black figs in the chicken stock for about 10 minutes until soft, remove from the stock and chop finely and return to the stock. Set to one side.
In a small pan melt the butter and add the finely chopped garlic and mushrooms cook for 30 secs don’t allow to burn as garlic it catches quite quickly. Add the brandy and simmer for 1 minute.Add rosemary sprig and fig stock and figs simmer for 3 minutes until slightly thickened. Season with salt and pepper.
Just serve over your sliced duck breasts it is a lovely rich sauce and nice for that special occasion.
If fresh figs are in season then they are lovely served with the duck breast…
I hope you are enjoying Fruity Fridays don’t forget if you have a fruit you would like me to feature please send me a picture…
Previous weeks posts in case you missed them.