Yowsers! We have figs. In fact, we have a disproportionate amount of figs. We have figs coming out our ears all from one very happy (but unknown species) tree.
We planted the little gal (there are male and female plants…. the girls being the producers) about 7 or 8 years ago, and it got off to a very rocky start…. multiple times. Every winter it appeared to die back to the brink of true death until two years ago. Last year we got spoiled by simply eating all we wanted off of the tree. There were enough to pick and eat daily, but not enough to make anything with. This year, the stars must have been lined up right because we have whopper crop this year. I’ve had to get on the ball and start collecting fig recipes. There are some amazing ones out there!
I’ve found this collection at BonAppetit (the figs with bacon and chile is on my ‘to do’ list… Wow… I’ll bet those flavors pop!)
I found a ‘cheeky chilli pepper fig chutney‘ ….. you know anything chef Jamie Oliver puts together is going to be good. My dear friends Aryanne and Martin gave us one of Jamie’s cookbooks several years back. The man knows how to use his ingredients, no question about it. I love that he focuses on using fresh ingredients and prefers seasonal cooking (cooking with what is available at the appropriate season of harvest). I do think that was God’s intention anyway. We were never supposed to eat the same thing 365 days a year like we are prone to do now. It’s probably one of the reasons the standard American diet is typically out of control and obesity and other body system dysfunctions continue to plague our country. If it’s not fresh, it’s likely filled with preservatives and other chemicals to make it taste more appealing.
And finally…. a ‘pear-fig-ginger-jam (with ahem… a dash of whiskey)‘ that we’re gonna have to try. That sounds like it would be incredible over a block of yogurt cream cheese (labnah) or cream cheese with some crackers.
Figs are a food of the Bible, and are loaded chock full of health benefits. God is good that way… giving us just what we need. Dried figs… the most common way people eat chem…. are even more densely loaded with nutrients than fresh. Although I like to eat them both ways, fresh from the tree is my preferred route of nourishment.
The Fig low down:
- high in fiber
- great source of magnesium, manganese, copper, potassium, and calcium (1 dried fig = the calcium in an egg!)
- rich in vitamin K and B6
- contain powerful antioxidants that neutralize disease and dysfunction causing free radicals ( just like some oils I know, love, and use!)
- According to Dr. Mercola’s website figs have some other more unusual uses too… ” Traditional medicine around the world has made use of figs as poultices on tumors, warts, and wounds. The fruit and leaves have been pulverized and gargled to relieve sore throats. Fig extracts and dried figs have been found to contain ingredients that protect the heart, regulate kidney and liver functions, lower blood pressure, lower incidences of macular degeneration, and inhibit some cancers, specifically post menopausal breast cancer.” Holy smokes Figman…. my cornucopia of wellness tools just got a little fuller!
Any of my local friends want some figs? Give me a shout and this farmgirl can hook you up!
Take care, and have a blessed day,