What Everyone Should Know About Figs

Think figs are just something that fill up a cookie bar? Think again! Figs may be a fruit that live on the back burner, but they’re a delicious, seasonal option for fall cooking. Here’s why figs should be on your next grocery list.

What do they look like?

Figs look like a small, matte-skinned, squat pear. Most figs found in stores have slightly variegated, deep purple skin, topped with a thick green stem; however, there are many fig varieties that come in green, yellow, and bright purple. Inside, you’ll find a shallow layer of white flesh, followed by a pink middle flesh that’s flecked with small, edible yellow seeds.

What do they taste like?

Figs are sweet, soft and tender, and have a taste similar to a combination between an apple and a berry. The skin on a fig is edible, so dig in!

Why are they good for me?

The standard American diet is packed with sodium-heavy processed foods, which can lead to increased blood pressure. Potassium-rich foods like figs can help balance out the impact of sodium on blood pressure. Figs are also a great source of dietary fiber, which helps keep you feeling full after a meal and your digestive system on track.

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When and where do I get them?

Fresh figs can be difficult to find if you live outside of a warm climate—try looking in the specialty produce section at your local supermarket during late summer or early autumn. You’re much more likely to track down dried figs, which have many of the same nutritional benefits. Just be sure you pick dried figs that aren’t treated with sulfites to protect color. Many people have adverse reaction to sulfites (without knowing they do) that might cause headaches or digestive issues.

How do I prepare figs?

Like most fruits, figs are meant to be eaten raw. You can eat the whole fruit—skin, seeds, and all—so chop it up and put it on your yogurt in the morning or pack a fig as a treat with your lunch. Cooked figs are also great in savory recipes such as pizzas and flatbread.

What are some good recipes?

What’s your favorite way to eat figs?

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Cassie Johnston is an award-winning food writer and recipe developer living and working in Southern Indiana. Her work has been feature in national publications such as Gourmet Magazine and The Huffington Post. Cassie’s a big fan of strenuous hikes, cheese, watching sports, Brussels sprouts, and craft beer, and she’ll talk your ear off about her love of local food and seasonal eating. She’s obsessed with social media and loves connecting with new friends!