Matthew Kaplan is the Editor for FaveDiets.com, a free online resource featuring hundreds of free healthy recipes, healthy cooking tips and loads more. Be sure to check out FaveDiets on Facebook and on Twitter.
In the fruit world, few fruits are as overlooked as figs. Outside of the ubiquitous Fig Newton, few of us consume figs with any regularity. This is too bad, as figs are bursting with flavor and nutritional value. Whether from fresh figs and dried figs to fig recipes, reconsider adding figs to your healthy eating routine. Here are five reasons why you should be eating figs.
Fresh figs are a seasonal delight
If you have never had a fresh fig before, then you are in for a real treat. They taste very similar to dates or raisins, and are overflowing with sweetness. Prime season for fresh figs is during the tail end of summer and early fall, so be sure to snap up some fresh figs the next time you see them in stores.
Dried figs are always an ideal treat
If you can’t find fresh figs near you, then reach for some dried figs. Available just about everywhere year round, dried figs are like a much more flavorful version of a raisin; Or like a less sweet version of a date. I love keeping some dried figs on hand as a quick afternoon snack, as it cures my sweet tooth better than most other dried fruit varieties.
Just because fresh figs and dried figs are so sweet does not mean that they are bad for your health. If you need to satisfy your sweet tooth in a healthy manner, then figs are definitely the way to go. Eight ounces of figs has less than 200 calories. Plus, figs are a great source of nutrients like potassium, manganese, vitamin B6 and vitamin K. To top it all off, figs are chock full of dietary fiber. For weight loss, dietary fiber is key as it keeps you fuller for longer. Also, dietary fiber helps to regulate blood sugar and cholesterol, and it keeps your digestive system happy.
Sweet fig recipes are always yummy
Since figs are so naturally sweet, it makes sense that figs are a perfect fit for sweeter recipes. Add some dried figs to your favorite granola and trail mix recipes, or use dried figs to make these Fig Energy Balls. Use fresh figs to sweeten up your mornings too. Try adding some fresh figs to your oatmeal or bowl of dry cereal for added sweetness in the morning.
Savory fig recipes hit the empty spot
Adding sweet fruit to savory dinner recipes is a great way to balance out the flavors in your meal. In particular, healthy pork and chicken dishes are beefed up when figs are added. If you need some ideas on how to incorporate eating figs during dinner, try out these recipes for Pork Medallions with Fig and Port Wine Sauce and Healthy Dried Fig and Apricot Stuffing. Another example of including figs in your entrees are these Quesadillas with Goat Cheese, Figs, and Carmelized Onions. If you’re feeling more adventurous, try using dried figs instead of raisins in savory supper dishes. Also, fresh figs make a great addition to salads.
Either way, when you’re cooking with an ingredient as flavorful as figs, it is hard to go wrong with your dish.
September 16th, 2011