Figs are easily one of my top three fruits. In Bulgaria, everyone knows what to do with figs, starting with eating them right off the tree, and if any of them make it home, we just take it from there.
In America, not so much. But many of my clients and readers buy them at the farmers market, then end up asking me what to do with figs, now that they have them.
Figs are a super seasonal fruit, which makes them seem extra irresistible. Good figs can be hard to find, and once you have them you must move fast or they spoil quickly. Most people are familiar with the Fig Newton, but don’t really know much about figs on their own. It’s a shame, because figs are easily one of the most satisfying, delectably sweet and unforgettable fruits you can eat!
Health benefits of figs
Something this rare must be healthy, right?
Turns out that figs are full of fiber, potassium, magnesium and calcium. They are also beneficial to digestion and blood sugar regulation, and some cultures use them to help with weight loss and reproductive challenges.
In our work with weight loss clients, figs come in as a great addition to a rich and delicious diet centered around whole seasonal produce – much of what we teach is based on the principle of listening to nature when it comes to food. The four seasons help create a menu that will satisfy you, while providing energy and essential nutrients.
When you base your meals around what’s in season and really embrace it, you might find that cravings are lessened, you might feel fuller longer, and you are able to reach and maintain optimal weight without super strict (and unsustainable) dieting.
Roland and I give our seal of approval to figs. All 150 kinds of them. And yes, that’s how many there are!
What is a fig, anyway?
A fig is a synconium, or false fruit …or multiple fruit. It’s complicated.
Fun fact – the fig is actually many fruits in one, and the fig itself starts as an inverted flower. Lot’s of flowers, actually. That you can never see, because it’s, um, inverted. Like I said, it’s complicated.
Another fun fact – that thing at the bottom of the fig that looks like an eye is called an ostiole. It’s the only way into the fig, and that’s complicated, too. More about that, and how figs are pollinated through a crazy relationship with wasps – here.
Now stop thinking about the wasps that sacrificed so much for your figs, and read these recipes!
What to do with figs?
As you probably know, figs ripen quickly. So quickly in fact, that you want to bring them home from the market, or down from the tree, and do something with them just as quick. Don’t worry about what to do with figs, just pick out some good ones and bring them home! Now.
Like right now.
Because they are the best now.
Now that you’ve got them at home, I’m sure you’re wondering just what to do with all the figs!
Fig Street Tacos
When you ask someone what to do with figs, you probably don’t expect them to say ‘make fig tacos,’ but listen, make fig tacos!
- 6 taco shells (whole corn gives these tortillas a darker look, but any organic corn tortilla will do)
- 4 oz goat cheese (use a nut cheese if you don’t do dairy)
- 8 figs, cut into circles
- arugula to decorate and add bitter crunch
Cook the tortillas on a pan, and arrange on a plate.
The rest of the work is just crumbling the cheese, arranging the figs and placing the arugula leaves on top.
What about making arugula pesto and taking things to the next level? Go for it!
Overnight Coconut Oats with Figs and Nut Milk
Overnight oats are super simple – they save cooking time, but they also taste more nutty and clean than cooked oats.
Here, the combination with coconut is spot on – texture and taste complement each other perfectly.
I only made two servings of these, but double and triple as you need.
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup coarsely shredded coconut
- 1 cup nut milk of your choice (almond or coconut is great here)
- 4 figs
Layer the dry ingredients in the two bowls and add the liquid.
Let the oats sit in the fridge overnight.
In the morning, add sliced figs.
You can add more nut milk if you like, but just added spoons and ate!
Spices and flavors you could add: cardamom, vanilla, cinnamon, lemon zest
Figs are a complete experience in and of themselves – smooth skin, juicy and delicate flesh, and crunchy little seeds.
As smooth as they are, they are even smoother when mascarpone cheese helps bring all the flavors and textures together.
For this recipe, we used just a bit of cheese on each fig.
For 16 figs
- 16 figs
- 3 oz mascarpone cheese
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground cardamom
- 1 tbsp maple syrup (optional)
Whisk the mascarpone cheese and cardamom together until smooth. Transfer the cheese mixture to a piping bag (or small plastic bag with a tiny hole). Squeeze just enough on top of each fig to cover it with the cheese.
Depending on the shape of your figs if you want them upright, you may need to slice the bottoms a bit, so you have a flat surface to rest them on.
Enjoy serving, sharing, and eating these little party figs – we love them so much!
Now you truly know what to do with figs
Fig tacos, overnight oatmeal, stuffed with cheese, or just eaten out of hand, figs are healthy and delicious. Now you’ll never wonder what to do with figs again!
What about you? Have you got your own favorite tip for what to do with figs?
Drop us a line below and let us know what you do when you have too many figs!
…if that’s even possible.
PS – Want more recipes? You check out the list of all of our recipes, here: EatMoveLive52 Recipes