Figs are a sweet, delicious fruit, not to mention they’re aesthetically beautiful and loved for their placement on cheese boards, and topping toasts and cakes. Figs can be eaten fresh or dry and they’re incredibly versatile to use in your favourite recipes for every meal. Irresistibly combined with salty flavours like prosciutto, ham and cheese, while also perfect for your favourite baked goods, and excellent as a meat tenderizer, figs can do it all. Take a look at our favourite fig recipes as well as tips for cooking and baking with figs!
5 Health Benefits of Figs
1. Rich in Antioxidants
Figs, especially when dried, are brimming with antioxidants. They have a high polyphenol content, and polyphenols have protective antioxidant properties, which means they help prevent oxygen from reacting with other chemicals and causing damage to cells. The powerful antioxidants in figs offer free radical protection, helping to slow down aging and boost immune function.
2. Healthy Digestion
Figs are rich in fibre and are known for their laxative properties. They’re often used as a natural remedy for constipation, aiding with regular bowel movements. Thanks to their fibre content, they also promote digestive health by softening and adding bulk to stools and serving as a prebiotic, which leads to a healthy gut.
3. Good for Your Bones
Figs contain calcium and magnesium – two minerals that play a key role in keeping your bones healthy and strong. Along with being rich in those minerals, figs also contain a compound called strontium, which has been shown to contribute to bone health.
4. Help Prevent Heart Disease
Figs can reduce the levels of bad cholesterol in the blood. Bad LDL cholesterol is linked to a risk of developing heart disease. Figs are rich in the soluble fibre called pectin, which is essential in eliminating excess cholesterol from the digestive tract before it makes its way into the rest of the body. Figs are also rich in omega-3 and omega-6, which can help keep triglyceride levels in check to reduce the risk for heart disease.
5. Lower Blood Pressure
Many of us consume a diet that’s high in salt and processed foods. A high consumption of sodium can lead to a potassium deficiency, and this imbalance can lead to high blood pressure (hypertension). Figs are a great source of potassium, which is needed to negate the harmful effects of sodium and manage blood pressure. A diet rich in potassium also aids in blood circulation and digestive problems.
2 Risks of Eating Figs
1. Digestive Issues
Since figs are high in fibre (and sometimes used as a home remedy for constipation), eating too many figs can cause digestive issues such as diarrhea. This can happen especially when you eat too many dried figs, so make sure to eat (and cook with) them in moderation.
2. Medication Interaction
Figs contain a high level of vitamin K, which can interfere with blood thinning medications and cause them to be less effective. If you’re taking these medications, you need to keep your vitamin K levels consistent, so you may want to steer clear of figs. Be sure to consult with your health care professional.
3 Tips for Cooking and Baking with Figs
1. Make Use of Fresh Figs’ Moisture Content
Use fresh figs in ways that make use of their moisture, such as in cakes and muffins. The moisture will keep them from getting stale, so they’ll taste fresher for longer. You can also use this to your advantage by using them in recipes that are often quite dry, like scones. Using fresh figs will ensure a moister end result.
2. Where to Use Dried Figs
Since dried figs have a much lower moisture content, they work great in recipes where they need to hold their shape. Think: bread, scones, biscotti and cookies. You can use them in anything you’d use dates, raisins, and other dried fruits in.
3. Working With Dried Figs
Since dried figs are high in sugar, they tend to stick together. When chopping dried figs with a knife or kitchen shears, occasionally dip the cutting instrument into warm water to prevent sticking. If you want to separate dried figs that are stuck together, place them in the microwave for 10 to 15 seconds. And if they seem too hard or dry, you can soak, steam or poach them to restore moisture.
15 Fig Appetizers & Snacks
1. Elegant Fig Appetizers with Goat Cheese and Almonds | All Recipes
2. Fig Crostini with Balsamic Vinegar | The Spruce Eats
3. Fig Appetizer with Brie and Spiced Honey | Just a Little Bit of Bacon
4. Stuffed Figs with Goat Cheese | Tori Avey
5. Figs Prosciutto Appetizer | Soup Addict
6. Figs with Bacon and Chile | Epicurious
7. Fig Crostini with Goat Cheese and Pistachios | Ahead of Thyme
8. Fig and Goat Cheese Toasts | Barefoot Contessa
9. Robiola-Stuffed Figs with Pomegranate | Saveur
10. Fig Bruschetta | White on Rice Couple
11. Brie, Apple and Fig Crostini | Tikkido
12. Caramelized Onion and Fig Puff Pastry | Boulder Locavore
13. Fig Crumble Bars | Mon Petit Four
14. Easy Baked Brie with Figs and Honey | The View From Great Island
15. Fig and Burrata Appetizer | Wanderlust and Wellness
15 Fig Recipes for Lunch and Dinner
1. Roasted Kale, Avocado and Fig Salad | Julip Made
2. Pancetta and Fig Pasta | My Recipes
3. Focaccia with Figs, Caramelized Onions and Gorgonzola Cheese | Italian Food Forever
4. Pork Chops with Fig and Grape Agrodolce | Epicurious
5. Rosemary Flank Steak with Fig Salsa | My Recipes
6. Pizza Bianco with Caramelized Onion, Blue Cheese, Figs and Balsamic | Drizzle and Dip
7. Fig and Walnut Spaghetti | Green Kitchen Stories
8. Roasted Sweet Potato and Fig Kale Salad | The Roasted Root
9. Fresh Fig and Avocado Grilled Cheese | Ascension Kitchen
10. Fig and Rosemary Chicken Pizza | Foodie Fresh
11. Grilled Potato and Fig Salad | Floating Kitchen
12. Chicken with Port and Figs | Food and Wine
13. Salted Honey Fig Toast | Fork in the Road
14. Arugula Apple Fig Salad | Flavor the Moments
15. Fig and Prosciutto Flat Breads | Food and Wine
15 Fig Desserts That Satisfy
1. Fig Tart with Vanilla Scented Frangipane | Purple Foodie
2. Grilled Figs with Honeyed Mascarpone | The Kitchn
3. Chocolate Covered Figs | Give Recipe
4. Fig and Semolina Cake | Recipes From a Pantry
5. Fig, Honey and Goat Cheese Galette | Kitchen Confidante
6. Roasted Fig and Ginger Ice Cream | A Classic Twist
7. Raw Fig, Cherry and Lavender Cake | Ascension Kitchen
8. Vanilla Fig Scones | Food 52
9. Raspberry and Fig Cake | Food and Wine
10. Homemade Fig Newtons | Curious Cuisinerie
11. Fig, Tahini and Chocolate Chip Cookies | David Lebovitz
12. Figgy Pudding | Food
13. Fresh Fig Ice Cream | Wonky Wonderful
14. Fig Coffee Cake | Good Dinner Mom
15. Caramelized Figs | Veggies Save the Day
If you’re looking to add more figs to your diet, try our cooking tips and healthy fig recipes to reap their beauty and benefits.