What is a fig, what is valuable, and how to eat it

The end of summer is fig season. Fresh purple fruits appear on store shelves, shaped like small onions.

Such figs go well with fresh herbs and complement the usual dishes. And out of season, you can use dried – it is no less tasty and rich in nutrients. The article found out whether it is possible to call figs a fruit, how it is useful, and how to eat and cook them.

What is a fig, and what does it look like

Figs are the fruit of a subtropical fig tree. It is sometimes referred to as “in berry.” When the fruit is overripe, fermentation begins, which is also characteristic of making wine – hence the interesting name.

However, figs are not a berry, fruit, or vegetable. It is correct to call it infertility. It is formed when fig flowers are pollinated and turn into juicy edible fruits.

There are two most common varieties of figs: purple – medium sweet with a hard skin – and green – with a thin skin and a richer sweet taste.

The history of the fig and where it comes from

Figs began to grow on the lands of the Arabian Peninsula and were later brought to the Mediterranean and the Middle East. The plant is unpretentious, but it still needs a lot of sun, so it is supplied to our country from Abkhazia, Uzbekistan, Armenia, and China.

What is a fig, what is valuable, and how to eat it

What are useful figs?

Figs are considered a very useful fruit, but due to what? Fresh fruits are rich in nutrients; one small fresh fig (40 grams) contains:

  • Calories: 30 kcal
  • Protein: 0.3 g
  • Fats: 0.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 8 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Copper: 3% *
  • Magnesium: 2%
  • Potassium: 2%
  • Riboflavin: 2%
  • Thiamine: 2%
  • Vitamin B6: 3%
  • Vitamin K: 2%
What is a fig, what is valuable, and how to eat it

Due to the sugar in the fruit, the calorie content of figs is relatively high. But if you use it in small quantities as a snack or addition to the main meal, it will only benefit the body. The daily portion of figs is 80-100 g fresh (2-3 pcs) or 30-40 g dried (3-4 pcs).

Fresh and dried

It is worth remembering that the calorie content of 100 g of fresh and 100 g of dried figs is very different due to different amounts of liquid. At the same weight, dried figs will have about 3-4 times more nutrients and calories than fresh figs.

What is a fig, what is valuable, and how to eat it

KBJU 100 g fresh figs:

  • Calories: 74 kcal
  • Proteins: 0.7 g
  • Fats: 0.3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 19.2 g

KBJU 100 g dried figs:

  • Calories: 249 kcal
  • Proteins: 3.3 g
  • Fat: 0.9 g
  • Carbs: 63.8

What are the benefits of figs for health?

Various studies have been conducted on the benefits of figs for the body. So far, there are not enough of them to conclude, but we can share the results of some:

  • Figs have long been used as a homemade alternative to constipation remedies. It contains fiber, which can help improve GI health by softening and bulking stools and acting as a prebiotic or food source for healthy gut bacteria. A study on people with irritable bowel syndrome found that eating four figs daily significantly reduced symptoms, including pain, bloating, and constipation.
  • Eating figs also have a beneficial effect on blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which helps to improve the condition of the cardiovascular system and reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.
  • It is believed that figs can also influence the growth of cancer cells. In vitro studies have shown that fig leaves and the latex they contain are active against colon, breast, cervix, and liver cancers.
  • Figs can have beneficial effects on the skin, especially in people with dermatitis or those with dryness and itching. A study in children suffering from this inflammatory condition found that dried fig fruit extract cream helped more than hydrocortisone cream.
What is a fig, what is valuable, and how to eat it

What are dangerous figs?

Figs are not at all dangerous, but they should be used with caution when:

  • irritable bowel syndrome

Figs can cause diarrhea. However, this depends on the amount of fruit eaten. Some may consume a daily serving without symptoms, while others may limit or eliminate the product from their diet due to their well-being.

  • allergies or individual intolerance

Figs have also been included among the plant foods that cause “latex fruit syndrome,” an allergic disease resulting from cross-sensitivity to latex and several types of foods, including figs, papaya, avocado, banana, passion fruit, melon, mango, kiwi, pineapple, peach, and tomato. Latex products could cause an allergic reaction in people allergic to latex or rubber.

How to choose and store figs

When buying figs, there are several nuances to consider:

  • To understand whether a fig is ripe, it is enough to take it in your hand and squeeze it slightly. The fruit should be easy to press.
  • The figs should not be stained or damaged.
  • If there is a light white coating on the peel, do not be afraid, this happens due to the high sugar content.
  • The taste of a quality fruit should be sweet, without sourness.
What is a fig, what is valuable, and how to eat it

You should not buy a lot of figs. This is a perishable product that is best eaten immediately. However, it can be stored in the refrigerator in a container or wrapped in paper or tissue for up to three days so that it does not absorb the smells of other products. If you bring home unripe fruits, they can be left on a shelf for 2-3 days in a dry, dark place to ripen.

For long-term storage, buying dried figs that do not deteriorate for up to six months is better. It can be left in the refrigerator in a container or package. However, you must check from time to time and, if necessary, get rid of spoiled fruits. Before eating dried figs, soak them for half an hour in warm water.

How to eat figs

It is best to eat raw figs. It is enough to cut the fruit in half, scoop out the pulp with a teaspoon, or eat it with the peel if it is not very tough. However, if you want to try something new or surprise your loved ones, you should combine it with other products.

But what do figs go well with?

  1. with various herbs (spinach, arugula, iceberg) seasoned with olive oil, honey, and balsamic sauce
  2. with balsamic sauce (like raspberry)
  3. as a snack, with a handful of almonds
  4. good baked with mini potatoes
  5. with feta cheese on skewers
  6. with prosciutto
  7. with gorgonzola

Dishes with figs: salad, canape, hot and jam

Salad with figs

You will need:
  • arugula or spinach – 50-60 g (can be taken in equal proportions)
  • cherry – 6-7 pcs.
  • figs – 2-3 pcs.
  • pomegranate – a handful
  • of lemon juice
  • balsamic sauce
What is a fig, what is valuable, and how to eat it
How to cook:
  1. Rinse and dry the arugula and/or spinach.
  2. Rinse and dry the figs, and cut each fruit in half.
  3. Rinse and cut cherry tomatoes in half.
  4. Put the ingredients in a salad bowl.
  5. Sprinkle with pomegranate.
  6. Drizzle the salad with balsamic dressing and lemon juice.

Canape with figs

You will need (for one skewer):
  • a piece of fig
  • mozzarella or feta cheese
  • slice of pineapple
What is a fig, what is valuable, and how to eat it
How to cook:
  1. Cut a slice of fig, and string it on a skewer.
  2. Add mozzarella ball or feta cube.

Potatoes with figs

You will need:
  • potatoes – 300 g
  • figs (for every three potatoes – 1 fig.)
  • olive oil
  • sprig of rosemary
How to cook:
  1. Boil potatoes.
  2. Slice the fig.
  3. Fry potatoes with rosemary and figs in olive oil.

Fig jam

You will need:
  • figs – 1 kg
  • sugar – 500 g
  • water – 200 ml
  • zest of half an orange
  • small piece of fresh ginger
What is a fig, what is valuable, and how to eat it
How to cook:
  1. Put the washed figs into a saucepan.
  2. Add sugar and water.
  3. Stir continuously for 30 minutes over low heat.
  4. Remove from fire and cool.
  5. Grate and add orange zest and ginger.
  6. Stir and put on a slow fire for another 20 minutes.

Do you like fresh figs?

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button