Fresh figs, the most delicious fruit ever disguised in a not so pretty shell. They are truly one of my favorites, but my boyfriend thinks their disgusting, my brother prefers not to try them, and one of my sisters will not even give them a chance because she thinks they look gross. Maybe all of them just need to give figs a second chance because they are beautiful and full of juicy sweet flavors. I wish I lived in an area where I was able to go in my own backyard to pick fresh figs off of my fig tree like my parents did. I have to wait till June when they are in season to buy these beauties, meanwhile, my mother told me stories upon stories about when she was a little girl and would go on morning hikes to pick fresh figs. Needless to say, I was jealous.
These pretty fruits are not only nice to eat for their sweetness, but they are fully loaded with phytonutrients, vitamins and antioxidants.
1. Weight Management
- The fig fruit is naturally low in calories with only 74 calories per 100 g. They are a food that is fiber-rich allowing them to have a positive effect on weight control and weight loss.
- Figs contain antioxidants such as vitamin A, E, and K. These compounds help fight against harmful free radicals in the body, thus protecting us from inflammation, cancers, and infections.
3. Lowers Blood pressure.
- Dried figs are considered an excellent sources of minerals such as calcium, copper, potassium, manganese, iron, selenium and zinc. They contain 680mg of potassium per 100 g. Since most people in America do not consume enough fruits and vegetables in addition to a high sodium diet, potassium is an important component that helps reduce blood pressure. Copper is required for red blood cell (RBC) production and iron is needed for RBC formation and cellular oxidation.
4. Controls Blood Sugar Levels
- Studies have shown that chlorogenic acid in figs help lower and control blood sugar levels in type II diabetes mellitus. (adult onset)
5. Metabolizes Macronutrients
- Dried and fresh figs contain good levels of vitamin B-complex. Niacin, pyridoxine, folates, and pantothenic acid are all co-factors in the metabolism for fats, CHOs, and proteins.
The combination of figs + melon + kale added up to be one of the most amazing fully raw salads I have ever made, and I have made countless amounts of salads. I whipped up a honey-lemon vinaigrette to drizzle on top that really pulls all the flavors together. Thank heavens there are plenty of leftovers for my lunches all week!
Raw Fig Melon Kale Salad
- 6 fresh figs, whole
- 2 cups honey dew melon, diced
- 2 cups cantaloupe, diced
- 1 bunch kale (~4-5 cups)
- 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
- 1/3 cup cilantro, loosely packed
- salt and ground pepper to taste
Honey Lemon Vinaigrette
- juice of 1 lemon
- Zest of lemon
- 1 Tbsp and 1 tsp organic honey
1. Prep fruit and veggies by washing, drying, and dicing melon, cantaloupe, figs, and onions. You can tear the kale off the stem by hand and mince cilantro. Toss ingredients into a large salad bowl and mix. I tossed the cut up figs in last so the dish could look more aesthetically pleasing.
2. Mix honey and lemon juice together until the honey fully dissolves. Pour vinaigrette evenly over salad and top with lemon zest.
When picking figs, choosing the fully ripened ones will ensure the highest levels of antioxidants. Ripe figs should be kept in the refrigerator and will typically keep for 2 days. Here are a few more ideas on how to serve figs:
- Add fresh figs to salads, raw desserts, or cakes.
- Dried figs can added to soups, stews, or poultry dishes.
- Enjoy figs whole on their own or added as topping on baked goods.
- Marinate figs to make sauces for desserts.
Per serving : Calories: 95; Total Fat: 0.4 g (Saturated Fat: 0.1 g); Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 30.2 mg; Potassium: 380.4 mg; Total Carbs: 13.8 g; Dietary Fiber: 2.9 g; Protein: 1.9 g; Calcium: 5.6%.