Fig Season: All About this Nutritious Fruit

Fig Season: All About this Nutritious Fruit

By Richie Santucci, RDN, LD, CDE, NCSF-CPT

Sponsored By Kraft-Heinz

Did you know that mid-summer to early fall is fig season? More importantly, do you know about the benefits this sweet and delicious fruit has to offer? Find out how to pick the perfect fig, how to prepare them and get some fun fig recipes to try with the family!

Fun Fig Facts

Figs are a nutritious fruit that can be incorporated into a healthy diet anytime, anywhere! Just 3-5 dried (¼ cup) or fresh (½ cup) figs count as one fruit serving, contributing just 100 calories and a whopping 20% of your daily value for fiber. That’s a punch of nutrition! And while the peak of fresh fig season is mid-to-late summer, dried figs are dehydrated and packaged at their peak freshness, so they’re delicious all year round!

Fig Ripeness and Storage

When are figs ripe? You can tell by gently using your thumb to feel if they’re soft (not mushy). Hard figs don’t ripen as well as other fruits once picked. For best results, keep hard figs at room temperature for a few days to continue the ripening process. Figs are ready when they first fall off the tree, and stay fresh for only a short time after.

For best results, they can be enjoyed within a few days and can be stored in the fridge to help prolong their shelf life. Dried figs can be stored in a cool, dry place for a much longer period of time. Before eating a fresh fig, be sure to wash and remove the stems. The whole fruit is edible, and it’s beneficial to eat the skin as it contains fiber.

Benefits of Figs

Did you know that ½ cup of dried figs has as much calcium as ½ cup of milk? Figs also contain potassium, which is a mineral that supports blood pressure maintenance by blunting sodium’s effects. Figs are also rich in phytonutrients, natural compounds found in plants that support immune health, slow aging and prevent or reduce the risk for chronic diseases. That’s good reason enough to incorporate sweet-tasting figs into your eating routine!

There are also a handful of studies suggesting figs may help manage cholesterol, constipation and IBS-C symptoms. Last but not least, some fig varieties outdo most fruits in regards to the amount of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and manganese they contain Figs really are a powerhouse of nutrients – it’s an added bonus that they’re downright delicious, too!

Fantastic Fig Recipes

Another benefit of figs is that they fit nicely in both sweet and savory dishes. They go well with honey and Philadelphia Original Cream Cheese, taste divine when combined with your favorite cheese and Oscar Mayer™ Gluten Free Naturally Hardwood Smoked Bacon, and are even delicious when complemented by dark chocolate or nuts. Enjoy them fresh during fig season, or use dried figs for baking or as a snack. Here are a few fig recipes to enjoy:

Now that you have the 411 on figs, have fun experimenting with them! Try this fancied-up grilled cheese with fig jam for some added sweetness.

Fig Season: All About this Nutritious Fruit

Fig Season: All About this Nutritious Fruit

By Richie Santucci, RDN, LD, CDE, NCSF-CPT

Sponsored By Kraft-Heinz

Did you know that mid-summer to early fall is fig season? More importantly, do you know about the benefits this sweet and delicious fruit has to offer? Find out how to pick the perfect fig, how to prepare them and get some fun fig recipes to try with the family!

Fun Fig Facts

Figs are a nutritious fruit that can be incorporated into a healthy diet anytime, anywhere! Just 3-5 dried (¼ cup) or fresh (½ cup) figs count as one fruit serving, contributing just 100 calories and a whopping 20% of your daily value for fiber. That’s a punch of nutrition! And while the peak of fresh fig season is mid-to-late summer, dried figs are dehydrated and packaged at their peak freshness, so they’re delicious all year round!

Fig Ripeness and Storage

When are figs ripe? You can tell by gently using your thumb to feel if they’re soft (not mushy). Hard figs don’t ripen as well as other fruits once picked. For best results, keep hard figs at room temperature for a few days to continue the ripening process. Figs are ready when they first fall off the tree, and stay fresh for only a short time after.

For best results, they can be enjoyed within a few days and can be stored in the fridge to help prolong their shelf life. Dried figs can be stored in a cool, dry place for a much longer period of time. Before eating a fresh fig, be sure to wash and remove the stems. The whole fruit is edible, and it’s beneficial to eat the skin as it contains fiber.

Benefits of Figs

Did you know that ½ cup of dried figs has as much calcium as ½ cup of milk? Figs also contain potassium, which is a mineral that supports blood pressure maintenance by blunting sodium’s effects. Figs are also rich in phytonutrients, natural compounds found in plants that support immune health, slow aging and prevent or reduce the risk for chronic diseases. That’s good reason enough to incorporate sweet-tasting figs into your eating routine!

There are also a handful of studies suggesting figs may help manage cholesterol, constipation and IBS-C symptoms. Last but not least, some fig varieties outdo most fruits in regards to the amount of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and manganese they contain Figs really are a powerhouse of nutrients – it’s an added bonus that they’re downright delicious, too!

Fantastic Fig Recipes

Another benefit of figs is that they fit nicely in both sweet and savory dishes. They go well with honey and Philadelphia Original Cream Cheese, taste divine when combined with your favorite cheese and Oscar Mayer™ Gluten Free Naturally Hardwood Smoked Bacon, and are even delicious when complemented by dark chocolate or nuts. Enjoy them fresh during fig season, or use dried figs for baking or as a snack. Here are a few fig recipes to enjoy:

Now that you have the 411 on figs, have fun experimenting with them! Try this fancied-up grilled cheese with fig jam for some added sweetness.

Fig and Gruyere Bacon Grilled Cheese

Serves: 2 | Prep: 5 minutes | Cook: 10 minutes | Total: 15 minutes | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Spread butter on one side of each slice of bread. Preheat skillet to medium-low.
  2. Spread fig jam on other side of each slice of bread.
  3. Add 2 pieces of bread to skillet, buttered sides down. Sprinkle cheese evenly between each piece of bread. Add 3 strips bacon to each piece of bread. Top each with remaining pieces of bread, fig jam sides down.
  4. Cook 3-5 minutes per side, until crisp and golden brown. Enjoy immediately, refrigerating any leftovers.

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Disclaimer: This information is educational only and is not meant to provide healthcare recommendations. Please see a healthcare provider