Walking around your neighborhood, you may notice a variety of homegrown So Cal produce. Lemon trees with fruit dangling onto a sidewalk, oranges or limes here and there, but also a fruit that you may not recognize- figs. Fig trees do well in our Mediterranean like climate. Humans cultivated figs earlier than other domesticated crops, and we continue to enjoy them today.
Figs offer 2 unique vitamin and minerals when compared to other fruit- B6 and Copper. Pyridoxine, B6, is abundant in animal foods like poultry and fish, so figs offer a great way to get B6 from a plant source. Like other B vitamins, B6 is important in protein and carbohydrate metabolism, and plays a role in forming hemoglobin, which helps carry oxygen in our blood. The copper in figs also supports metabolism along with brain cell communication and other critical body functions. Eating 4 fresh figs will provide about 20% of daily copper needs, while 3-4 dried figs provides almost 25%, and both of these are only around 100 calories.
Figs are best eaten ripe, straight from the tree, as grocery store bought figs are picked prior to ripening. You’ll have to watch your store bought figs for the softening associated with ripening, and eat them within a day to avoid them getting overripe. But what an amazing, unique tasting treat. Dried figs are a great year round option, and can be eaten alone, or added to salads, oatmeal, or yogurt.
Check out these simple and tasty fresh and dried fig recipes from California Figs. Fig and arugula tostada- yes please!!!