Figs are often described as having a taste between a strawberry and a peach. Fresh figs are great sources of minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium and iron. They are known for their high fiber content and complex carbohydrates. You may be wondering how to eat fresh figs and enjoy their health benefits. Read on and find out how you can benefit from regularly eating figs.
Figs are best eaten as they are, although some people enjoy them better as preserves. Fig trees in the southern part of the U.S. bear fruits from July until the early winter months. In the northern areas, fig trees may only produce fruits once, usually around the last quarter of the year.
Fresh figs are oozing with natural sugar, which may appear as sugar crystals on the surface. This powdery stuff on the skin is not a sign of spoilage. There is a way to remove these sugar crystals if you don’t find them appealing. You can do this by sprinkling some water on figs and then microwaving them under high for about a minute.
Fresh figs can easily be cut using a pair of scissors or a knife. You may find, however, that figs would sometimes leave a sticky film, and if this happens, simply wash the knife or the scissors under hot water to remove the sugary syrup.
Figs can come in different colors – brown, green, purple, yellow and even black. The colors depend on the fig variety. Fresh figs that will not be eaten right away can be stored in the fridge for a maximum of three days. After about three days, figs would often get moldy, so it is best to eat them right after you buy them. Remember that unlike some fruits, figs no longer ripens once they are picked and so make sure that you are buying only fresh, ripened figs.
If you find yourself craving for figs during a time when they are not in season, a good alternative would be dried figs. They can be eaten as desserts, or stewed with other fruits, or may be added to some appetizing dishes.
Make sure that you are not buying dried figs with very high sulfite or potassium sorbate content. These are preservatives which can actually increase the water weight of the figs. One way to know whether the dried figs you are buying have too much preservative is to look at the color of the figs. Natural, safe dried figs are those that are not soaked in preservatives or chemicals. They are usually darker in color and has a stronger flavor than those that have been treated with preservatives. They can also be soaked in water before eating, to soften them. They can improve the taste of many dishes because of their natural sweetness.
Dried figs can be kept in the fridge from six months to about one year. These figs should be kept in airtight containers to retain their quality. Consume dried figs within one year of purchase.
Now that you know how to eat fresh figs, make them a regular part of your diet in order to enjoy the health benefits you can get from these delightful fruits. Figs will enhance your digestion, increase your energy and provide your body with vitamins and minerals.