Figs. Naughty or Nice?

20 Apr

Figs. Hhhhmmm. What do we know about figs? Well, they are a biblical food, so they have quite a history. A long history. And for as wonderful as they are, they still a little mysterious in this country. I mean, they are grown in California, so they are a native food. We tend to associate them with mediterranean cuisine, which may seem a bit exotic. It’s time to demystify them. Lets learn about figs!

First, we can enjoy figs either dried or fresh. To enjoy them fresh, get them in season generally from May to January. Choose fresh figs that are soft and have a sweet aroma. Dried figs can be enjoyed all year. They can be found in the produce section of your grocer. Start looking for them. They are there…really, they are!

Time to dig into the nutritional value of figs. Figs are high in dietary fiber. (Um…not sure if that falls under “naughty” or “nice”…) With the busy lifestyle of today promoting eating on the run, getting enough fiber can be a challenge. Figs can help meet the recommended adult intake of 25-35 grams of fiber a day. As far as vitamins and minerals go, figs are a good source of b complex vitamins. Great for the immune system. Minerals like copper and iron are also found in figs. Surprised? Wait! That’s not all!

Figs are also a very good source of calcium. It is a fantastic option for folks that can’t get their calcium from dairy. Calcium is an important component of a healthy diet. Figs also have Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. Figs are also high in potassium, a mineral important for assisting the body with controlling blood pressure.  This is important for good heart health, so eat up!

Interestingly enough, some folks believe that figs have some medicinal properties. Some say that when applied to pimples, acne or boils, it can improve or even cure them. Also, figs can be used as a skin cleanser. Not sure if these are old wives tales or not, but it is believed that figs soaked in water may cure hemorrhoids. Fig leaves have also been used to reduce the need for insulin in some diabetics. Good stuff, right?

So much for the nice. Let’s move to the naughty side of figs. Figs can be a sensual finger food. Sexy. Fun! Pick up these simple ingredients. Grab your significant other because this will be fun and is meant for two! Here is the recipe to get the naughty started.

6-8 figs (this is a recipe for 2)
Blue cheese
4 slices prosciutto cut in half
olive oil
Split the fig open but don’t cut through. Stuff with blue cheese and push it back together. Wrap 1/2 piece of prosciutto around the fig. Place on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Put under the broiler for 2 minutes. Pull them out, remove the figs from the baking sheet, and place on a plate.

Now grab your honey and find a cozy spot. Light some candles and turn the lights low. Sit close to your honey. Pour a glass of your favorite wine (I recommend a bold red with this dish). Toast each other. Flirt. Giggle. Loosen up and let your naughty come out! Pick up a fig with your fingers and feed your sweetie. Lick your fingers. Enjoy the succulence of this dish and the moment. Figs are nutritious, but can also be sexy. So remember the nice of figs, but also let the naughty out!

 

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