While you probably know how delicious figs are, you may not be aware of their high nutritional value, largely owing to their fibre and mineral content!

You can find sweet, juicy figs in most supermarkets or grocery stores. Baked or grilled figs are sweet yet healthy, or serve them fresh with a cheese platter for an alternative dessert. A quarter of a fresh fig wrapped in a thin slice of prosciutto is a delicious appetiser. Dried figs are available throughout the year, as is fig jam – the perfect accompaniment to crackers or toast.

According to Miriam Polunin in her book, Healing Foods (Dorling Kindersley), “Dried figs are rich in fibre, potassium, calcium, magnesium and iron and are useful as a nourishing substitute for sugar in cooking.”

Figs are native to the Mediterranean and have traditionally formed part of the European and Middle Eastern diets. Today they are grown throughout Australia, and are in season from late summer to Autumn.

Choosing figs

Avoid figs with brown or grey spots on their skin. This indicates they’ve started to ferment.

Storing figs

It’s best to eat fresh figs straight away. If your figs are very hard, you can ripen them at room temperature. Ripe figs should be eaten within three days. For best results, store them in the fridge – lay them on a piece of paper towel and wrap them in plastic food wrap.

Preparing figs

You can eat figs whole, including the skin. If you don’t like the skin, gently peel it away from the flesh of the fig. You can bake figs whole or halved, or cook them under the grill.

Nutritional information

Based on one large, fresh fig, raw:

Calories 34 cals
Kilojoules 135 kjs
Total fats 0.4 g
Carbohydrates 6.8 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Protein 1.3 g
Fibre 2.1 g

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