Thursday, June 21, 2012

Dried Figs


My heart sister who lives one house from me and shares my passion for healthy and nourishing foods, herbs, teas and so on is picking some figs for me today!

Last year, we picked them together but I haven't been in a position to leave for a chunk of time like that this year. Last year, we picked blackberries and figs and this year, we have picked strawberries.

Anyway, she asked if we can dehydrate them and I looked it up last year to see and you can! Ours got eaten so quickly, they never made it TO the dehydrater!

I found this site and thought I would share it and what it shares about drying figs. Wonderful information! Thank you to the California Advisory Board!

Ways to Use Dried Figs

California Dried Figs make satisfying snacks and sweet and flavorful recipe additions. The dense, sweet flesh, coupled with their unique crunchy seed, goes well in baked goods, with meat, poultry, fish, vegetables and other fruits. Remember, too, that figs offer a power-house of nutrition; a combination of fiber, minerals, and nutrients that is unequaled by other fruits in nature. It’s no wonder that they are known as “The Fitness Fruit.”
  1. A few California Dried Figs in a plastic bag go to the office, to school, to the game, or to the park for a quick snack. Easy to eat and satisfying to a sweet tooth.
  2. Keep a container of figs in a desk drawer at work to satisfy late afternoon munchies or to nibble at coffee break time.
  3. Slice a few California Dried Figs and add to tossed green salads. They add delightful sweetness and texture, as well as fiber.
  4. Sweeten up mashed or cubed winter squash or sweet potatoes with some chopped California Figs. The figs add a richness of their own, so you can skip the butter or margarine.
  5. Blend low-fat cream, ricotta or cottage cheese with some California Figs to create a great spread for toast or bagels or as a dip for sliced fresh fruit.
  6. Scatter a few chopped California Dried Figs over instant or regular oatmeal or cold cereal of any kind. Skip the sugar and enjoy the figgie flavor and crunch.
  7. Bite-size – nothing is as delicious for out-of-hand eating or has the robust flavors of Black Mission or the sweet nuttiness of the Calimyrna or the delicate sweetness of the Kadota.
  8. No cooking is necessary. Just enjoy their naturally sweet goodness by itself, pair with your favorite cheeses, drizzle with a delicious dipping sauce, or simply add balance to your savory salsas and chutneys.
  9. For an early autumn salad, arrange a good amount of baby greens on a large platter and layer with fig halves or quarters, Then, sprinkle toasted pine nuts over all and drizzle with a vinaigrette made by whisking 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice with 1-1/2 teaspoons champagne or white wine vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. Quick, easy and the perfect beginning to almost any meal!
  10. Combine 12 California Dried Figs with 1-1/4 cups water; heat to boiling and let stand overnight. Serve with cream to make 4 people very happy at breakfast time.
More Ways to Use Dried Figs
California Dried Figs are so delicious, they not only add taste and excitement to almost every course of a meal, but they can come to the table at breakfast, lunch, dinner, and in between times, too.
  1. For breakfast, halve the figs lengthwise; drizzle with honey and broil until bubbling. Serve hot or cooled.
  2. Garnish those broiled, honey-drizzled Dried Figs with a small scoop of soft cheese like mascarpone and a tiny mint leaf for a great appetizer.
  3. Wrap each fig in a strip of pancetta or proscuitto and thread onto skewers to cook on the grill. Even better when you stuff with toasted almonds or walnuts.
  4. A bit of blue cheese or chèvre added to the cut side of a Dried Fig half and sprinkled with chopped nuts makes a quick pass under the broiler to tempt the most discerning.
  5. Arrange slices of California Dried Figs with fresh or canned peaches on lettuce leaves and drizzle with fruity vinaigrette for the family to enjoy anytime.
  6. Quarter one or two figs per serving, but do not cut all the way through. Spread to make stars and top with your favorite crab or chicken salad mixture for a great lunch. Absolutely spectacular with dried Black Mission Figs!
  7. Remember that "million dollar salad" your mother used to make with bananas, mandarin oranges, miniature marshmallows, and sour cream dressing? Just add chopped California Dried Figs to make it a "billion dollar salad"!
  8. Combine cooked fettuccine with Alfredo sauce and stir in dried fig quarters and toasted pine nuts for something very special.
  9. For astonishing results and lots of excitement, just add a few whole, halved or chopped dried figs to chicken stir-fry, marinated and grilled beefsteak, or salmon steaks basted with lemon juice and butter!
  10. For dessert, combine chopped figs with caramel sauce and use fresh figs to top off scoops of ice cream.
  11. Make good crisps and cobblers or go all out with a clafouti filled with tasty California Dried Figs.
  12. Do not overlook the interest that a few chopped figs in a fresh salsa can add to meats, fish, or poultry.
  13. Pickled figs will substitute for pickled apples, any time.
  14. Chop them up and bake them into cake, cookies, breads, and muffins, too.
  15. Don't forget the jams and preserves. Alone or combined with other fruits like strawberries, peaches, berries or apples California Dried Figs make tasty jams -- traditional or freezer.
  16. Last but not least, Dried Figs can be used as a sweetener in a variety of preparations and a fat substitute in many other recipes.

No comments: