(NAPSI)—A marvelous enhancement to almost any sweet or savory dish, California Figs—either fresh or dried—are a fruit not to be missed. Figs make it easy to be a better cook. So does a new cookbook.
From healthy bites and filling salads to creative pastas and indulgent desserts, “California Figs Cookbook: A Collection of Recipes for Fig Lovers” is full of tasty fig recipes filled with appetizing ideas for using California figs.
Created by the California Fig Advisory Board, an organization representing California’s fig farmers, the cookbook features 62 recipes featuring fresh and dried figs, and a foreword with select recipes by James Beard Award-winning chef Robert Del Grande.
Recipes include delicious ways to serve figs from breakfast, lunch, and snack time to dinner and dessert, even in pizzas and paninis—and a creative twist for your plain yogurt.
Yogurt With California Figs and Nut Butter
Preparation time: 10 minutes
2 cups plain or vanilla yogurt
½ cup peanut butter
16 California Dried Figs, stems removed and minced
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1 cup granola or muesli
Add the yogurt and peanut butter to a mixing bowl and stir until smooth. Stir in the figs, cocoa, vanilla and maple syrup until all ingredients are combined. Transfer to a serving dish and top with granola or muesli before serving.
What You Need To Know About Buying Fresh Figs
Here are seven helpful tips on selecting and storing California Fresh Figs, available May−November. California Dried Figs are available year-round.
• Select plump, fragrant figs that have a little “give” when touched.
• The fruit should be soft and yielding to the touch, but not mushy.
• Figs are fragile and bruise easily, so handle carefully.
• Fresh figs should be refrigerated as soon as possible and stored up to 7 days.
• To prevent bruising, arrange figs in a single layer on paper towels or on paper liners.
• No need to peel, just take a bite and enjoy the colorful, sweet fruit inside.
• Fresh figs can be frozen. Just clean and freeze in a single layer on a baking sheet. Then, pack into self-closing plastic bags and store in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Figs Feature More Than Just Good Taste
Nutritionists and dietitians have long recognized the benefits of eating more fruits and vegetables. The National Cancer Institute and others advise that eating five or more servings of fruits and vegetables daily helps to maintain health.
Fresh and dried figs fit right into the “More Is Better” menus from the Produce For Better Health Foundation. Figs are recognized as a good source of dietary fiber. Just three to five dried or fresh figs provide 5 grams of total dietary fiber, 1.5 grams of which is soluble fiber, the type of fiber linked to lowering blood cholesterol and improving blood sugar control.
Figs are an all-natural energy source and contain more calcium, more potassium and more iron than many other common fruits. They also contain disease-fighting antioxidants. Research shows that among dried fruits, figs rank with other high antioxidant foods such as red wine and green tea.
When making meals and snacks, figs add natural sweetness and flavor without added sugar or salt. This is important when dietary guidance around the world suggests that the consumption of both be reduced.
To order your cookbook and for more facts, tips and tasty California fig recipes, visit www.californiafigs.com.