Costco had a great deal on a bag of dried figs. So I bought one! This is why I love shopping at Costco. While we are only a two person household, we shop at Costco for a few staples that we know we can't get a better price on elsewhere, such as Seltzer, Coconut Water and Organic Almond Milk. But this also means we look around for new products to try at a great price.
When I saw the big bag of dried figs, I thought why not? They are a healthy snack plus I am sure I can find interesting recipes using figs. What I didn't know was how healthy dried figs are! When I looked up the nutritional value of dried figs, I was surprised to find out that figs are highly perishable so about 90% of the world's figs are dried.
Figs contain fiber, potassium, calcium, magnesium and vitamin K. Drying the fruit extracts the water content out of them, so the natural sugars are concentrated. Since figs are high in soluble fiber, the sugar is released slowly into your bloodstream. (Source: HealthyEating.SFGate.com)
Dried figs are also high in both soluble and insoluble fiber, which helps support a healthy gut. Soluble fiber makes us feel full and supports weight loss and weight management. Insoluble fiber keeps things moving! If you are not having a bowel movement everyday, you need more insoluble fiber in your day.
Most Americans only eat 10-15 grams of fiber per day. The recommended daily intake is 25 - 30 grams! That is a huge gap! Figs are just one food that can help you increase the amount of fiber in your day. A study compared the effects of figs and fiber supplements in people with functional constipation. Figs improved the majority of constipation symptoms, including:
✨bowel movement time
✨number of bowel movements
✨stomach pain and discomfort
Figs also decreased the effort necessary to pass a stool and improved the sense of incomplete evacuation. (Source: Medical News Today)
Are you suffering from gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, fatigue, lack of energy, moodiness, skin rashes, abdominal pain, anxiety, frequent belching or stomach gurgling? If so, then your gut is unhealthy! But you can heal your gut and overcome these embarrassing symptoms by eating foods like dried figs. Not sure where to start? I am here to help!
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Now let's get cooking! The recipes below are from a variety of sources and I tried to look for family pleasing, yet healthy. I really like trying different methods of cooking when exploring one ingredient. It makes me think about how I can modify the technique and potentially use it when crafting my own recipes.
Homemade No Bake Fig Newtons Energy Bites from The Lemon Bowl. I love this recipe because it is no bake, gluten-free and vegan! That's right! No eggs, dairy, or anything else that may be an issue for a vegan or someone following a mostly plant based lifestyle, like myself. Also, it only takes about 5 minutes in the food processor to combine the ingredients. So this comes together fast! Click here for the recipe.
Yogurt and Molasses Bread with walnuts and dried figs from Fool Proof Living. There are few things I like better than making bread. There is something so satisfying about baking a healthy bread that can be eaten for breakfast or lunch. Since I am dairy free, I would substitute the yogurt with a non-dairy yogurt and if you are gluten-free, you can substitute the whole wheat flour for gluten-free flour. Also, this recipe is versatile, if you don't have figs any dried fruit will do, like apricots. Click here for the recipe.
Caramelized onion, fig & goat cheese pizza with arugula from Ambitious Kitchen. This is a great dinner recipe or something fun to take to a dinner party. It has some of my favorite ingredients. Plus, I love arugula. The recipe demonstrates how to make the pizza dough but if you are short on time, you could use a pre-made dough from the grocery store. I am also going to try this on a cauliflower crust which would amp up the veggie content! Click here for the recipe.
Fig chicken salad from Curious Cuisiniere. With the weather getting warmer in NJ, I wanted to find a light recipe that could be used for lunch. I really like the adaptation of using figs in chicken salad. It is like a modern day Waldorf chicken salad, if you remember that recipe! You could eat this as a sandwich or on top of arugula as a salad. Click here for the recipe.
Fig and walnut biscotti from Brown-Eyed Baker. This recipe is a great dessert cookie that can really wow your family and friends. After all, how many people make their own biscotti? It may sound daunting but it really isn't. The recipe comes together quickly and cooks relatively fast. Click here for the recipe.
I hope this blog post inspired you to try cooking with dried figs. I know my Costco bag will empty quickly with so many interesting ways to eat figs. Figs are a healthy addition to any routine and supports great gut health.
Do you think you will try any of the recipes above? Let me know by leaving a comment below.