The first week of November isn’t just the start of the countdown to Thanksgiving. It’s National Fig Week, a time to celebrate nature’s candy. Figs are one of the world’s healthiest foods. They are high in potassium, vitamin B6 and fiber while being low in sugar and calories. To learn more, read about the Health Benefits of Dried Figs That Even Beat Out Dates.
Besides being healthy, figs are delicious. They have a soft and chewy texture and a sweet, luscious taste. Figs come into season twice each year – first in early summer and again in late summer/early fall. They come in many varieties with Black Mission being one of the most well-known. Figs are fragile so you probably won’t find perfect specimens when you shop for fresh ones. They may be wrinkly and split but as long as they aren’t leaking moisture or moldy, that’s okay. In fact, an older-looking skin and bent stem indicates ripeness which means better flavor. Once you bring fresh figs home, you need to use them within a day or two. Dried figs, of course, last much longer.
Since figs are sweet, you may only think to use them in sweet dishes especially those with warm spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and cloves. However, they work well in savory recipes as well. Use figs with salty vegan cheeses, citrus fruits, or aromatics such as garlic, capers and olives. Figs also go well with nuts as in this Hazelnut Fig Milk. Whether you eat them on their own as a healthy snack or turn them into Vegan Fig Newtons, figs are amazing. Since it is National Fig Week, try using them all week long in these 15 fig-tastic recipes.
1. Fig and Carob Muffins
This recipe for Fig and Carob Muffins is one you’re going to make again and again. The texture of the muffins is dense but not heavy and very moist. The caramel sweetness of coconut sugar pairs well with the fruity figs and malty carob.
2. Peanut Butter Fig Bars
These rich fudge-like Peanut Butter Fig Bars will melt in your mouth and remind you just how well peanut butter and jelly get along. The fig in the crust is reminiscent of the sweetness of grape jelly, and those crispy fig seeds create an interesting and unique texture.
3. Raw Fig Pie
This Raw Fig Pie is dazzling to look at and delicious to eat. The macadamia and date crust is filled with ripe, soft figs, cacao powder, and dates for a dessert that is healthy and deceptively decadent.
4. Whole Wheat Vegan Pizza with Caramelized Onions, Figs and Arugula
Switch up pizza night with something creative like this Whole Wheat Vegan Pizza with Caramelized Onions, Figs and Arugula. The whole wheat crust is topped with roasted garlic, figs coated in balsamic vinegar and maple syrup, sweet caramelized onions, and peppery arugula. This is a delicious dinner that turns any night into a pizza party!
5. Fig Hazelnut Rosemary Granola with Fig Breakfast ‘Nice’ Cream
Figs are so nice, they’re used twice in this yummy Fig Hazelnut Rosemary Granola with Fig Breakfast ‘Nice’ Cream. Dried figs make the granola delightfully chewy and frozen green figs are whizzed up until fluffy in this “nice” cream.
6. Raspberry Fig Bars
These Raspberry Fig Bars use a little maple syrup as their sweetener, along with the natural sweetness of the figs and coconut. They are a perfect flavor combination of sweet and tart. You won’t be able to stop snacking on them!
7. Quinoa Salad with Figs, Purslane and Goji Berries
This Quinoa Salad with Figs, Purslane and Goji Berries is not just a pretty face; it’s a superfood powerhouse. The toasted quinoa is nutty and aromatic, complementing the walnuts, seed, and lemony thyme dressing. Purslane, goji berries, and fresh figs add lots of flavor and nutrients for a super salad you’ll love.
8. Salted Chocolate Bark with Balsamic Ginger Figs
Sometimes life just calls for a little chocolate and that’s when you make this Salted Chocolate Bark with Balsamic Ginger Figs. It sounds fancy but it takes only six ingredients to make this awesome snack. People will think you got in from an artisanal chocolatier; it’s up to you to set them straight or not.
9. 5 Ingredient Fig and Banana Cookies with Cardamom
Figs and cardamom are a match made in heaven. These Fig and Banana Cookies have chunks of figs and a dash of cardamom. They are extremely chewy and moist. Served with a strong coffee or chai tea, they will remind you of the Middle East and its unique spices.
10. Lemon and Fig Tarts
Figs and citrus are a perfect pair when they team up in these Lemon and Fig Tarts. Their natural sweetness lends perfectly to raw desserts like this tart so no added or processed sugars necessary!
11. Slow Cooker Tempeh Braised with Figs and Port Wine
If you want to sit down to a gourmet dinner without slaving away in the kitchen, make this Slow Cooker Tempeh Braised with Figs and Port Wine. This tender tempeh in a rich, luxurious port wine sauce with chewy figs will have everyone thinking you worked so hard, letting them do the dishes is only fair, isn’t it?
12. Green Energy Smoothie Bowl with Fresh Figs
If you’ve been avoiding spirulina, give this Green Energy Smoothie Bowl with Fresh Figs a try. When combined with the creamy sweetness of frozen banana ice cream and topped with fresh jelly black mission figs, your taste buds are dazzled by so much sweetness, you’ll forget all about the green stuff.
13. Chocolate Stuffed Figs in Date-Orange Sauce
These Chocolate-Stuffed Figs in Date-Orange Sauce make the perfect sweet and tangy bite that are sure to please. The earthy fig and deep flavors of the chocolate pair splendidly with the refreshing orange and sweetness of the dates. Make this dish as the perfect after dinner dessert to impress all your guests at the next holiday party!
14. Saffron Custard Tart with Figs and Blackberries
This Saffron Custard Tart with Figs and Blackberries gets its vibrant color from saffron. A blend of milks give it a light richness, while the vanilla bean and orange blossom water add flavor, freshness and a wonderful aroma. The custard is also refined sugar-free, lightly sweetened with barley malt, thickened with kuzu root powder and set with agar agar, making it the healthiest custard around.
15. Fig Tahini Truffles
Try these raw vegan Fig Tahini Truffles. Not only do they have great health benefits from the figs and the tahini, the combination tastes amazing, too! Do something good for your body while indulging in sweet snacks? Count us in!
Dried or fresh, sweet or savory, figs are nature’s perfect food. Try any of these recipes and you’ll be getting figgy with it from now on.
Lead image source: Lemon and Fig Tarts