Makes 1 Cup
Figs are one of those fruits that evoke a sense of mystery. Its very shape, the thread like center surrounded by hundreds of seeds in the cavity, is unlike anything else. They’re chewy (flesh), crunchy (seeds), and smooth (skin) making them a culinary delight to play with. They are also succulent, juicy and delightfully sweet. Figs are known to be delicacies in their own right.
Figs have been found in myths throughout the world. There are images of the fig tree in the Garden of Eden and it has associations with Dionysus (Bacchus for the Romans), and Priapus, a satyr associated with sexual desire. But my favorite comes from India. According to Buddhist legend, Siddhartha Gautama (or the Buddha!) achieved enlightenment while sitting under the bodhi (bo is a type of fig) tree.¹ I can just picture it. That was back in 528 B.C.
What can figs do for us today? Dried figs (what’s used in this recipe) have more dietary fiber than prunes. Remember that fiber benefits our gut (improves digestion) and our colon. It also makes us feel fuller so we are less likely to overeat. According to Rebecca Wood, dried figs are higher in calcium, “ounce for ounce” than cow’s milk.² They are also high in protein, iron (for red blood cell formation), copper (necessary for production of red blood cells), potassium (vital component of cell and body fluids that help control heart rate and blood pressure) and phosphorous (works closely with calcium for strong bone development).* And apparently, they are also helpful to those on that inward journey. Would anyone like some enlightenment with their figs?
What to do with this jar of bliss? Spread it on a piece of millet toast with some cultured butter, put a dollop on your granola or in your yogurt and top with nuts or get creative and let me know what you come up with!
Namaste fellow gourmands.
1 C dried figs, chopped (I used about 9 Turkish figs)
1 C water
1 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
Pinch of sea salt
1. Place figs and water in a saucepan and heat over medium heat until they reach a simmer (light bubbling), then reduce heat to low and cook until water is almost completely evaporated. (You still want a tiny bit of liquid…it will be thick like a reduction.)
2. Once the figs have cooled, place them and the lemon juice and salt in a food processor and process until smooth.
3. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate. It will keep for 7-10 days. (Though I’ve used it after 2 weeks with no problem;)
² Rebecca Wood, The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia