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If your only introduction to the fig is in the Fig Newton, you are missing out on a sweet treat that is available in dried form year-round. The fig is originally from the Middle East and requires full sun and a warm climate to grow. It is highly perishable, which is why the dried version is most commonly used. The sweetness of figs, sometimes described as honey-like, works well with other strong flavors and can be used in both sweet and savory dishes.

The Basics:

Fresh figs should be free from bruises and have a deep color. They should also not have any noticeable soft spots. These should be stored in the refrigerator and used within 2 days as they are highly perishable. Rinse and remove the stem before eating or cooking. Dried figs should be stored in an airtight container in a cool spot. Dried figs can be used in a variety of recipes or eaten as a snack. They can also be simmered to make them juicier.

Try This:

Add fresh or dried figs to your favorite muffin or breakfast bread recipe. Combine figs, caramelized onions, and balsamic vinegar. Simmer until well combined and use as a topping for a sliced baguette. You can even grill a fig! Slice in half lengthwise, brush lightly with oil, and grill for about 2 minutes until softened. Add a small spoonful of soft cheese, like goat cheese, and a little drizzle of honey on top.

The Facts:

One small fig is about 30 calories, is high in fiber, and is a good source of vitamin B6 and potassium.