• 28Jul

    Honestly, I can’t say that I’ve ever eaten a fig by itself.  I know there are fig trees in my neighborhood, but I don’t know that I could identify a fig tree if my life depended on it.

    Here at Good Measure Meals, figs are on the menu (Dinner this coming Monday is a “Chicken Breast Marinated in a Blend of Figs, Olives, White Wine, Capers, and Herbes de Provence.”) so I thought it would serve me well to know a bit more about this petite tree fruit.

    So where do figs come from?  And why should we eat them?

    According to Wikipedia, figs are native to Southwest Asia and the Mediterranean region.   In 2005, Turkey and Egypt were the leading producers of figs, yet figs do grow throughout the United States in the Southeast and in California.

    Photo courtesy of http://recipes.terra-organics.com/2010/10/figs/

    Here are a few fun facts from the California Fig Advisory Board:

    • The fig tree is the symbol of abundance, fertility, and sweetness.
    • Figs made their first commercial product appearance in the 1892 introduction of Fig Newtons® Cookies.
    • Figs provide more fiber [per serving] than any other common fruit or vegetable. The fiber in figs is both soluble and insoluble – both important for good health.
    • Although considered a fruit, the fig is actually a flower that is inverted into itself. The seeds are drupes or the real fruit.

    According to the USDA, one-quarter cup of dried figs provides about 90 calories, 3.7 grams of fiber, 60 mg of calcium, 0.76 mg of iron, and 250 mg of potassium. They are naturally free of fat, salt and cholesterol and recent research has shown them to be rich in polyphenols (antioxidants like those found in pomegranates).

    Let us know what you think of Monday’s chicken dish.  Link to our survey through our Facebook page on Tuesday to share your thoughts!  If you have a favorite way to eat figs, email us, leave a comment or share on our Facebook wall!

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