Eat What:

– Of the Ficus family, grown on a shrub and is native to Southwest Asia and the Mediterranean region; in the US, most figs come from California

– Figs are the most mentioned fruit in the Bible

– Introduced commercially in 1982 with Nabisco’s Fig Newtons

– Figs aren’t fruits; they are flowers inverted into themselves (the seeds are the actual “fruit”)

Eat When:

– Fresh figs are available in late summer and early fall; store in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator and eat within a couple days of purchasing

– Dried figs are available year-round; store in a cool place away from grains in an air-tight container

Eat Right:

– High in calcium and fiber; in fact, figs provide more fiber than any other fruit or vegetable

– Dried mission figs are rich in copper, magnesium, potassium, vitamin K and manganese and antioxidants

– 120 calories per 1/4 C (about 4 dried) or 30 calories per 1 small fig (fresh)

Eat More:

– Toss chopped figs into oatmeal with pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and a dash of maple syrup

– Pair halved figs with blue cheese and crackers; drizzle with honey

– Reduce 2 C halved figs and 1 strip orange zest in a small pot with 2 T each red wine, water and brown sugar over medium-low heat for 20-25 minutes

Fig, Pecan & Blue Cheese Salad

Serves 2

4 figs, quartered

1 oz. pecans, toasted

2 oz. blue cheese

4 cups arugula and spinach mix


2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp best-quality balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp lemon juice

1/2 tbsp honey

salt & pepper

Whisk together olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice and honey until emulsified.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Drizzle dressing over bowls filled with salad ingredients.

*Variation: Candy or spice the toasted pecans:  While warming on the stovetop in a skillet, add either sugar or chili powder to season.


Holly R. Layer received a B. A. in Journalism from Penn State and served four years in the U. S. Air Force before deciding to go back to school to become a Registered Dietician.  She loves running, reading, fine stationery, colorful kitchen gadgets and ALL things food-related.  She is currently living with her husband, Andrew, an East Aurora native, and their giant dog in a hotel while they house-hunt in the area.  You can find her at