I was at a cocktail party a couple of weeks ago and the buffet had a big cheese board with fruit and crackers, jams, honey, etc. And it included dried figs, which brought back memories because my mother loved dried figs and always kept them in the house for snacking. I think most kids associate the flavor with a certain figgy cookie we all grew up with but, even on their own, they're part of my tasty childhood. But seeing them also reminded me that the short but lovely fresh fig season is starting. We have them for only such a limited time that I try to make sure I enjoy every bit of them.
As tasty as the dried figs are, they're not much to look at. But I think fresh figs are some of the most beautiful fruits. And they are native to the Middle East therefore, they figure heavily in the cuisine. Most of the ones I run into here are probably from California although they're now grown in many parts of the world. Peak season for the fresh figs is late summer to early fall but there's usually a small early crop at the start of the summer.
So, with fresh figs on my mind, I went searching at my local gourmet store because they tend to carry a larger variety of fruits and vegetables and I'm more likely to find the early figs there. Sure enough, these purple skinned beauties had just arrived and were being stocked in the produce department. I grabbed a container that was soft and ripe but not too mushy. The weather has been frightfully hot the past couple of weeks which doesn't do delicate fruit any good. But these figs were exactly right. It may seem a bit of a crime to throw perfectly ripe figs into a blender for a smoothie but their flavor makes it worth it. Besides, it only took a few to make the smoothie so the rest were all mine to enjoy with some blue cheese and honey.
- 1/2 banana (ripe)
- 4 figs (fresh, sliced in half)
- 7 to 8 oz Greek yogurt (one container, I used 2% fat)
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- 1 Pinch salt
- 1/4 to 1/2 Cup milk (depending on desired consistency)
Cut the tips of the fig stems off, slice in half and add to a blender or small food processor along with the banana half, Greek style yogurt, honey, salt and 1/4 cup of the milk. Puree until smooth and continue adding milk if you'd like a thinner consistency.
|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Total Fat||10 g|
|Saturated Fat||5 g|
|Unsaturated Fat||4 g|
|Dietary Fiber||14 g|