These eight healthy recipes use the fruit's natural sweetness to bring out the most flavor in your food.
More Figs, Please
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Gone are the days when you could only associate figs with the soft "Newton" cookies. Showing up in everything from energy bars to dark chocolate- and almond-covered figs, this healthy fruit is getting the attention it deserves.
Plus, while dried figs taste great on salads or as a snack, year-round, fresh figs supply a hefty dose of fiber, are sweet and delicate, and add a bit of brightness to the plate.
And they're packed with nutritional benefits. "Figs are known for their fiber, iron, calcium, and potassium, and it's good for keeping blood sugar even, lowering cholesterol, and keeping digestion going smoothly," says Maggie Moon, M.S., R.D.N., author of The MIND Diet. In fact, you can get 20 percent of your daily value fiber in just three to five small figs, she says.
See all that this fruit can do in the kitchen with these eight mouthwatering fig recipes to satisfy your sweet tooth, naturally.
Fig and Fennel Citrus Salad
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There's nothing like digging a fork into colorful, crisp salad, and figs sit pretty nicely atop this bed of greens. Not only are they visually appealing, but the earthy sweetness of the figs works well with the aromatic flavors of fennel, the peppery taste of arugula, and tartness of the raspberry balsamic vinaigrette. And you're sure to get your daily veggie and vitamin C quota of the day.
Get the recipe: Fig and Fennel Citrus Salad
Photo: MIND Diet Meals
Fig and Beet Bars
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Mimic those Fig Newtons of your childhood with these modernized, healthy fruit bars. The snack bars might look and taste decadent, but antioxidant-rich figs and beets mean they're actually pretty good for you. Bonus: They're also gluten-free thanks to almond flour. You can even opt to use ghee or coconut oil in lieu of butter for some added anti-inflammatory benefits.
Get the recipe: Fig and Beet Bars
Photo: The Toasted Pine Nut
Fresh Fig Margaritas
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While figs taste great eaten fresh or cooked in savory or sweet dishes, they also help make a mean cocktail. For a sweeter margarita, this fig recipe, when mixed with lavender and honey, works well as a delicious syrup base to add to tequila and lime. (Check out these tasty margarita recipes for more adult fun.) A tip? Let the syrup sit overnight before mixing with tequila just before serving. This will let the flavors develop, giving you a more fragrant sip.
Get the recipe: Fresh Fig Margaritas
Photo: A Cookie Named Desire
Mini Steak Sandwich with Brie, Caramelized Onions, and Fig Jam
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Figs might be sweet, but they also pair well with meat, giving savory flavors an extra bit of pizzazz. These steak sandwiches are a treat for anyone who has been cutting back on red meat. They're topped with creamy brie cheese, caramelized onions, and a swish of fig jam on either side of the bun. What's more, the fig jam is really versatile—serve it with a cheese board or sub it in for fresh figs to make these ricotta breakfast toasts.
Get the recipe: Mini Steak Sandwich with Brie, Caramelized Onions and Fig Jam
Photo: Well Plated
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Having a healthy, sweet snack at your fingertips is key to forgetting about that second doughnut calling to you from the conference room. And making these oven-roasted figs to have on hand is simple. All you need to do is pop them in the oven to cook for 45 minutes—that's enough time for an at-home workout. Drizzle them with honey or enjoy them with Greek yogurt for instant workout recovery fuel. "Figs also provide potassium for healthy blood pressure and electrolyte replacement after a sweat session," explains Moon.
Get the recipe: Oven-Roasted Figs
Photo: Give Recipe
Homemade Fig Mustard
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Instead of going the spicy route with your mustard, this fig mustard makes for a sweeter, but still savory spread that brightens up your cheese board or sandwich. While any cheese will taste great with it, blue varieties or classic cheddar will be party pleasers. Pro tip: Add lemon juice to boost the acidity and zest. You can store the condiment in a jar for up to a month in the fridge.
Get the recipe: Homemade Fig Mustard
Photo: Happy Kitchen Rocks
Fig and Goat Cheese Bruschetta
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There's nothing quite like waking up to a slice of "fancy" toast in the a.m., and this fig and goat cheese spread will really start your day on a high note. (If you're into the "toast craze," check out these twists on toast ideas.) Beyond looking and tasting great, this breakfast recipe offers balanced nutrition to keep you full thanks to fiber from the figs and protein from the goat cheese. This will also make for a killer appetizer to really impress your friends at the next book club.
Get the recipe: Fig and Goat Cheese Bruschetta
Photo: Garnish with Lemon
Warm Figs with Goat Cheese, Pistachios, and Balsamic Glaze
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Need a trustworthy fall-flavored appetizer to wow a crowd? These stuffed, warmed figs are tangy from the cheese, nutty from the pistachios, and have a hint of acidity from the balsamic glaze. Simply cut an "X" shape into the top of the figs to fill with the cheese and then sprinkle with nuts and drizzle the glaze on top. Pop in the oven, and these will be done in about 20 minutes.
Get the recipe: Warm Figs with Goat Cheese, Pistachios, and Balsamic Glaze
Photo: Culinary Ginger