ORGANIC FIGS, Black Mission
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Botanical Name: Ficus carica
Production: One of the oldest fruits known to be consumed by humans, figs have been a staple in Mediterranean diets for thousands of year. Used as a sweetener, figs are also eaten alone, both fresh and dried. The name “Mission figs” comes from the Franciscan missionaries who planted them throughout California in the late 18th century.
Qualities: Packed with antioxidants, figs are an excellent source of protein, rich in soluble fiber aka prebiotics, supporting good gut function, They are high in potassium, magnesium, iron, and copper along with vitamins A, K, and E and are an excellent source of calcium, aiding bone density.
Common Use: Delicious on their own or as an addition to granolas, cereals, or platters. Figs are also famous for their natural sweetness and sugar content, making them ideal for baking.
Try this recipe for delicious FIG & NUT BARS:
1 cup roasted hazelnuts
1 cup roasted almonds or 1/2 cup almond butter
⅔ cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 ¼ teaspoons finely grated orange zest
2 teaspoons fennel seeds, lightly crushed
½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
8 ounces dried figs, thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
⅔ cup sugar or date sugar
½ cup honey
Heat the oven to 300°F. Coarsely chop hazelnuts and almonds and set aside. Coat a 10-inch springform pan with oil and flour and set aside. Stir together flour, cocoa powder, orange zest, fennel seeds, cinnamon, and cloves in a large bowl until evenly mixed. Add nuts and figs and stir to coat. In a small saucepan, stir together sugar and honey and place over low heat. Increase heat to medium and cook, without stirring, until mixture reaches 245°F on a candy thermometer, about 6 minutes. Immediately pour over nut mixture and, working quickly, stir until dry ingredients are coated (the mixture will be very thick). Transfer to the prepared pan and, with moistened fingers, press evenly into the pan. Bake until mixture has puffed slightly and has a toasty aroma, about 35 minutes. (The mixture will be soft and tacky to the touch.) Transfer to a rack to cool to room temperature, at least 1 hour. Remove from the pan and cut horizontally into thirds, then cut each third into 1/2-inch-thick bars (you should have about 36 bars).
Storage: Store in a cool, dry, dark place in a well-sealed container. Please note, sugar crystallization is a major challenge for dried fruits such as figs which have low moisture levels and high sugar contents. This is mainly a visual change (whitish sugar crystals on the outside of the fruit) and does not affect the quality. If desired, you can spread the figs on a baking sheet and carefully heat them on low heat to melt the exterior sugars which will return the figs to their original glossy appearance.
Disclaimer: This information is for educational purposes only and has not been evaluated by the CFIA or FDA. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This product has been packaged in the same facility as peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy, and other potential allergens.
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