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Fruit of the Month: Figs

Using Dried Figs As a Replacement For Fat in Your Recipes

Dried figs are excellent replacement for fat in baked goods. Just remember when using dried figs to replace shortening or oil in baking do not overmix or overbake. Use only half of the normal amount of shortening, margarine, butter or oil, in a recipe when using dried puree. For instance, if 1 cup of margarine is called for, use only 1/2 cup. Then use 1/2 of the fig puree. Here's a simple fig puree recipe to include in your baking recipes.

Fig Puree Makes about 1 1/2 cups

Ingredients

2 cups dried figs
3/4 cup water
2 tsp vanilla

Puree figs, water and vanilla in blender or food processor. Use as directed.

Nutritional analysis per serving: Calories 178, Protein 2g, Fat 1g, Calories From Fat 4%, Cholesterol 0mg, Carbohydrates 44g, Fiber 9g, Sodium 9mg

Make Figs Part of Your 5 A Day Plan

  • Take some figs in a plastic bag to the office, to school, to the game or park, for a quick snack. They are easy to eat and satisfies a sweet tooth.
  • Keep a container of figs in a desk drawer at work, to get rid of late afternoon munchies, or to include during your coffee break.
  • Slice a few figs and add to your tossed green salads. They add sweetness and texture, as well as fiber.
  • Serve mashed or cubed winter squash or sweet potatoes with some chopped figs. The figs are rich on their own, so skip the butter or margarine.
  • Use fig puree as a fat substitute in recipes

Recipes

kadota

Thai Chicken Salad with Figs
Makes 6 servings
Each serving equals two 5 A Day servings
Source: California Fig Advisory Board

Ingredients

6 Tbsps fresh lime juice
1/4 cup honey
3 tsp light soy sauce
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, crushed
2 tsp fresh gingerroot, very finely minced
2 cups shredded, cooked chicken
1 cup fresh figs, stems removed, and cut lengthwise into eighths
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1/2 (2 cups) small cantaloupe; seeded, pared and cut in julienne strips
1 (11/2 cups) sweet, red pepper; ribs and seeds removed, cut in julienne strips
1 (2 cups) small cucumber; peeled, seeded, and cut in julienne strips
Assorted mixed salad greens.
Mint sprigs for garnish

Combine lime juice, honey, soy sauce, pepper flakes and gingerroot in medium bowl; mix well. Add chicken, figs, onions and mint; toss to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate for one hour. Stir occasionally.

When ready to serve, combine cantaloupe, pepper strips and cucumber with marinated chicken and toss gently but thoroughly. Line serving bowl or salad plates with greens and arrange mixture in center. Garnish with mint sprigs if desired.

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