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    Availability

    Fresh figs are available July through September. Dried figs are never out of season, and are available all year. You can find them in your favorite grocery store in the produce or dried fruit section.

    Selection

    Look for figs that are soft and smell sweet. Handle carefully because their fragile skins bruise easily.

    Storage

    Store fully ripened figs in the refrigerator up to 2 days; bring to room temperature before serving.

    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

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