What the Fig...

As one of the world’s oldest trees, the resilient fig tree can be traced back centuries and prominently features in the Bible. Native to the Middle East and the Mediterranean figs were a staple food among ancient cultures, and still to this day feature heavily in the Mediterranean diet. 

The Greeks held figs in such high regard that there was once a law preventing the export of this unique fruit. 

Thank goodness the fig exporting law has been lifted otherwise boy would we be missing out.

Although our dried figs have been popular from the get go we've not focused much on them in our newsletter and blog in the past.  However going from on-line sales to working with health shops we've been sharing them with shop owners all over London, and we've witnessed first-hand their delightful reactions to the dried figs and thus confirmed what we already knew;

Our dried figs are of exceptional quality and are the fig of choice for all who have had the pleasure to try them.

So, as they gain recognition and popularity we felt it was time to set the record straight.

Why are our dried figs the fig of choice?

Sadly fresh figs don’t get much credit, you don’t see them much in the fresh fruit aisle of the supermarket either.  This is because they have a very short season and unfortunately they spoil very quickly.  If you have been curious enough to buy them fresh you will probably find they are expensive and tasteless.  Because figs do not grow very well in the UK or other cooler climates there is no alternative but to import them therefore to get them to your plate before they rot they are picked prematurely; before they ripen and develop their beautiful sweetness, and shipped out quick smart. 

If you have ever had the pleasure of eating a fresh ripe fig, as it should be eaten, you can expect to find the pink flesh inside soft and sweet with tiny crunchy seeds that burst under your teeth; the Greeks often compare ripe figs to honey which is sweet, sticky and melts in your mouth.    

Unfortunately even we can’t bring you fresh figs in all their glory, believe me we’ve thought about it.  But we can offer the next best thing.  Dried figs that, when fresh, were left to ripen on the tree in the Greek sun, allowed to absorb their nutrients from the fertile Greek soil whilst still on the tree before being carefully picked at the most crucial moment and dried to perfection in the summer sun. 

Our dried figs are of the Kalamata Fig variety and have no added preservatives or sorbate which is often used to keep the figs soft and prevent the natural sugaring effect. 

For these reasons the taste and texture of our figs make them the fig of choice.

Taste description

I’m not very good with words so it took a lot of fig eating to think about what they taste like, even though my cells are not complaining, I still don't have a definite description.  My conclusion: There is nothing similar to figs in taste or texture. For the benefit of those who have never had the pleasure I’ll give it a shot anyway:

Figs have a scrumptious flavour which is mildly sweet, but not as sweet as raisins or dates.  They are mildly fragrant and if I really had to put a flavour to it I’d say it is a cross between vanilla and aniseed, however this is a very loose association and the fig flavours are very mild.  You can use dried figs anywhere you would normally use a date, whether it be in desserts, smoothies, cereal bars or on a cheese board they will always go down well.

Here’s a few more reasons why organic dried figs should be your dried fruit of choice instead of raisins or dates:

  • Rich in Fiber
  • Lower in Sugar and calories
  • High in Minerals - iron, magnesium, calcium, cooper, potassium, manganese, selenium and zinc
  • Contain good levels of B-complex vitamins - niacin, pyridoxine, folates, and pantothenic acid
  • Plus adequate levels of anti-oxidant vitamins - vitamin A, E, and K.

We couldn’t put it better than this so we borrowed this information from www.naturalnews.com

Below are seven more detailed reasons to include figs in your diet.

(1) This might be your first surprise: Figs help build stronger bones. They contain the essential bone building trio of magnesium, calcium, and vitamin K2.

Without magnesium, calcium is inert. And without K2, calcium strays away from bone matter and into the blood, possibly calcifying blood vessel inner linings.

(2) Figs are good for heart health. In addition to minimizing calcium deposits in your blood vessels, the magnesium and potassium in figs are essential for maintaining heart health and keeping blood pressure in line.

(3) Figs are high in both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber helps slow digestion and make you feel fuller. It also helps stabilize and lower blood sugar levels. It's good for soothing irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Insoluble fiber provides the bulk needed to help cleanse the large intestine and eliminate waste easily, reducing constipation incidences. Both types of fiber combine as useful tools for weight management.

(4) Figs help lower serum triglyceride levels. Triglyceride levels are considered more relevant markers for predicting heart health issues and obesity than cholesterol readings.

(5) Dried figs are at the top of the dried fruit list for phenol antioxidant levels. Fruit antioxidants have demonstrated higher eye health benefits than vegetable antioxidants, including carrots, even offering protection against age related macular degeneration (ARMD), the leading cause of blindness. [2]

(6) Figs are alkaline producing, helping the body achieve and maintain that optimum 7.0-7.4 pH reading to lead a disease-free healthy life. [3]

(7) Figs are very high in iron, the mineral that helps create red blood cells and prevent anaemia. Pregnant women are encouraged to keep their red blood cell levels high. So shove the pickles and chocolates aside and snack on dried figs if you're expecting.

Appendix for the ‘seven reasons to include figs in your diet’:

[1] http://voices.yahoo.com/the-health-benefits-figs-5147801.html?cat=51

[2] http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=24

[3] http://www.realfarmacy.com/health-benefits-of-figs/#!prettyPhoto

[4] http://science.naturalnews.com

Click this link for the original article: http://www.naturalnews.com/041332_figs_nutrition_healthy_food.html#

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