(Family Features) - Figs, those California fruits that love sunny climates, are turning up on more and more restaurant menus and family dinner tables. We're fig-uring out that these sweet and luscious fruits bring depth and variety to many different dishes.
Brought to California by Franciscan missionaries, figs taste great and are most versatile in their dried state. Look for deep purple Mission and golden, nutty-flavored Calimyrna varieties. Take them along with you for a sweet, fiber-filled portable snack. The sunny flavor of dried figs also stars in Italian biscotti cookies, coffee cakes and muffins, stuffing for the holiday bird or a pork loin, rice dishes, salads, appetizers-especially with Gorgonzola cheese, and the "figgy pudding" of English lore. Dried figs combine well with other fruits like apples and pears in comforting, cold weather desserts like Apple-Fig Crumble.
But figs are more than just great tasting. They're also good for you. Just five figs give you 5 grams of dietary fiber-that's a significant contribution toward the recommended daily total of 25 to 30 grams. Along with fiber, figs contain a wealth of essential nutrients including calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium and copper. Naturally fat free, cholesterol free, trans fat free, and sodium free, dried California figs are becoming a must-have pantry staple.
For more information and recipes featuring dried California figs, visit the Valley Fig Growers Web site at www.valleyfig.com.