Figs Stuffed with Sesame Mint and Quinoa

This recipe for Figs Stuffed with Sesame, Mint and Quinoa is incredibly creative! If you like figs, put this recipe on your list. Now that summer I here, I am in the mood to make more appetizers. These figs are stuffed with a flavorful trio of dried cranberries, quinoa and cool mint. If you have trouble finding fresh figs in the grocery stores, you can use halved apricots or pitted Medjool dates. If you’re a vegetarian or gluten-free, definitely put this recipe on your to-make list.

Find this recipe recipe along with 499 others in this comprehensive cookbook by Camilla Saulsbury published by Robert Rose books (my cookbook publisher).  In this cookbook, you will also learn so many things about quinoa. Examples of things that I learned are how to stock a quinoa pantry, how to cook quinoa, what is the thermos method, how to add quinoa to baked goods, how to toast it, how to sprout it and how to create quinoa flour.

Fig Preserves

Honestly, I have never tried homemade Fig Preserves until last week. I am so lucky to have a friend with a fig tree in his backyard, and last week I shared a little bit about that and talked about the Health Benefits of Figs. This week, I wanted to share a recipe made from those same trees. This is something they have every summer, and his mom makes enough to last through the season. I couldn’t wait to get the recipe because this is pure fig heaven. I hope you will enjoy it as much as we have. Here’s to figs!

5 Health Benefits of Figs

Although dried figs are available year round, there is nothing like the taste and texture of fresh figs. Figs are available from June through September, and some European varieties are available through autumn. Here in Alabama, one of my friends has a fig tree in his back yard. How lucky! Figs are low in calories and contain dietary fiber, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants that contribute to health and wellness. Here are the 5 health benefits of figs.

1. Figs can help lower high blood pressure-Figs are high in potassium which helps control blood pressure.

2. Figs can help lower the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women-Figs have the highest amount of calcium of any fruit, and 100g (3.5 oz) of dried figs contains 16% of the daily recommended amount.

3. Figs can help dibaetics-Figs are high in fiber which can help diabetics lower insulin and blood sugar levels, reducing the risk of diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Figs also are filing and take the edge off appetite.

4. Figs are high in antioxidants-Both fresh and dried figs are an excellent source of phenol antioxidants, which are present in many fruits and vegetables that protect cells from oxidative damage that leads to cancer, heart disease and other diseases.

5. Figs are good for bone health-Figs are high in manganese. Your body relies on manganese to help activate enzymes, the proteins that carry out chemical reactions in your cells. Manganese-dependent enzymes allow for healthy bone development and also help your body break down carbohydrates and proteins from your diet.

5 Ingredient Appetizer: Fig and Walnut Chutney

In honor of the “Oscars” tonight, here’s a simple and quick appetizer recipe that is sure to please. With only 5 ingredients, This Fig and Walnut Chutney is awesome served with sliced apples, grapes, crackers and Gorgonzola cheese. In under 20 minutes, you will have a superstar appetizer that your guests (and/or family) will love. This recipe also works well with goat or feta cheese so feel free to substitute your favorite. Not only is this appetizer healthy, but it’s low in fat. It’s a great, quick appetizer recipe to serve for any holiday or entertaining occasion. Happy Oscars night everyone, and I hope your movies/actors win!

Fantastic Appetizer: Fig and Goat Cheese Crostini

Before fig season comes to an end, I wanted to share this incredibly delicious Fig and Goat Cheese Crostini appetizer recipe. It’s so easy to prepare and tastes out of this world. You can make these anytime of the year. Just substitute dried figs for fresh ones. The combination of flavors, orange, figs, honey and pepper, pair wonderfully with the goat cheese.

Note: The incredible platter in this picture can be found at Earthborne Pottery.

Roasted Figs with Honey and Pepitas

I saw the most beautiful figs at Whole Foods the other day, so I thought, “Why not roast them?” When they came out of the oven, I drizzled them with honey and topped them with pepitas and shaved Parmesan cheese. My neighbors were outside having a glass of wine so I took them over to share. Minutes later, Roasted figs with Honey and Pepitas were gone. Get the last of summer figs before the season is over.