Fall Harvest: Figs

October 1, 2013 at 8:00 AM | Posted in fruits | 1 Comment
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Figs have a short second season in late fall (the first harvest comes in summer) just in time for Thanksgiving.

 

Fresh figs cut open showing the flesh and seeds inside

Fresh figs cut open showing the flesh and seeds inside

The common fig (Ficus carica) is a species of  flowering plant in the genus Ficus, from the family Moraceae, known as the common fig (or just the fig), anjeer (Iran, Pakistan), and dumur (Bengali). It is the source of the fruit also called the fig, and as such is an important crop in those areas where it is grown commercially. Native to the Middle East and western Asia, it has been sought out and cultivated by man since ancient times, and is now widely grown throughout the temperate world, both for its fruit and as an ornamental plant.

 

 

Figs can be eaten fresh or dried, and used in jam-making. Most commercial production is in dried or otherwise processed forms, since the ripe fruit does not transport well, and once picked does not keep well. The widely produced fig newton or fig roll is a biscuit (cookie) with a filling made from figs.

 

 

Figs are among the richest plant sources of calcium and fiber. According to USDA data for the Mission variety, dried figs are richest in fiber, copper, manganese, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and vitamin K, relative to human needs. They have smaller amounts of many other nutrients. Figs have a laxative effect and contain many antioxidants. They are a good source of flavonoids and polyphenols including gallic acid, chlorogenic acid, syringic acid, (+)-catechin, (−)-epicatechin and rutin. In one study, a 40-gram portion of dried figs (two medium size figs) produced a significant increase in plasma antioxidant capacity.

 

 

 

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