Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Figs

Figs are one of the oldest fruits. This delicious and sweet fruit has been used for centuries. The common fig originated in Asia minor and was brought to America in the 1520s by the Spaniards. Cooked figs were used as a sweetener in historical records, as well as today in the Middle East and parts of Africa.

Some cultures have used figs for medicinal purposes as a laxative and diuretic. In addition to this, figs support a strong and healthy body because they have such high levels of plant calcium, potassium, and iron.

Different Types of Figs

Adriatic Figs
Adriatic figs have a pale or yellow skin and are sometimes referred to as white figs. These extra sweet figs have pink to red insides.

Black Mission Figs
These are extremely sweet figs that are usually oozing with syrup. They have a dark purple shell and dark pink flesh.

Brown Turkey Figs
Brown turkey figs are obviously brown in color; they also have less flavor than other varieties. Because they are less sweet, they are more commonly used to in salads or other savory dishes.

Calimyrna Figs
These nutty-flavored figs are much larger than other types. They have a golden colored skin and pink fruit.

Kadota Figs
These figs are less sweet and have a green colored exterior.

Growing Figs

  • Surprisingly, figs can be grown in fairly northerly climates. Before planting a fig tree, check to make sure that your location is suitable for growing figs.
  • Pick a sunny spot with good drainage to plant figs. Fertilize and prepare the soil in early spring. Plant figs in spring when they are still in the dormant stage.
  • Purchase a fig plant that is young and ready to be planted. Dig a hole 4 inches deeper and wider than the pot the tree is in. Place the plant in the hole and cover the soil around it to fill in any gaps. Pat the ground down to compact the soil.
  • Water the fig tree daily for the first month. Once the tree is more established, water every 1-2 weeks. Adjust your watering schedule according to the amount of rain you receive. Drier areas may require more frequent watering.
  • Cover the area around the base of the tree with 6 inches of mulch. This will hold in moisture, help prevent weeds, and protect the plant in the winter.
  • In the second year, begin pruning the tree. Prune away in the spring before the tree sprouts new growth. Trim it back to 4 strong shoots and remove other branches. Repeat annually for best results.
  • Harvest the figs when they are completely ripe by gently twisting them off the tree.

How to Buy Figs

  • Look for figs that are ripe. Figs will not ripen after they are picked, so they need to be perfect when you buy them. Firm figs are not ripe. Look for soft but not mushy.
  • Purchase figs when they are in season. You will get better quality and better prices. In most areas, June and fall are the best time to find fresh-picked figs.
  • Store fresh figs in a plastic bag in a cold part of your fridge. They are best if you eat them within 2 days of purchase.

figEnjoying Figs

Besides enjoying their sweet goodness right off of the tree, there are a number of exciting ways to benefits from their delicious taste and nutritional punch.

Quick Fig Smoothie


  • 2 frozen organic bananas, peeled and sliced
  • 6 fresh organic figs, cut in half
  • 3/4 cup whole organic milk
  • 3/4 cup organic orange juice


  1. Put all ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth.
  2. Serve cold.

Gluten-Free Orange Fig Muffins


  • 2 cups organic almond meal
  • 2 organic free range eggs, beaten lightly
  • 2 organic free range egg whites
  • 1/4 cup of raw honey
  • 1/3 cup organic orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of chopped fresh, organic figs


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Stir the almond meal, eggs and whites, honey, juice, and vanilla until all ingredients are well combined.
  3. Stir the baking powder, salt, and figs together.
  4. Mix the dry and wet ingredients together.
  5. Spoon the batter into muffin cups, filling them 3/4 of the way.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool before serving.


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