After mangoes figs are one of my favorite fruits but we don’t get fresh figs here in Delhi unless one pays an exorbitant price for them in some posh store or food hall in a mall. Throughout the year I use dried figs which we get at almost all good grocery stores. The locally fried one come beaded in a rope and are deliciously sweet. I never use the packaged one sold by multinationals with added preservatives etc.
Sometimes I use fresh figs for smoothies and they pair brilliantly with apples and bananas. If you love the natural sublime flavor of figs just use them with ripe fresh frozen bananas and voila you have a fantastic breakfast or post workout drink in a jiffy.
I use home cultured yogurt for my smoothies but you can use Greek yogurt, low fat yogurt, almond milk, coconut milk and normal dairy milk too. Riper the fig greater the sweetness of the smoothie. Figs are rich in Iron and are the highest plant source of calcium. They are loaded with antioxidants and soluble fiber plus they are low on calories too. They are rich in zinc, magnesium and other essential minerals. Ayurveda tells us that figs are cooling and sweet in nature. Most of all they taste so good. 🙂
I am anemic most of the time and eating two sun dried figs, that are soaked in a little water, first thing in the morning helped me regain my hemoglobin and iron levels to some extent. I drink the water in which the figs are soaked. In some ways figs are even better than dates nutritionally.
As I have given up on bread I usually make one fruit smoothie to go with my breakfast. Fig banana smoothie is naturally sweet so I do not add sugar or honey to it. If you find it less sweet for your taste add a little honey and not sugar. Apart from being health honey gives the smoothie a nice texture. Honestly, you must bank on the natural sweetness from fruits like I do.
If you are using dried figs for this smoothie soak them overnight or for 30 minutes to an hour in some water till they plump up nicely. Add the fig flavored sweet soaking water in the smoothie.It is rich in antioxidants.
(One large glass)
3 Sun dried figs or fresh figs
1/2 Cup chilled yogurt ( home cultured is best)
2 Fresh ripe bananas
Use the ripe or a little over ripe fruits to get the maximum sweetness.
Peel and chop the banana , put it in a zip lock bag and freeze while you do other stuff.
Frozen fruit makes best smoothies but you can use it without freezing too.
In a blender put soaked dried figs or fresh figs, chopped banana and chilled yogurt. Add a few ice cubes ( I sometimes freeze coconut water to make ice cubes for such smoothies)
Blend everything till thick and smooth. There should be no solid pieces of fruit.
I love the smoothie with no added sweetener or essence etc. but some people use vanilla , rose water, cinnamon, even chocolate. I feel they mask the flavor of the fruits.
Pour the rich thick delicious smoothie in a mason jar or glass and serve chilled.
Always use unblemished, fully ripe plump figs if using fresh ones. Look for Figs with stems in place. Figs are highly perishable so buy in small quantity and use them quickly. Ripe figs are delicate and yield slightly when gently pressed. Check for mold too. Figs have a tendency to develop white mold. Discard if you see any.
If using the dried ones, look for the sun dried figs or the organic ones with no preservatives. Dried figs have a robust and more sugary taste than the fresh ones. Look for the ones that are dusty, dirty or hard. The fruit should bend easily.
The smoothie may turn slightly brown if kept for sometime due to the antioxidants in figs just like the apple. So, don’t worry about it. 🙂
PS – The painting you see is made by yours truly. It is acrylic on canvas. I do paint sometimes. 🙂
Tip : Just a little fresh ginger juice sometimes gives a distinct kick to the smoothie. Try it. ( 1/4 teaspoon)