July/August/September 2011 Fig Focus

Delight in the Sweet Summer Taste of California Figs

Chocolate-Fig Cookies

Make up a batch of fig cookies to enjoy with a cool glass of milk or layered into a sundae with your favorite ice cream. Makes 2 dozen cookies.

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped,stemmed Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid figs
  • 1 cup uncooked quick oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup chopped, toasted pecans or walnuts (optional)
  • 1/3 cup crunchy wheat and barley nugget cereal (grape-nuts®)

Heat oven to 375ºF. In large mixing bowl, combine butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar. Beat with electric mixer on medium to medium-high heat until creamy, about 10 minutes. On low speed, beat in egg, milk and vanilla. In small bowl stir together flour, cinnamon, soda and salt. Gradually beat flour mixture into butter mixture. With wooden spoon, stir in figs, oats, chocolate, pecans and nugget cereal. With oiled hands, form dough into 24 (1 1/2-inch) balls. Place balls, 3 inches apart, on ungreased baking sheet. Flatten to 2-inch rounds. Bake one sheet at a time on middle oven rack for 9 to 11 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove from oven and cool 2 minutes on pan. Remove to wire rack to cool completely. Store in airtight container.

Orange Variation: Add 1 teaspoon finely grated orange peel along with vanilla.

Nutrients per serving: Calories 145 (31% calories from fat); Protein 2 g; Total Fat 5 g (Saturated Fat 3 g); Carbohydrate 23 g; Cholesterol 19 mg; Dietary Fiber 2 g; Sodium 98 mg.

Great Back to School Treat for the Kids

Applesauce Snackcake with Dried Figs

Makes one 8-inch square cake.

This recipe can be easily doubled and baked in a 13- by 9-inch baking dish. If doubling the recipe, give the cider and dried apple mixture about 20 minutes to reduce and bake the cake for about 45 minutes. The cake is very moist, so it is best to err on the side of overdone when testing its doneness. The test kitchen prefers the rich flavor of cider, but apple juice can be substituted. Cooled leftovers can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.

  • 3/4 cup dried apples (2 ounces), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1 1/2  cups unbleached all-purpose flour (7 1/2 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2/3 cup sugar (4 3/4 ounces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid figs (about 4 ounces)
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce, room temperature
  • 1 large egg, room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 1/2  teaspoon table salt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions…

On the Nutrition Front

By Cherryl Bell, RD, MS

First Lady Michelle Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack unveiled the federal government’s new food icon, MyPlate, to serve as a reminder to help consumers make healthier food choices. MyPlate is a new generation icon with the intent to prompt consumers to think about building a healthy plate at meal times and to seek more practical information to help them do that by going to www.ChooseMyPlate.gov. The new MyPlate icon emphasizes the fruit, vegetable, grains, protein and dairy food groups.

 “This is a quick, simple reminder for all of us to be more mindful of the foods that we’re eating and as a mom, I can already tell how much this is going to help parents across the country,” said First Lady Michelle Obama.

“With so many food options available to consumers, it is often difficult to determine the best foods to put on our plates when building a healthy meal,” said Secretary Vilsack. “MyPlate is an uncomplicated symbol to help remind people to think about their food choices in order to lead healthier lifestyles. This effort is about more than just giving information, it is a matter of making people understand there are options and practical ways to apply them to their daily lives.”

MyPlate will replace the MyPyramid image as the government’s primary food group symbol as an easy-to-understand visual cue to help consumers adopt healthy eating habits consistent with the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

As Americans are experiencing epidemic rates of overweight and obesity, the online resources and tools can empower people to make healthier food choices for themselves, their families, and their children. Later this year, USDA will unveil an exciting “go-to” online tool that consumers can use to personalize and manage their dietary and physical activity choices.

For more information, visit www.ChooseMyPlate.gov.

Celebrating a Valley Treasure

Savor gourmet food samples from the Central San Joaquin Valley culinary leaders. Enjoy fresh and dried California Figs, delicious recipes and more at the 8th annual Fig Fest!

Saturday, August 13th | 9:00 AM – 12:30 PM |
Fresno State – Ag East Lawn
$8 advance / $10 at the gate

Order tickets online at the California Fig Advisory Board

Summer is a busy time in the orchards. Fresh figs, bursting with sweet, juicy flavor, are harvested from late summer into early fall. The season is short and fresh figs are fragile, so grab them while you can.

When fresh figs aren’t available, choose California’s delicious dried figs, golden Calimyrnas and dark purple Missions; they’re always abundant and available. Picked at their peak of sweetness and dried to intensify their sweet fig flavor, Calimyrnas and Missions are delightfully versatile, portable and perfect as a snack or in your favorite recipe.

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and tag us @valleyfig —we’d love to see what you’re cooking on Instagram and Facebook!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *