May 2017 Fig Focus

Treat Mom to a Taste of the Mediterranean

Pamper mom with a sweet treat on Mother’s Day. She may think you’ve whisked her to the Mediterranean, maybe the isle of Capri, with this special cake that features lemony Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs, almonds and olive oil. You can serve it for brunch, dessert or as a tea-time snack. Use super-fine almond flour made from blanched almonds (not coarse meal) to achieve a refined, pound-cake like texture. Mixing the lemon zest with the sugar draws out the most lemon flavor.

California Fig, Almond and Olive Oil Cake

Simmer California Figs in water; stir in sugar and lemon juice.

Strain California Figs and reserve syrup.

Mix sugar and lemon zest.

Mix liquid ingredients. Slowly add dry ingredients. 

Brush some reserved syrup on California Figs after baking. 

Serve slice of California Fig, Almond Olive Oil Cake with drizzle of syrup, if desired.

California Fig, Almond and Olive Oil Cake

Serves 8 to 10.

  • 1 cup Blue Ribbon® Orchard Choice® or Sun-Maid® California Figs, stemmed and halved lengthwise
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup fine almond flour (from blanched almonds)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup unflavored Greek yogurt (nonfat or low-fat)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • ¼ cup chopped, toasted almonds

Oil a 9-inch spring form pan. Adjust oven rack to middle position. Preheat oven to 350°F.

In small saucepan, combine figs and water.  Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat and boil gently until liquid is reduced to 1/4 cup, about 3 minutes. Stir in ¼ cup sugar and simmer, stirring, 1 minute.  Remove from heat.  Stir in lemon juice. Set aside for 10 minutes. Strain figs through fine-meshed sieve, reserving syrup.

In a small bowl stir together 2/3 cup sugar and lemon zest; set aside.  In a medium bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Break eggs into a large mixing bowl. Beat on lowest speed just until mixed. Beat in sugar mixture, yogurt, olive oil and almond extract.  Slowly beat in dry ingredients. Do not over mix.

Spread batter in prepared pan. Arrange Figs, cut side up, on batter. Sprinkle almonds on batter around figs. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 5 minutes. Brush Figs with some of the reserved syrup.  Remove side of pan. Cool completely.

To serve, cut cake into wedges and place on serving plates.  Drizzle each with remaining syrup, if desired.

Lorelle Del Matto, MS, RDN, is a nutrition and culinary professional who combines a passion for food (and California Figs) with a quest for nutrition knowledge. She believes well designed and tested recipes can be great communication tools. Lorelle has a Master’s of Science in nutrition biology and is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. Lorelle developed her culinary skills in France at La Varenne, Ecole de Cuisine. You can find more recipes and healthy lifestyle tips to inspire you to “savor the art of healthy eating” on her website lorelledelmatto.com and on Twitter and Facebook.

May Your Mother’s Day Be Sweet with California Figs

Mother’s Day is around the corner. Do you have yourmenu planned out? Whether you like to plan a leisurely brunch, lively lunch, or decadent dinner, we’ve got your Mother’s Day covered with Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs. Our prime pick for a recipe that will dazzle Mom is Strata with California Figs, Sausage, and Sage. If you’ve never made a strata before, it’s a bit like a savory bread pudding. Warm from the oven, all you need on the side is an arugula salad and maybe some mimosas. Need more ideas?

Count on California Figs—Nutrition Tips and Tidbits

Diabetes Diet, Eating, & Physical Activity

Nutrition and physical activity are important parts of a healthy lifestyle when you have diabetes. What you choose to eat, how much you eat, and when you eat are all important in keeping your blood glucose level in the range that your health care team recommends. The key to eating with diabetes is to eat a variety of healthy foods from all food groups, in the amounts your meal plan outlines.

What about dried fruit?

If you have diabetes, you can eat dried fruit without added sugar, like Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Dried Figs, for fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants — just not as much as you could if it were fresh, frozen or canned. Dried fruit is naturally higher in sugar per gram than other forms of fruit because it is dehydrated — its sugar is condensed into a smaller volume. Fruit is not considered a sweet. So, when you choose dried fruits without added sugar, you can eat them daily as part of a healthy meal plan.

The typical serving of dried fruit is 1/4 cup and contains about 15 grams of carbohydrate. You can easily fit it into your daily meal plan as a fruit serving if there are no other ingredients added to the dried fruit. According to the American Diabetes Association, most people with diabetes can have 45 to 60 grams of carbohydrates — or three to four carbohydrate servings — per meal.

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!

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