October 2016 Fig Focus

Baking, Pumpkins, California Figs and Halloween Fun

Usher in cool fall weather with a batch of savory California Fig, cheese and herb muffins. Best served warm, while the cheese is creamy, and the figs are soft and chewy. These muffins will elevate a simple salad or soup meal into a special occasion. You can also serve them for brunch with your favorite egg dish. 

Tips:

  • Coat the inside of paper muffin cups with nonstick spray to prevent these tender muffins from sticking to the paper. Or, oil and flour unlined muffin pan cups.
  • Freeze the cheese for 20 to 30 minutes to make it easy to cut into small pieces.
  • Substitute Brie cheese for the Camembert if desired. 
  • Fresh sage, wonderful in the fall, is shown in the photo, however, dry herbs such as oregano or thyme work very well.
  • If muffins are made ahead, wrap in foil and reheat in a moderate oven for 15 minutes or just until warm.  Or pop one in the microwave and reheat at 50% power for 10 to 20 seconds or until warm.
  • For longer storage, freeze muffins in an airtight container or plastic freezer bag with a zipper lock.

California Fig and Camembert Muffins

Combine dry ingredients.

Whisk eggs, liquids and herbs.

Stir in California Figs and cheese.

Serve warm with California Fig Spread.

California Fig and Camembert Muffins

Makes 18 muffins. 

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1 ½ cups low-fat buttermilk

¼ cup vegetable oil (canola)

3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme, oregano or sage (3 teaspoons dry) 

6 tablespoons thinly sliced chives or green onion

1 cup Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs, stemmed chopped (1/3-inch pieces) 

½ pound Camembert cheese, trim rind and cut into 1/3-inch pieces

Orchard Choice California Fig Spread, California Orange or Organic Mission

1. Preheat oven to 350º.  Line18 standard (2 ½-inch) muffin pan cups with paper liners. Coat inside of papers with nonstick spray. Or, spray unlined cups with nonstick spray, dust with flour and shake out excess.

2. In a bowl, stir together all purpose and whole wheat flours, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Break eggs into a separate large bowl.  Whisk to blend. Whisk in buttermilk, oil, herbs and chives. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and slowly stir liquid mixture into dry ingredients. Do not overmix. Stir in figs and cheese.

3. Spoon batter evenly into prepared muffin pan cups, making sure figs and cheese are evenly distributed. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until tops are light golden brown and pick inserted in center comes out clean. Serve warm, with Orchard Choice California Fig Spread, if desired.  

Adapted from Marin French Camembert Muffins at culturecheesemag.com.  http://culturecheesemag.com/recipes/marin-french-camembert-muffins.

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.

Celebrating Fall Jewish Holidays with California Figs & the Weiser Kitchen

Tami Weiser of the Weiser Kitchen is back with her tips on factoring California Figs into your fall holiday menu for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Stay tuned for her recipe and tips during the first week of October on Facebook and Instagram

California Figs & National American Cheese Month
October is National American Cheese Month–we’re planning an online progressive party with some of our favorite bloggers, hosted by Miss Cheesemonger. Stay tuned mid-month for their cheese and Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice and Sun-Maid California Fig pairings! Want to start the cheese and fig party sooner? Make our Savory Jarlsberg Thumbprints with California Fig-Pepper Jelly

Count on California Figs—Nutrition Tips and Tidbits

Pumpkins are good for more than just carving!

October signals Halloween and time to carve that scary pumpkin smile. Did you know that pumpkins also taste great? Look for smaller sugar pumpkins weighing about 4 to 8 pounds. These are perfect for cooking and eating.

A nutrition powerhouse, one cup of pumpkin offers about 200% of the recommended daily value of vitamin A. Vitamin A is best known for helping us have healthy vision. Along with vitamin A, pumpkins are rich in beta-carotene, which gives them their bright orange color. Current research indicates that diets rich in foods containing beta-carotene may reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer and offer protection against some degenerative aspects of aging.  Pumpkins are also a source of fiber, not nearly as much as California Figs, but still quite respectable at 2-3 grams per cup. Figs offer—hold on—20 grams of fiber per cup!

Create some extraordinary, delicious and nutritious dishes this October with California Figs. Here are some ideas:

Get your creative juices flowing. Some more California Fig and pumpkin ideas: popcorn balls with chopped figs, pumpkin and fig smoothies, pumpkin gingerbread with chopped figs, pumpkin pancakes with maple fig syrup, pumpkin cookies with diced figs, pumpkin and fig bars with cream cheese frosting, and of course pumpkin pie with bourbon fig and pecan topping.

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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