If you’ve never had a fresh fig, you’re not alone. Dried yes, but fresh, not so common, at not least in my neck of the woods. Just the other day I had to do a quick u-turn when I saw the roadside stand for “Fresh Figs, picked today”. These gorgeous, organic, plump, juicy, gems were a mere 5.00 for two heaping pint boxes! Gosh I should have bought more! I could eat the box alone and honestly usually do–over a few days that is–since my family hasn’t quite realized the yummy factor of figs. I wondered how the figs would taste with cucumbers and decided to build on the idea of a muesli that could double as a dessert or a breakfast. You’ll have to try it for yourself and decide when you’d enjoy it most. As for me, I’d have it in a boat, on a float, in a car, in a bar, gosh I’d have it anywhere, anytime! I hope you feel the same!
The simplicity of fresh ingredients and summer flavours make it sooo easy to find combinations that please the palate. Summer is like this for me, a completely inspirational palate of goodies to create delectable recipes from. It’s rather like a painter with a clean white canvas and new tubes of paint. I’m not ever quite sure what I might end up with but I’m ever so inspired to put something together and I’m usually lucky that it turns out to be pretty darn tasty and healthy of course. I call it cooking by instinct, do you do this? Fly by the seat of your pants in the kitchen?? Turn what ever you have on hand into something tasty?? I think it’s way more fun and creative for the cook this way and more interesting for those that dine, don’t you agree?
On the other hand, I am a cookbook reader (it’s my night time reading quite often), but not a cook book follower. Is this you too? Or do you follow the recipe? I love to just read about the combinations of ingredients making side notes in my brain. Then I head to the kitchen to play. The only problem is that if I don’t record what I’ve done I sometimes have a tricky time duplicating what I have created. These days with this blog, I am much more dubious with my note pad for your sake, just in case my concoction warrants a post to share.
Raw Muesli of Fresh Fig, Cucumber & Gingered Buckwheat w/ Lime Creme
Yield: 4 desserts or 2 breakfast bowls
1/2c raw untoasted buckwheat
1 1/2c filtered water for soaking
1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger, or more to taste, but not too much
1/2 cup cashews, soaked 10-20 mins, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup filtered water
juice of 1/2 lime + 2 tbsp
1 tsp lime zest (grated lime rind)
2 tsp agave syrup
4 lg fresh figs, diced small
1 cup cucumber, diced small
Place buckwheat in 3/4c filtered water and allow to soak for 15-20 mins. Rinse well making sure slippery residue is removed. Toss with fresh ginger and 2 tbsp lime juice and set aside.
For the Lime Creme
In a high speed blender place soaked cashews, 1/2c filtered water, lime juice & zest, and agave syrup. Blend well and scrape down sides until smooth and creamy. Pour into serving creamer.
Place diced figs and cucumbers into each serving dish, top with buckwheat and drizzle generously with creme.
Figs are so deeelish on their own but I do think you’ll find that the blend of these flavours is a nice gentle way to enjoy the delicate sweetness of luscious figs. However the figs need to be the correct ripeness to really enjoy the flavour. If they are under ripe, they will be on the dry side and won’t have the soft texture and sweetness. Choose figs that are nicely coloured, soft to the touch, are weeping a drop of syrup from the bottom and even have skin that is splitting, for perfectly ripened fruit. They will ripen after picking but do keep an eye on them so they don’t go over ripe as they mold easily. Be sure to refrigerate ripe figs if you don’t plan to eat them right away and no need to peel a fig as the skin is soft and edible.
Fresh figs are the second highest source of calcium, potassium and vitamin A combined, compared to the same serving of either apples, bananas, oranges or strawberries. Who knew? Everyone always chooses a banana for potassium. They are also the highest in fiber. As for their sugar content, it isn’t low by any means, so enjoy them in moderation as a healthy treat for the benefits noted above in place of a not so healthy choice. Dried figs are equally delicious with nutritious value but intensely more sweet so be even more moderate with these.
Raw soaked or sprouted buckwheat, often referred to as Kashi, is packed with eight amino acids along with manganese, magnesium, fiber and all the B vitamins. It also contains flavanoids that may inhibit cancer as well as assisting in strengthening your capillaries and circulation consequently reducing varicose veins. Buckwheat is a great blood builder because of it’s high iron content and an excellent brain food for it’s lecithin. By not cooking it as some do to make groats, you preserve the beneficial nutrients. Buckwheat is gluten free, does not create a peak in blood sugar levels thus is a good choice for diabetics and can help to combat high blood pressure and high cholesterol. If you’ve never had raw buckwheat you’d be surprised at how delicious buckwheat is when you begin to experiment with eating it as a topping, as a raw porridge with stevia and cinnamon or in your smoothie. It can be soaked for about 30 mins and rinsed to wake it up but if you want to sprout it and reap the ideal beneficial life force energy and co-enzyme Q10 it has to offer, then give it a couple days to sprout tails as shown here with directions. Either way be sure to rinse it well as it forms a bit of a gel like film. It keeps well in a covered jar for a 2-3 days.
The buckwheat bumps this recipe into the super healthy category especially if you serve it as a dessert–just don’t tell anyone how healthy it is til they’ve scarfed it down! I like to serve this up in a glass tumbler so that you can see the pretty colours of the dish and it makes a nice small serving seem larger than placing it in a larger bowl.
If you can get your hands on some fresh figs at all now’s the time to savour them as their season is short and you won’t see them again til next year. I have come across the odd basket in the grocery store but usually they are moldy or over ripe, not so good. If you are lucky enough to have a tree that is abundant with the fruit then please send me a Google map to your house and I’ll be right over!!
This makes a nice little afternoon snack, can be a dessert if you like and you might even enjoy it for breakfast like I did here!
I’ll be soaking up the last week or so of the summer here at the cottage, hoping that time doesn’t fly too fast. Then it’s back to school errands and haircuts for the kids, eek! I happen to be one of those moms that is sad when the kids head back to school since I so enjoy the summer with them and I also dread the early morning back to school routine. Lazy summer mornings, sleeping past 8, hanging out in our jammies is sooo relaxing. I’m grateful to have this idle time with my two youngest now that I no longer have my retail store to race off to or concern myself over.
I hope you too can enjoy and savour the last of our summer, even if there are just stolen moments in between your priorities–evening sunsets, breakfast coffee on the deck, lunch outside in a park, what ever you can squeeze in.
Meet you back here next week:)