Figs. Glorious, figs. by guest expert Emily Hope

The time has come. For just a few months of the entire year, we can enjoy this holy fruit in all its glory. Fresh off the tree, naked as the day it was born, cooked as a delicate treat or paired with cheese as a delicious starter.  And guess what? We found a NZ registered nutritionist with a fig farm.  Oh yes indeedy.

Emily Hope - guest expertAbout our expert

A born and bred kiwi, Emily began her career studying Human Nutrition at Otago University where she continued onto a Master’s degree feeding 225 growing toddlers meat and fortified milk and following their growth and zinc status. After a hiatus in Central Northern Italy eating and teaching English, she worked in Public Health nutrition. Emily now resides in her home town of Marlborough with her husband and Labrador Hank on the family fig orchard where she runs a nutrition practise. She shares her daily foodie adventures through her Instagram @hopenutrition and Twitter @hopenutritionnz and provides nutritious and delicious recipes on her blog Hope Nutrition

The time has come. For just a few months of the entire year, we can enjoy this holy fruit in all its glory. Fresh off the tree, naked as the day it was born, cooked as a delicate treat or paired with cheese as a delicious starter.

It’s fair to say I’m madly in love with figs. Not only because we live a stone’s throw from the family orchard that supplies us very kindly with delightful figs but also because they are utterly delicious and packed full of goodness.

Emily Rope - figs

photos of figs fruit

Health benefits

We all know that fibre is needed to keep our digestive systems healthy and figs contain one of the highest amounts of fibre of any fruit. It is recommended that women eat 25g of fibre per day and adult men 30g per day. One fresh fig contains 2-3g of fibre and given that adults aren’t eating nearly enough fibre, we could all benefit from eating a few fresh figs each day. Consuming a diet with adequate fibre can also help to protect against bowel disorders and heart disease and is very useful in helping to maintain a healthy body weight. Major benefits right there. Go the fig!

The very short time in which we can enjoy the pleasures of fresh figs highlights the importance of following nature. Eating seasonally allows us to benefit from an array of nutrients throughout the year whilst enjoying fruits and vegetables across a rainbow of colours.

From orchard to kitchen

There are many ways in which you can enjoy the deliciousness of figs, but my favourite way is with cheese and walnuts. Sometimes, I simply slice up a few fresh, sweet figs and lay them on a board alongside chunks of goat’s cheese and drizzle over honey, extra virgin olive oil and a decent handful of my Maple Toasted Salted Walnuts. Scattered over the top, these delicious little morsels sit proudly like a golden crown. This pairing is so simple yet absolute heaven to eat. If blue cheese takes your fancy, then a must is this recipe for Blue Cheese Stuffed Figs – who said nutritious food couldn’t be tasty as well?

sliced Figs and cheese

Fresh figs also make a beautifully simple dessert. Simply cut a fig in half and brush with melted butter and a little honey or pure maple syrup. Grill the figs in a hot oven until warm and golden. Enjoy them with a good dollop of Greek yoghurt and you have one healthy treat!

Go on, eat a fresh fig. It won’t be long until you have to wait a whole year for another chance…

Emily Hope fig farm with her dog

Emily Hope pulling cart

Editor’s comment

Emily, Emily, Emily! I want to swap lives with you.  Those figs, those green gumboots, that cheese.  Heaven.  I can’t wait to visit one day.  And love to know a little more about farming figs.  How about you lovelies?  Got a recipe to share or a question for Emily?



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