fresh purple figs

We use use dried figs, because they’re available year-round, and they keep just about forever. You can always use fresh figs, though… Just make sure to eat them within a day or two of dipping.

Figs have been here since 2900 BC when a Greek King claimed they were an antidote for all ailments.  Pliny, the Roman physician and writer said figs increased the strength of the young and preserved the health of the elderly.  According to a column in Food & Nutrition News, figs contain calcium and lots of potassium, which is crucial to the control of blood pressure, and are an excellent source of fiber.

Three figs, fresh or dried, contain about five grams of fiber –soluble and insoluble.  Dissolved soluble fiber coats the walls of the digestive tract, which prevents potentially harmful substances from adhering to the walls.  Soluble fiber also causes nutrients to be absorbed more slowly, which makes us feel full longer. Insoluble fiber doesn’t break down, but moves through our system, absorbing water as it goes so that it pulls with it waste and toxins.  The short version is, of course, that they taste pretty darn good!

Makes about 2 dozen                      

24 plump dried figs; or 18 fresh 1½ C organic* chocolate chips
2 C Volcano blood orange juice (omit if using fresh figs) ½ C chopped toasted almonds or other nuts

Spray a sheet tray with lecithin.  Soak figs in juice for a few hours at room temp (overnight is okay).

Put chocolate into a small pot and heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until melted and smooth, about 5 minutes. Take a fig, hold by stem and dip into chocolate, coating about ½ way up.  Shake off excess chocolate and roll bottom in almonds.  Transfer to tray. If chocolate becomes too stiff while dipping, heat briefly again. Set tray with figs aside in a cool spot until chocolate is set, about two hours.