Figs have a very rich historical history. Ancient Greek and Romans see the fig tree as a symbol of fertility and abundance. Figs are very sweet. Their high sugar content classifies them under the highly perishable food items. Figs can be enjoyed on fruit salads, they can be eaten plain or serve as a condiment in smoothies. Figs can also be enjoyed with a slice of cheese.
Let’s imagine that you are lucky to have a fig tree on your property and you have developed a liking for these sweet things. You have more than enough figs to eat. Even your neighbors get an abundance of figs during its season. But, year in year out, the figs over ripen and get spoilt. Figs are most versatile when they are still fresh, so you wonder if there was a way to keep them fresh for a later time. Why not freeze it like every other thing?
Can you freeze figs? Yes, you can. Figs can be frozen and kept fresh for over a year. Although freezing figs reduces the variety of ways in which it can be used. Freezing keeps the freshness and flavor intact.
Figs undergo a little bit of structural change when it undergoes freezing. Freezing action causes water molecules to expand. When the water molecules expand, they burst through the cell walls in which they have been contained.
When you thaw a frozen fig, you find that it now has a mushy texture as compared to the firmness that was present before freezing. Nevertheless, if the endpoint of your figs is not to serve as a topping for Salads.
Try them in some other recipes like baked goods, ice creams, jam, that do not require it to be in a solid-state.
How to Freeze Figs
Figs can be frozen in easy steps. As you keep reading I will show you. There are several processes to ensure that your figs are kept fresh and good to be consumed after freezing.
Step 1: Quartering
Figs do not freeze well as a whole. It could be hard for the core to get frozen as a whole and this would result in spoiled figs. The only way to go around this is to cut your figs into quarters, as this exposes every part of the fig to the freezing process.
Quartering also makes the figs easier to be used in smoothies as it would reduce the strain on your blender or food processor.
Step 2: Peeling
This is an optional process and is usually determined by the endpoint of your figs after they have been thawed. If your figs would be made into a Jam or Sauce after freezing then you should peel them. Wash the figs thoroughly before peeling them.
Step 3: Storage and Freezing
If you just scoop your figs into freezer bags they would clump together as they freeze. How do you prevent this? Get a baking sheet, place the freshly cut fig quarters separately on the baking sheet. Leave spacing in between the quartered figs, then place it in the freezer to freeze for a little while before you pack them into airtight freezer bags.
Figs tend to darken upon exposure to air. Like apples, they are prone to discoloration when frozen directly. So, to prevent this, coat the figs with powdered ascorbic acid, ¾ teaspoon per quart of fruit would do. But, if you want to avoid the acid treatment, you can make Sugar Pack Figs. This is achieved by freezing the figs after it has been covered in sugar syrup. This method would result in a better texture and flavor.
Can Cooked Figs be Frozen?
We just spoke about freezing fresh figs. You might feel like you’re reading the wrong article since you already cooked yours. Hey there, No! We’ve got you covered.
Yes, you can freeze cooked figs just as easily as freezing fresh figs. Frozen Cooked Figs are great as dessert toppings. After cooking your figs, the first thing is to let them cool down. After it has cooled it can now be pureed before freezing. Cooked figs do not change in texture or color after freezing.
Frozen Cooked figs serve as a great topping for ice cream.
How to Thaw Frozen Figs
Frozen figs are great for baking where they have to be stirred into the recipe. If you have a batch of frozen figs scheduled for use, you can leave them in a fridge to thaw slowly overnight.
If you want to use the frozen figs in Jam or Sauce. It would be best to thaw overnight in the freezer. However, you can use another method of thawing. Place the frozen figs in a large kettle, add a little bit of water and boil slowly till they thaw.
Can I Eat Too Many Figs?
Figs contain a lot of fiber and are therefore healthy for consumption. Eating about 3 figs every day can help in weight reduction. However, eating too many figs can give you diarrhea.
How Do I Know When Figs Go Bad?
The best way to identify a bad fig is through its aroma. An overripe spoilt fig will have a sour, fermented aroma. Figs produce ethylene gas and can cause other vegetables in their surroundings to go bad too.