[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

SCVNews.com | Opinion/Commentary: Glorious Figs | 08-21-2016
Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Clear
Clear
72°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
August 18
1946 - Pioneering Placerita Canyon movie producer Trem Carr dies in San Diego [story]
' style=


Take A Hike | Commentary by Dianne Erskine-Hellrigel
| Sunday, Aug 21, 2016

DianneErskineHellrigelIt’s that time of year when fresh figs are in the market.

Seeing as how there are more than 750 species of figs, you can never get tired of the varied flavorful fig. Figs grow in almost every jungle, every moist habitat in the world as well as dry, sunny areas. They like rocky areas and deep, fresh soil, as well.

Nearly every animal, including humans, eats figs. They are high in calcium and easy to digest. In many habitats, if figs failed to exist, the ecosystems would completely collapse.

Figs play a huge role in the reforestation of devastated land. They are one of the first plants to return, bringing the land back to life. The figs attract the animals and the birds, and the ecosystem returns.

In many parts of the world, figs are considered to be the homes of many spirits and gods. The fig tree can be found in many of the world’s religions, such as Buddhism; Buddha attained enlightenment under a fig tree.

figs3To feel the spirituality of the fig, one needs only taste the sweet, fresh fig. Figs are available from June to September in California. They are deliciously sweet with a little bit of crunch from the seeds. A fig is only 37 calories and is high in fiber, vitamin B6, copper, manganese, potassium and pantothenic acid. Figs help lower high blood pressure, may help you lose weight, can protect against breast cancer, and may help protect you against macular degeneration.

Some countries also consider fig leaves to be of value in preventing diabetes and lowering the amount of insulin a diabetic needs to inject. Of course, this has not been proven in the United States, so I don’t suggest you try it.

In animal studies, it has been shown the fig leaves are valuable in lowering trygliceride levels in the blood and are effective in killing some cancer cells. Some people consider the fig to be the world’s most healthy food.

In addition to these health benefits, there are dozens of micronutrients in figs, and they are filled with antioxidants. Ripe figs have the most antioxidants.

For human consumption, the most popular varieties of figs are black mission, Kadota, Calimyrna, brown turkey and Adriatric figs.

Figs were first cultivated in Egypt and are mentioned in the Bible. From Egypt, the cultivation of figs spread to Crete, Greece, Rome and then throughout Europe. The Spanish brought them to the West. They planted trees in San Diego in the 16th century.

figs1California, Turkey, Greece, Portugal and Spain are the world’s largest producers of figs. The cultivation of figs predates the cultivation of wheat, barley and legumes.

The fig has multiple unisexual flowers. Never seen a flower on a fig tree? That’s because the flower is on the inside of the fruit. Cut one in half and you can see the flowers on the inside.

Figs grow quickly and are fertilized by fig wasps that crawl into the ostiole (the small orifice on the bottom of the fruit) to fertilize the flowers and produce the tiny seeds inside.

Figs and fig wasps have been important life companions for 60 million years. When fig trees were first imported to California, the trees did not produce fruit. Fig wasps were finally introduced to California in 1899, and California had the first fig production in the U.S.

The oldest wild mountain figs can be found in the Zibad Mountains of Iran. They require no care and can survive in the worst, driest and miserably cold climates.

For you fig-o-philes like me, here is a recipe for fig and almond tart that you might enjoy:

 

figs2FIG AND ALMOND TART

Ingredients

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar, plus 1 tablespoon

1 lemon, zested

1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

10 tablespoons (1-1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

3 tablespoons ice water

3-1/2 ounces almond paste, at room temperature, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1/3 cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons honey

6 large or 12 small fresh figs, sliced, stems removed or 20 dried figs, reconstituted (see cook’s note)

1/4 cup apricot jam

Combine the flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, lemon zest and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until blended. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. With the machine running, gradually add the water until moist clumps form. Turn the mixture out onto a work surface and form into a ball. Flatten the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill the dough for 1 hour.

In a clean food processor bowl, combine remaining sugar, almond paste, mascarpone cheese, vanilla extract, and honey. Blend until smooth.

Position an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

On a large sheet of parchment paper, roll out the dough into an 11-inch circle. Transfer the dough to a large, heavy baking sheet. Spread the almond filling over the dough, leaving a 2-inch border. Arrange the figs on top of the almond filling. Spoon the jam over the figs. Fold the dough border over the filling to form an 8-inch round, pleating the crust loosely and pinching to seal any cracks in the dough.

Bake the tart until the crust is golden, about 40 minutes. Place the baking sheet on a rack to cool for 10 minutes, then slide a metal spatula under the crust to free the tart from the parchment. Transfer the tart to a platter and serve.

Enjoy.

 

 

Dianne Erskine-Hellrigel is executive director of the Community Hiking Club and president of the Santa Clara River Watershed Conservancy. Contact Dianne through communityhikingclub.org or at zuliebear@aol.com.

 

 

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

2 Comments

  1. Sara says:

    In July of 2015. it was discovered that I got type 2 diabetes, By the end of the July month. I was given a prescription for the Metformin, I stated with the ADA diet and followed it completely for several weeks but was unable to get my blood sugar below 140, Without results to how for my hard work. I really panicked and called my doctor. His response?? Deal with it yourself, I started to feel that something wasn’t right and do my own research, Then I found Lisa’s great blog (google ” HOW I FREED MYSELF FROM THE DIABETES ” ) .. I read it from cover to cover and I started with the diet and by the next morning. my blood sugar was 100, Since then. I get a fasting reading between the mid 70s and 80s, My doctor was very surprised at the results that. the next week. he took me off the Metformin drug, I lost 30 pounds in my first month and lost more than 6 inches off my waist and I’m able to work out twice a day while still having lots of energy. The truth is that we can get off the drugs and help myself by trying natural methods..

Leave a Comment


Opinion Section Policy
All opinions and ideas are welcome. Factually inaccurate, libelous, defamatory, profane or hateful statements are not. Your words must be your own. All commentary is subject to editing for legibility. There is no length limit, but the shorter, the better the odds of people reading it. "Local" SCV-related topics are preferred. Send commentary to: LETTERS (at) SCVNEWS.COM. Author's full name, community name, phone number and e-mail address are required. Phone numbers and e-mail addresses are not published except at author's request. Acknowledgment of submission does not guarantee publication.
Read More From...
Related Content
RECENT COMMENTARY
Tuesday, Aug 15, 2017
If left uncontrolled, diabetes can lead to some really bad outcomes, including kidney problems, glaucoma and other eye disorders, foot ulcers, amputation of feet or legs, stroke, diabetic coma, and even death.
Friday, Aug 11, 2017
There is no doubt the vast majority of Democrats and liberals loathe Trump. Certainly all of the leftists thoroughly hate him, and they have some company. They’re called Republicans.
Wednesday, Aug 2, 2017
In his August message to the community, Santa Clarita City Manager Ken Striplin details the city's emergency preparedness resources.
Tuesday, Aug 1, 2017
As our first president George Washington said, “We must consult our means rather than our wishes.”
Sunday, Jul 30, 2017
Many shocking surprises have shown up around the world as the ice melts. We’ve found a perfectly preserved baby woolly mammoth, a field of dead reindeer that died of anthrax, and then last year, infected people in Russia, and in Alaska, an Air Force plane that disappeared was finally found in the Colony Glacier. It had crashed in 1952, killing everyone on board.
Wednesday, Jul 26, 2017
When President Donald Trump ordered Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke to review the status of 27 national monuments created by three former presidents, many across the nation took it as a call to action to advocate on behalf of the monuments closest to their homes, and their hearts.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
40 oz. to Freedom arrives in Santa Clarita as part of its anniversary tour at Concerts in the Park at Central Park on Saturday, August 19, with showtime at 7 p.m.
August 19: 40 Oz. to Freedom Rocks Central Park
Two local environmental groups filed a complaint in L.A. Superior Court Thursday regarding the approved plan to provide water to the Newhall Ranch development, set to break ground in 2018.
Environmental Groups File Complaint Against Newhall Ranch Water Plan
County Supervisor Kathryn Barger has provided $143,000 in funding to extend the season of youth and adult swim programs offered at the Castaic Aquatic Center through October 31.
Castaic Aquatic Center Programs Extended to October 31
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, Los Angeles County firefighters and government leaders welcomed back the Super Scoopers Friday morning. Plus, the Old Town Newhall Library helped get the community ready for it as well by handing out free eclipse viewing glasses. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Friday, August 18, 2017
CalArts alumna Audrey Chan (Art MFA 07) will host a free, all-ages interactive arts workshop in Little Tokyo on Saturday and Sunday, August 19 and 20, as part of the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center’s 2017 Nisei Week activities.
August 19-20: Nisei Week Arts Workshop with CalArts Alum Audrey Chan
Western singer and songwriter John Zipperer headlines the next episode of "SCVTV Presents The OutWest Concert Series" at The MAIN in Old Town Newhall the evening of Friday, August 25.
August 25: John Zipperer Toplines ‘SCVTV Presents The OutWest Concert Series’
Habitat for Humanity SFV/SCV is honored to have received a $25,000 grant from the Disabled Veterans National Foundation, which will fund trauma workshops.
Habitat for Humanity Receives $25K Grant from Disabled Veterans
Here are agenda highlights for the next meeting of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, set for Tuesday, August 22, starting at 9:30 a.m..
August 22: Board of Supervisors Meeting Agenda
Ashley Olivier, a student worker at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station, summited Mt. Whitney with her dad, a lieutenant at LASD's Monterey Park station.
SCV Sheriff’s Station Student Worker, LASD Dad Top Mt. Whitney
Looking to enter the win column for the first time in 2017 on day two of the Summer Slam volleyball tournament, the TMU Mustangs squared off against 11th-ranked Eastern Oregon but lost in straight sets.
Mountaineers Spike Mustangs at Summer Slam
Caltrans has released "Rail and the California Economy," a research report investigating how the state’s vast passenger and freight rail system contribute to California’s economy, as well as an overview of opportunities for rail to address the state’s needs and challenges in the future.
New Report Details Rail Role in State Economy
The Master’s University women’s soccer team soared to a 7-0 victory over the visiting Eagles from Sierra Nevada College Thursday.
Lady Mustangs Soccer Win Opener 7-0
The Master’s University women's volleyball team concluded their first day of HIU Summer Slam tournament play with a five-set thriller against the Southern Oregon University Raiders on Wednesday evening, dropping the fifth set 15-9.
Lady Mustangs Fall in 5 to Raiders at HIU
A federal judge on Wednesday ruled against claims by a state workers’ union that California’s pension system unfairly changed the terms of a pre-existing collective bargaining agreement.
Court Upholds Increase in CalPERS Retirement Age
Friday's alert from the South Coast Air Quality Management District that air quality will be unhealthy for sensitive individuals in the Santa Clarita Valley has been extended through Saturday.
Updated: SCV Air Quality Unhealthy Saturday
Four annual crime reports, which provide law enforcement agencies and the public with statewide data on crime statistics, were released Friday by California's Attorney General.
AG Releases 4 California Crime Reports for 2016
The Master’s University women’s volleyball team lost their 2017 season opener Wednesday at the HIU Summer Slam in straight sets against the Warriors from national powerhouse Corban University (OR).
Warriors Drop TMU Lady Mustangs in Straight Sets
Here's the Castaic/Val Verde (Zone 2) Crime Information and Public Safety Report from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station for the week of August 7 to August 13.
Crime Blotter: Assault, Theft in Castaic-Val Verde
Two Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station employees will be recognized at the City Council meeting to be held on August 22 at 6 p.m.
City Council to Honor 2 SCV Sheriff’s Station Employees
The Santa Clarita Public Library invites residents to celebrate the upcoming total solar eclipse on Monday, August 21 with two free events at the Old Town Newhall Library.
August 18 & 21: Solar Eclipse Events at Newhall Library
The city of Santa Clarita’s Youth Sports program has seen measured success thus far in 2017.
Santa Clarita Youth Sports Sees Spike in Participation
The Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center’s new building campaign now only has $1.3 million remaining to raise before groundbreaking on the site can begin.
New SCV Senior Center Needs $1.3M to Break Ground
Sacramento County sued the California Department of Water Resources on Thursday over DWR's certification of the California 'WaterFix' delta tunnels project’s “dizzying” and “shifting” environmental review.
Sacramento County Sues to Freeze California ‘WaterFix’
1946 - Pioneering Placerita Canyon movie producer Trem Carr dies in San Diego [story]
' style=
The storewide remodel of the Walmart Supercenter at 26471 Carl Boyer Drive is complete and, in addition to the many physical changes inside, Santa Clarita residents now have access to Online Grocery Pickup.
Walmart on Carl Boyer Drive Celebrates Grand Reopening Friday
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, two people have been hospitalized after a major collision. Plus, an acquisition of land near the 14. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Thursday August 17, 2017
Le Chene French Cuisine, a long-time Santa Clarita local favorite restaurant along Sierra Highway, has announced that they will be hosting a thrilling Murder Mystery Dinner on Saturday, November 4th, 2017.
Nov. 4: Le Chene Murder Mystery Dinner
Senator Scott Wilk, R- Antelope Valley, today announces that he is one of the 2017 inductees into the Antelope Valley High School Alumni Hall of Fame.
Sept. 22: Wilk to be Inducted into AV High School Hall of Fame
Signups are under way for the Santa Clarita Walk to End Alzheimer’s, which offers participants an opportunity to take a healthy stroll, experience outstanding live entertainment, honor loved ones who have been affected by Alzheimer’s and raise funds to battle the debilitating disease.
Oct. 7: Walk to End Alzheimer’s; Signups Under Way
Trammell Crow Company (TCC) andand Clarion Partners are pleased to announce the acquisition of 54 acres of land for the development of The Center at Needham Ranch, a state-of-the-art business park in the city of Santa Clarita, CA.
TCC, Clarion Partners Acquire More Than 50 Acres of SCV Real Estate
The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration is hosting what will be a highly educational and informative (and free) Tax Seminar for Nonprofits and Exempt Organizations.
Sept. 6: Tax Seminar for Non-Profits and Exempt Organizations
For the first time in 99 years, a total eclipse of the sun will pass over the continental United States on August 21, and Princess Cruises guests sailing on six cruise ships in Alaska will be invited to special viewing parties as part of the cruise line’s exclusive Stargazing with Discovery at Sea program.
Princess Cruises to Host On-Board Viewing Parties for Solar Eclipse
Two people have been hospitalized with major injuries after a collision on San Francisquito Wednesday night.
San Francisquito Road Collision Leads to Major Injuries
Caltrans today announced that 32 major “fix-it-first” transportation projects can be accelerated a year earlier than planned thanks to anticipated funding from Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017.
More Than 30 Caltrans “Fix-it-First” Projects Accelerated by SB 1