Wondering How To Eat Figs?

Fresh Fig Benefits

Figs not only taste good, but they are a good source of fiber and complex carbohydrates. They’re also rich in several minerals, including potassium, calcium, magnesium and iron. In fact, when you eat a half-cup of figs you get as much calcium as when you drink a half-cup of milk.

So if you’re wondering how to eat figs, so you get these healthy fruits in your diet, here are some suggestions. . .

How To Eat Figs Fresh

Fresh figs are great eaten as is. Some people say fresh figs taste like a mix of a peach and a strawberry!  However, sometimes fresh figs are hard to find, as they are extremely delicate and don’t travel well.

Green Figs

Green Figs

The trees produce a small, early crop. There is a second and much bigger crop, which is when most figs are more readily available. In southern areas of the United States this occurs from July on through until frost stops production. In more northern locations, fig trees may only produce one crop per season, generally in August or later.

Fresh, ripe figs should be fairly soft, but not mushy. A perfectly ripe fig is heavy for its size and usually oozing a bit of sugary syrup. Sometimes these natural sugars appear as surface sugar crystals. This is a natural phenomenon and does not indicate spoilage.  If you want to remove the sugar crystals:

  1. Place 1/2 cup figs in a microwave-safe dish.
  2. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon water.
  3. Cover loosely and microwave on high for one minute.

The color of figs varies from green, brown, yellow to purple or almost black, depending on the variety of fig. The size also varies depending on the variety.

Ripened figs can be stored in the refrigerator for 2 or 3 days, but they should be eaten as soon as possible after you buy them. They ferment readily, and should also be checked for mold.

You can use a sharp knife or a pair of scissors to cut up figs. If the knife gets sticky, run it under hot water to remove the fig syrup.

If you find fresh figs that are hard or dried out, they should be used in recipes where they are poached or macerated. Keep in mind that figs do not continue to ripen once picked, so if they’re unripe when you buy them, they’re going to stay that way.

If it doesn’t look like you’re going to use up your fresh figs right away, they can also be kept in the freezer for up to one year.

Fig hanging on tree.

Brown Turkey Fig hanging on tree.

When You Can’t Find Fresh Healthy Figs, Try Dried Ones

Since it’s sometimes difficult to find fresh figs, dried figs are a good option. They can be eaten as is for a sweet treat.

Dried figs can also be soaked to soften them, or cooked by themselves or with any other dried fruits. They are good stewed, and are usually sweet enough to require little or no sugar.

Buy natural dried figs that don’t have any sulfite or potassium sorbate preservatives. You get more fruit for your money with preservative-free figs because the preservatives make the fruit retain up to 30% more water. It’s better to be eating the figs than perservatives anyway!

Natural dried figs will be darker in color than those with perservatives. The flavor is also more concentrated, and of course they are also more nutrient dense since they don’t have so much water.  They’re also chewier.

Dried figs can be stored in the original sealed package at room temperature for a month. For longer storage, keep them in the refrigerator, six months to a year. Opened dried figs should be transferred to a sealable plastic bag or some kind of airtight container and stored in the refrigerator. They are best used within a year of purchase.

Sometimes a powder forms on dried figs. This is the fruit’s natural sugar in a crystalline form and is edible.

It doesn’t matter whether you call them a Fig (English), Higo (Spanish), Figue (French), Feige (German), or Fico (Italian), this is one healthy fruit, and an easy health food to add to your diet.


  1. Do you eat the outer fig shell?

  2. It’s just fine to eat the skin of a fig.

  3. what happens when you eat a unripe fig?

  4. i ate one and i got red spots on my tongue?why?

  5. If the figs are not completely ripe, a bit of milky sap oozes from the stem end. This milky sap, ficin, acts sort of like a digestive enzyme. That’s what makes your tongue/mouth sore. To prevent this, be sure to cut off the stem, since that’s where most of the ficin is.

    Also be sure to wash the fig in fresh, cool water, to get rid of any sap that may be on the skin.

    If you are particularly sensitive, and especially with unripe figs, then you might not want to eat the skin either, though most of the sap is in the stem.

  6. You answered my question wonderfully on dried figs, thank you

  7. how to eat dried fig and for how much time to soak..please comment..

    • You can eat dried figs just like they are, sort of like you’d eat raisins. Or you can soak them in water or some other liquid to give them a different taste. It takes 12 to 24 hours to soften the figs… it’s hard to tell you an exact time because it depends on how dry the figs are and how soft you want them. Or you can stew/poach the figs by putting them in a pan that has a tight fitting lid with the liquid of your choice, and let it simmer until the fruit has plumped back up.

      • Alok Jain says:

        Hi Teagan, Would soaking the figs not destroy its nutritional values? I absolutely do not care about taste or how soft or hard it is to eat, I wana get best benefits out of anything I eat.

        I understand figs are great help to increase hemoglobin level…so how would it be more beneficial to my blood….dried or soaked?

        Would really appreciate if I could get some answer to this ….have been searching and inquiring a lot but 0 results…:-(

  8. wondering do u eat the skin or just the fruit in side.thanks

    • Figs are usually eaten whole, with the skin and all. You don’t even have to cut the fig into smaller pieces or remove the seeds if you don’t want to. Just pop the entire fig into your mouth and enjoy it!

  9. If you get the ficin on your tongue and it gets sore, how do you treat it?

    • Once the ficin has irritated your tongue, the cause isn’t important… just treat the soreness like you would no matter what caused it. Home remedies include: fresh yogurt to soothe the irritation, a wet tea bag sometimes helps, or sucking an ice cube.

  10. Thanks. A friend recommended figs and I hadn’t eaten them since I was a kiddo. I had totally forgotten how to eat them.

  11. hi mam

    what are the extreme benefits of eating figs.

  12. is really fig good for hair falling

  13. i am getting meried, my friend sugested to eat figs as its good for the helth as it will help me alot in my meried life. please update does it help.

  14. amir khan says:

    is eating figs with raisins harmful?

  15. your comment on October 28, 2009 just answered all my questions. Thanks!

  16. candy595 says:

    thank you Tegan, your answer on 5th July answered the question I was going to ask.

  17. kavitha says:

    how many figs should be consumed per day?does it really help to reduce weight?

    • Muhammad Kamran Butt says:

      Dip 07 figs in a cup of milk at night & on next day eat them early in the morning
      along-with milk. And you will see results within one month.

  18. omi the homie says:

    can you eat the figs with the stem on?

  19. Thomas Hutchinson says:


    Can I make fig rolls from fresh figs? They all seem to be made with dried figs?!


  20. hi
    we recently had dried figs on holiday. how do they get them from something medium size large and round to a flat saucer type thing

  21. I am wanting to buy some fresh figs from my local grocery store what would be the best way to eat those? Are there any good recipes that I could use them in? I love to cook but also love fresh friuts as well. Thank you so much.

  22. What are the other benefits of FIGS.

  23. I feed figs to my horseshoe crabs. It’s their favorite treat!

  24. I am planning to give away chocolate dipped figs for Christmas, but want to make them ahead of time. I was wondering if anyone knows how long dried figs keep once they have been re-hydrated. I am thinking of soaking them in brandy instead of water or juice to make them keep longer.

  25. Mary Joyce says:

    how many dried figs can be eaten in a day, since i have palns to eat them every day, please help me

  26. mihika singh says:

    i am suffering from vitiligo ..there is white spot in my neck and back and a little one on the face…how many dried and fresh figs i can eat in a day..pls help me..its urgent….

  27. Milon S. rai says:

    I would like to ask whether all types of figs are edible for medical.

    • The laxative properties of figs are supposed to be good for hemorrhoid treatment because it keeps you from being constipated, so recommend eating 1 or 2 figs first thing every morning. Another home remedy suggests taking 2-4 dried figs, make sure they are clean, then soak them in pure water overnight. First thing in the morning, drink it.

  28. Milon S. Rai says:

    Thanks for your advice.

  29. does eating figs with milk really increase weight??? plzzz rply I’m painfully underweight :(((((((

  30. Katherine says:

    Do figs help lose weight? And also, I adore figs, but I am not sure how many I am supposed to eat without having the laxative affect on my body. Please reply As Soon As Possible

  31. Priyanka says:

    After soaking the figs in water should we consume the water too???

  32. I am 10 week pregnant women.can i eat fresh fig fruit?is it really good for pregnant women?

  33. I NEED HELP!
    I don’t know how to eat figs! how do eat these incredibly complicated fruits! ahhhhh I’m losing sleep because of this. I don’t know how to eat fruit.

    Do I need medical help!

  34. This might sound strange for western countries, but a lot of asian people find it funny to hear that some western people eat figs with the outer skin. The outer shell/skin always contains a bit of fig milk/sap which causes rashes on the skin.
    I live in the netherlands and all my friends found it very hard to eat figs since they cause them rashes. The solution is simple, don’t eat the skin/shell. It can do you harm by causing rashes.

  35. Ps. Peel the fig like you peel a banana

  36. josephine says:

    I make fig paste from the Black Mission figs for pastries (just grind the figs to very smooth), but many people tell me that they taste a bit of bitterness ( perhaps from the skin) since figs have high sugar concentration, but they still taste some bitterness from the skin, please tell me how to get ride of the bitterness from the paste.
    Thank you very much

    • omit the skin from your recipe, your paste should be the flesh from inside the fruit, the only benefit of the skin is to change the texture of the paste

  37. figs are great with goats cheese in filo pastry

  38. We have a fig tree planted in our backyard from a previous owner…I’m really liking the idea of having the tree but I am clueless when it comes to picking the figs and when the figs are actually ripe. The figs are currently green and fairly hard…I do not recall if they ever turned colors last season but I think they stayed fairly green. Is this common? Does that mean the tree may need more water? Thanks, I would like to make use of the fruit and I have a dehydrator so could potentially make dried fruit. Thanks, any information is truly appreciated :)

    • The figs are ripe when they come off the tree when pulling slightly. Don’t try to pick them when it’s firmly attached to a branch, it means the fruit isn’t ripe yet.

    • Figs come in a huge variety of colours, so it depends on the color of figs you have, If you have a fig tree that produces green figs, they will stay green.
      All colours start off green and will eventually turn into their mature colours e.g green, yellow, purple

  39. marylyn says:

    I like the helpful info you provide in your articles.
    I’ll bookmark your weblog and check again here regularly. I’m quite certain
    I’ll learn many new stuff right here! Best of luck for the next!

  40. Thank you for the auspicious writeup on eating figs. Sounds like I’d better add some to my diet.

  41. Greate post on how to eat figs. I will definitely digg it and pass this info on to my friends.
    I am sure they will be benefit from eating figs.

  42. CHANTAL says:

    My figs start off green then turn purple-ish. My question is when I pick them and cut them, some of them have very small worm-like things squirming around. Is this normal and safe? Should I not eat them (I’m mostly grossed out and don’t) trusting that my digestive system will take care of them? Are they okay to nuke for a few seconds then eat?

    • Shirley Teagan says:

      If there’s something actually moving in there and alive… I’d probably be too grossed out to eat it either. Don’t know about the safety factor.

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