biblically speaking the fig tree is one of the oldest known trees to mankind, with references made in the story of Adam and Eve. The fig leaf covering Adam and Eve's private parts !
Dried or fresh, the fig has been enjoyed for thousands of years all around the world. The sweet fig is a terrific high energy snack that is a good source of fibre, calcium, potassium, vitamin B6 and manganese. In its fresh-ripe state, the fig has a vibrant crimson color and is a healthy antioxidant source.
Interestingly, the leaves of the fig tree have been found to have an anti-diabetic and triglyceride/ cholesterol lowering effect. Repeated studies have shown that the leaves of a fig tree have a pro-insulin effect that has lead diabetic patients to take lower doses of injectable insulin. Due to the fact that the leaves are not necessarily tasty or user friendly when it comes to cooking (in the west anyway), liquid extracts have been manufactured and added to the meals of insulin-dependent diabetic patients with positive results.
As with most vegetables, fennel is a good source of fibre and is high in vitamin C, folate (which is essential for brain and nervous system function), potassium, calcium and some iron. Fennel is not everyone’s cup of tea. It has a strong aniseed flavor that is either loved or not so much. However fennel boasts quite a few health and well-being properties, including its ability to beat bad breath.
The medicinal uses of fennel have been well documented around the world. In the East as well as in European countries, fennel has been used for centuries to treat digestive complaints such as; flatulence, bloating, indigestion (Indian people commonly chew on fennel seeds to ease the discomfort of indigestion as the oils stimulate hydrochloric acid/ gastric juices) and irritable bowel syndrome. In addition, fennel may be helpful in the management of hypertension, anaemia (due to the fact that it contains iron and Histidine, an amino acid/ protein which stimulates haemoglobin production), low breast milk production, premenstrual syndrome, upper respiratory complaints such as sinus congestion and coughs.
FIG & FENNEL SALAD RECIPE
2 Bulbs of fennel (thinly sliced)
6 Ripe figs halved (halved)
1 ripe Pomegranate (seeds removed)
100g goat's cheese or Persian Feta (broken up)
50g Quality shaved parmesan
50g Raw Walnuts (broken into pieces)
200g Rocket (Arugula) leaves (washed well)
I lemon (Juiced)
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp cold pressed organic olive oil
Himalayan salt and cracked black pepper to taste.
1. Cut the fennel in half and peel away the tough outer layer. Thinly slice each half. Heat a pan with olive oil and brown the figs and fennel for a minute.
2. In a large bowl, combine rocket (Arugula), pomegranate and cucumber.
3. In a separate bowl, combine all ingredients to make the dressing and pour over the salad mixture.
4. Sprinkle the goat’s cheese, parmesan and nuts on top. Enjoy!