Can You Freeze Figs?

For many people, their most common experience with eating figs is in "newton" form, as in the brand of one of America's most popular snacks, Fig Newtons. However, figs are a delicious and versatile fruit that many also enjoy on their own or in a variety of savory or sweet dishes. As NPR points out, however, the availability of fresh figs each year is quite limited, since there are just two short fig seasons each year.

As with any other fruit, figs spoil if not consumed within a short time. The Los Angeles Times says that because figs have such a short shelf life, farmers dry around 90% of them immediately after harvest. Still, fresh varieties are available when in season. So, how can you take advantage of fresh figs' seasonality without seeing a large number of the figs you buy end up wasted? One strategy to deal with the small window for acquiring figs is to consider freezing them. Is that feasible, though?

Preserving your fresh figs in a freezer

The idea of freezing these fruits isn't a fig-ment of your imagination. According to Food Champs, freezing figs is absolutely an option. There is a caveat, though, because the freezing process breaks down the cell walls in figs. Thus, when you thaw them, they tend to be mushy rather than firm. However, that doesn't mean frozen figs are useless. On the contrary, there are plenty of ways to get your fig fix after the frozen fruits thaw.

You can use frozen figs in ice creams, muffins, pies, sauces, and smoothies. Of course, there's the literal figgy pudding that the famous carol "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" refers to. Other options include chutneys, jams, and preserves. For all those applications, frozen figs are completely acceptable.

Kitchenous recommends coating your figs in sugar before you freeze them and removing the stems as well. A little lemon juice will help preserve the figs' color through the freezing process. Like with any other food product, ensuring you have an airtight seal before inserting your figs in the freezer is paramount.

Whether you're big on figs or a Fig New-ton, freezing the fruits can ensure you have some on hand to enjoy all year.