If you are familiar with figs, you will know that they are very delicate and can get spoilt easily. This is one of the reasons it is so difficult to enjoy this beneficial fruit. If you, however, know how you can store them, both dried and fresh, you would solve this problem of them getting spoilt.
What we want to know is how you can store figs. Fresh figs are to be eaten almost immediately and they can also be preserved by canning or drying. You can easily store dried figs, all you need to do is to put them inside an air-tight container and put them inside your pantry. Let’s check out the guide you can use to store figs whether fresh or dried.
How Long Do Figs Last?
Fresh figs have a very short shelf-life because they are usually harvested when all of them are ripe. You can extend both fresh figs as well as dried figs’ shelf-life if you can store them correctly. Fresh figs are recommended to be bought only when it will be used or eaten within one week.
Fresh figs have 2 or 3 days as their shelf life if you keep them at room temperature, out of direct sunlight. You could either place them inside the fridge or cold storage for them to last longer. You should, however, know that your fridge won’t do much. Refrigerated figs can only be kept for at most 7 days.
Dried figs usually last for a longer time just like other dried fruits. When you store properly, you can keep dried figs for about a year at room temperature.
How to Store Fresh Figs
You need to pay so much attention to fresh figs whenever it is about storage because they get spoilt very easily and quickly. Use paper towels to line the fresh figs on your plate if you will eat them within 2 to 3 days of buying them. Ensure you do not put them over one another because they will easily get smashed. Use a plastic wrap to cover the fresh figs and ensure the plate is placed in an area that is away from heat or direct sunlight.
Refrigerating Fresh Figs
Peradventure you have kept your figs for 2 to 3 days at room temperature, you need to prepare them for the fridge where they can be kept for up to one week. You should not allow the figs to stay out at room temperature for over 3 days because the figs will not be edible any more as a result of a very strong fermented odor.
Canning Fresh Figs
Fresh figs can also be preserved by canning, check below for the process:
- First, sterilize your jars in a dishwasher or boiling water.
- You need to prepare your figs. Wash them and remove the stems from them.
- You then have to simmer them over low-medium heat. You should also add sugar of about 6 to 8 cups.
- Allow it to cook for about 3 hours, stirring occasionally.
- The next step is to pour the cooked figs into the already prepared jars with a syrupy mixture and screw the lids on it.
- Place the jars for about 30 minutes inside boiling water, remove and then tighten those lids.
You can store canned figs for about 18 months. You should, however, not store them for too long if the lids do not pop after you have immersed the jars inside the boiling water. You should put them inside the fridge and don’t take too long to eat it.
Freezing Fresh Figs
You can also extend Fresh figs’ shelf-life by freezing them. If you want to do this, begin by washing the figs thoroughly, remove all stems, and leave out any overripe fig. Place the figs in your baking sheet that you have used parchment paper to line, allowing a bit of space between them.
Put them for about 3-4 hours inside cold storage before you remove them and place them inside a plastic bag (sealable). Ensure all excess air is removed from the plastic bag. The figs can remain for about 8 months inside the freezer. Ensure you thaw frozen figs before you consume it, this should be first done in the refrigerator and then on your counter for effectiveness.
How to Store Dried Figs
When compared to fresh figs, storing your dried figs isn’t that difficult. You could store your dried figs inside the pantry, refrigerator, or freezer. The best thing is to pour them into a well-sealed plastic bag or an air-tight container. Dried figs can stay inside the pantry for 6-12 months. Ensure they are kept in a cool place that is far from humidity. Dried figs can stay inside the refrigerator for about 1 year and it can stay inside the freezer for about 18 months.
How to Dry Fresh Figs
This will work for you if you’ve purchased figs in a larger amount than you can finish, you could dry them at home. The process is very easy, there is no need for you to be experienced with culinary before you do it. You will dry the figs within a few hours by using your food dehydrator, just follow the simple steps like cutting them and placing them for about 8 hours inside the machine.
In case you do not possess a dehydrator, check out some of the methods you can use below:
Method 1: The oven
If you want to use an oven to dry your fresh figs, wash them thoroughly, and pat them dry before you divide them into two different parts:
- Allow the oven preheat to a temperature of 60°C, if the oven has a fruit setting, you could turn it on.
- Place your figs over the wire shelf in the oven, ensuring the cut are is facing up. Leave the figs inside your oven for about 36 hours. As you leave them in there, there is a need for you to turn them from a side to the other so that they can be dried evenly without any moisture retained.
The oven’s temperature should not be increased to enhance the process because high temperatures will not allow the figs to dry up evenly.
Method 2: The sun
This method will work if you do not want to use an oven. Use the sun to dry your fruit. All you have to do is to first wash them, pat them dry, and cut them in quarters or halves.
- Use cheesecloth to cover your wire rack and place your figs over it. The figs should be protected from insects by using another cheesecloth layer to close it.
- Dry the figs for about 3 days inside the sun. Ensure they have access to direct sunlight and don’t forget you have to alternate all sides for the figs to dry fully.
- Once every of the moisture within the figs has disappeared, then you can store it.
You should put your dried figs inside a plastic bag (sealable) or an air-tight container. Dried figs could be stored both inside the refrigerator and a freezer. You are recommended to eat them soon after drying even though they can be stored for several months. You need to ensure that moisture is not in any way left in the figs.
Check below for some additional tips to help you to store your figs:
Do not place figs near some other fruits or vegetables when you are storing them. Just like other foods like apricots, apples, and banana, figs contain the plant hormone called ethylene and they usually release this gas that causes the sprouting and softening of other vegetables and fruits. They can also cause other products to deteriorate if you keep them together, just beware.
You should know how you should select your figs if you want to refrigerate or freeze them without cooking. Purchase slightly soft figs whose skin is undamaged and smooth. Irrespective of the storage method used, good figs will preserve well when you bring them home.
You should ensure you eat the figs as soon as you can. They are very delicate but have great nutrition and are very delicious. You should not waste the natural minerals, sugars, and fiber.
Let’s check out some frequently asked questions that are related to this topic:
How Can You Tell If Figs Are Bad?
Once picked, figs usually ferment quickly, if figs are spoilt, you will notice the smell. Throw them away if they smell sour. They may also have become spoilt even if they have just been purchased. This is likely because the perfect storage conditions have not been maintained. Figs become spoilt within some hours by leaving them fresh under direct sunlight.
Like some other products containing sugar, a white cast may develop on figs. This is because the natural contained sugar is coming to its surface. Also, there is a likelihood for mold to develop because they contain moisture and they could become inedible once the mold is on it. If you don’t know the differences between mold and sugar cast, don’t eat it. Usually, dried figs will not become spoilt easily like fresh figs, but if your dried figs have mold or smell off, don’t eat it.