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Greenly: Everybody knows what to do with lemons.

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But what if life gives you unripe figs?

On my way into work last week, I had a run-in with a massive pile of freshly cut fig branches stacked on the side of the road just calling my name. Needless to say, I walked away carrying as many branches as my arms could hold confident that I’d find a use for these abandoned, unripe treasures.

Upon reading a recipe for preserved unripe figs, I could already taste the sweetness of late summer on my lips.

  • Preserved Unripe Figs
  • ½ pound of unripe figs
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 ½ cups of water
  • 3 whole cloves
  • ½ lemon, peel removed
  • 1 sterilized canning jars

  1. Wash figs well.
  2. Cut off their stems and slit the bottom of the fruit.
  3. Place figs in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and continue to boil for 15 minutes.
  4. Using a strainer or slotted spoon, remove the figs from the boiling water, rinse the pot and repeat the boiling process two to three more times. At this point, the figs should be soft.
  5. Place figs back in the pot, ad 2 ½ cups of water, sugar, lemon juice, lemon peel, and cloves.
  6. Bring to a boil until the liquid becomes syrupy.
  7. Cool figs in their syrup before filling them in the sterilized jar.
  8. Seal, refrigerate, and enjoy.

Don’t let your un-ripened figs go to the birds, or worse, the garbage! The preserved figs are great spooned onto a piece of toast, coupled with feta, or piled onto a bowl of Greek yogurt for breakfast.

Do you have tips when it comes to making the most of immature fruit?

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About the Author
Natalie Ghio
Natalie Ghio

Besides composting, I love traveling, yoga, exploring new flavors, supporting local farms, and cooking for friends at my home in Brooklyn.

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