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How to Use Fig Leaves?

 
pollinator
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In our mediterranean food forest we grow several fig trees (different varieties).
We love eating figs, but I know that you can use the fig leaves too - they're edible, tasty, nutritious and medicinal.

These days the leaves are just starting out, and within a couple of weeks they will be perfect to eat.

This is our oldest fig tree, the locals believe that it's a couple of hundred years old...





Here is what I know about fig leaves:

They're nutritious - a good source of vitamin A, B1, and B2 and also contain calcium, iron, phosphorus, manganese, sodium, and potassium.

They're tasty - adding a lovely mediterranean coconut, walnut, vanilla flavor to food.

They're medicinal - considered anti-diabetic, and have been shown to lower the body’s triglyceride levels, lowering the risk for obesity and heart disease.
Fig leaves are also used in a variety of other home remedies for cardiovascular problems, bronchitis and ulcers.

Here is my question though...

I am looking for good, tasty, vegan recipes with fig leaves.
If you ever created one, or found a great recipe online - would you be willing to share it here?

Thank you so much, and make it a great day
 
N. Neta
pollinator
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This Salmon Fillet Baked in Fig Leaves with Garlicky Potatoes sounds yummy...
But it's not vegan?

Any other ideas?
 
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When the leaves turn yellow at the end of the season they make an excellent tea which tastes kind of like marshmallows.
 
N. Neta
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Joe Banks wrote:When the leaves turn yellow at the end of the season they make an excellent tea which tastes kind of like marshmallows.


Wonderful... So just to leave them on the tree, and pick them before they fall to the ground?
 
N. Neta
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This Panang Curry with Fig Leaves looks yummy...

Anyone with more ideas for edible fig leaves?
 
N. Neta
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Found this recipe on YouTube...

Sounds very promising...

 
pollinator
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Fig leaves are edible?! I think you just blew my mind haha. This is awesome
 
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N. Neta wrote:Found this recipe on YouTube...

Sounds very promising...



This reminds me of Dolmades--stuffed grape leaves--more savory than sweet. My husband and I make these sometimes...but I do know that in some places in the Mediterranean, they DO use fig leaves instead of grape leaves.
 
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This isn't the leaves, but I've used the white fig sap to make a soft cheese.

unripe fig with sap

It contains the enzyme rennin, so it's a natural vegan rennet. It's easy to make. I used citric acid to culture the milk, added a couple drops of fig sap per quart of milk, and heated to lukewarm.

A couple drops of fig sap to a quart of milk.

It takes awhile to separate into curds and whey. The I drained the whey off and added a little salt.

Similar to cream cheese.

It makes a soft, spreadable, and delicious cheese. I tried several recipes substituting it for cream cheese.

Fig sap cheese and jelly sandwich.

I think the sap is in the base of the leaves too. I can't recall at the moment. Anyway, I'm definitely going to try some of these ideas for fig leaves!



 
N. Neta
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Chris Holcombe wrote:Fig leaves are edible?! I think you just blew my mind haha. This is awesome


They’re not only edible, but also medicinal... Chris.
Check out this article - about how to use fig leaves
 
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I know many leaves are edible, I not up to using a lot of them.  I imagine that whatever use for grape leaves could be for fig leas.  Same with maple leaves.

Here is a thread on edible tree leaves:

https://permies.com/t/87642/Vegetable-Trees

I looked on Pinterest and saw many things, like wine, syrup, jelly, ice cream, creme brulee, etc.



I am not sure what this recipe is maybe ice cream? The Pinterest link only gives the ingredient.  Directions are at the link with the ingredients.

This fig leaf recipe from Ollie Dabbous is only for the most accomplished and determined cook. It is a masterclass in technique and presentation which shows off rarely used fig leaves.



https://www.pinterest.com/pin/175077504252639618/
 
N. Neta
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Leigh Tate wrote:This isn't the leaves, but I've used the white fig sap to make a soft cheese.


This is fantastic, Leigh.
Thank you so much for this.
 
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Wow, these are some really exciting ideas. I haven't gone as far into actually cooking with fig leaves as others, but two things I have done that I really like: (a) bake fruit in a pan lined with fig leaves to infuse their wonderful aroma into the fruit; apples, pears, and plums are all good; (b) make simple syrup with fig leaves to produce a wonderful syrup that is good for making ice cream, homemade soda, or cocktails (fig leaf Old Fashioned).
 
N. Neta
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Matt Mill wrote:(b) make simple syrup with fig leaves to produce a wonderful syrup that is good for making ice cream, homemade soda, or cocktails (fig leaf Old Fashioned).


Great to hear, Matt...
Would you be willing to share the syrup recipe?
Thank you so much.
 
Leigh Tate
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N. Neta wrote:
Great to hear, Matt...
Would you be willing to share the syrup recipe?
Thank you so much.


I second that!
 
Matt Mill
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There's not really a recipe...I think normal simple syrup proportions are something like 1:1 sugar and water, but I don't honestly measure too carefully. Just put something like those proportions in a saucepan with a few fig leaves and simmer it until the sugar has dissolved and it turns a nice rich color. Then refrigerate.
 
N. Neta
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Matt Mill wrote:Just put something like those proportions in a saucepan with a few fig leaves and simmer it until the sugar has dissolved and it turns a nice rich color. Then refrigerate.


Thanks a million, Matt
 
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Thank you Matt. I am going to try this. It sounds great
 
pollinator
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Howdy,
One of my mediterranean cookbooks says if you don't have grape leaves you can supstitute fig leaves, and I have made alot of stuffed fig leaf things, rice/vegie, salmon/seafood wraps and cook on bbq.
 
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And here I thought the only thing one could do with fig leaves is cover their nether regions....
 
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Incredible ! I believe that's the best news I got today It seems so logical but I never thought of eating those leaves... Thank you !!
 
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I just saw the following on the Merriwether's Foraging Texas FB page:

Just a reminder, toasted, young leaves of fig trees taste like coconut! Bake them in an oven at 375F for until crunchy/brittle then crush up and add wherever you'd put coconut. Mmmmmm!



No recipes, but one commenter showed a photo of fig leaf ice cream with the comment "Tastes just like coconut."



Another commenter said -- and this is highly relevant to my interests -- "Infused in vodka makes a wonderful drink!"

For context, I have a ton of fig plants that make lots of leaves but very little fruit (so far) due to mostly not being quite hardy enough for my conditions. So I am going to be trying this just as soon as this year's new growth gets going.
 
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