8 Best Fig Substitutes

Soft, sweet, mushy, teardrop-like fruit that grows from fruit trees. One of the oldest fruits known, and widely spread around the world. That’s fig.

There are many varieties of figs, but the most known are Adriatic figs, Black mission figs, Brown Turkey figs, Calymirna figs, and Kadota figs.

Most of the fig varieties are very sweet and they are usually used in desserts. But they can be also used to pair savory flavors like blue cheeses, dried meats like ham, pancetta, or bacon, nuts, citrus fruits, wines, or spices like cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, and cloves.

Figs vary in flavor and sweetness depending on the place where they came from. The most common types of figs that can be found in the markets are Black mission, and Brown Turkey figs. One thing is common all types of figs taste like fig.

However, if you don’t have fresh figs on hand, you can use dried ones instead. Or dates, prunes, apricots, peaches, or some of the following substitutes.

Fig Substitutes

The taste of fresh figs is very hard to substitute. But if you have some type of dried fruit at home you can substitute it for dried figs.

Some of the fruits you can use are dates, apricots, grapes, or prunes. You will not reach the same flavor. But dried fruits will add sweetness and a different taste to your recipe.

1. Dried figs

Dried figs

Dried figs can be used as a substitute for fresh figs and vice versa. You can find them in stores throughout all year. They contain iron, calcium, potassium, and they are also a good source of fiber. Eating dried figs have some health benefits.

They’re good for weight loss, indigestion, constipation, asthma, diabetes, hypertension, and other health issues. If you want to rehydrate the dried figs you can simmer them in water, liqueurs, wine, or some other liquid of your choice. Only bad thing is that you will not taste the fresh unique flavor of the figs.

2. Dates

Medjool dates

Dates are one of the sweetest fruits. They grow in very hot climates and can be eaten fresh or dried. Dates work well in sweet and savory dishes, salads, sauces, as appetizers, added to cakes, cookies, bread, or as a snack.

Fresh dates have a sweet caramel taste, and dried dates are even sweeter than fresh ones with a stronger texture. Don’t forget to remove the pit if they are not already pitted.

3. Prunes

Dried Prunes

Prunes are a type of plums that taste better when dried. They taste like sweet plums and are great for soups, stews, stuffing, salads, cookies, bread, and other sweet and savory dishes.

Prunes are the best figs substitute since they have the same sweetness, size, and texture. Eating prunes has health benefits just like eating figs. They have a high content of vitamins, iron, potassium, fiber, help in lowering high blood pressure and reduces cholesterol levels.

4. Apricots

Dried Apricots

Apricots are fruits with a yellow or orange color mixed with red or pink tones. You can find them fresh, dried, or canned. They have a sweet flavor which reminds of peach and plum mixed, and soft silky skin. Apricots work well in both sweet and savory dishes.

They combine well with poultry and lamb, spices like curry, nutmeg, cardamom, or ginger. Using apricots as a substitute for figs can add different and not-so-sweet flavors to your dishes. Same as figs apricots are full of vitamins and minerals.

5. Peaches

Peach is a fruit that belongs to the same family like apricots, plums, cherries, and almonds. There are many types of peaches.

Some of them have a white flash which is sweeter, and with yellow flesh sourer. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber.

This fruit has a pink-orange color and sweet or acidic taste depending on the type. Peaches work well in sweet and savory dishes like pies, cakes, pastries, pork, poultry, seafood, etc.

6. Pluots

Pluots are a hybrid of apricots (40%) and plums (60%) with a sweet flavor similar to plums and apricots. They vary in color and size. You can find red, dark green, or purple pluots and use them for baking, sauces, jams, salads, or fillings, and other dishes where apricots and plums are used.

7. Raisins

Raisins

Raisins are dried grapes seeds. They can be brown or golden. Brown raisins are usually used in baked dishes, while golden for savory dishes.

Brown raisins have a sweet and fruity taste and work well in cookies, cakes, chicken salads, sweet bread, or lamb meat.

Golden raisins have a sweeter and fruiter flavor. Therefore, they’re a better substitute for figs. You can use them in salads, dips, rice, cookies, pork, or chicken meat.

8. Cranberries

Cranberries

Cranberries are used fresh, dried, frozen, as a juice or sauce. Fresh cranberries have a sour and bitter flavor. They’re perfect for making juice or sauce with added sugar.

Dried cranberries are also with added sugar, so they a sweeter than fresh ones. Cranberries taste good in cakes, bread, soups, stews, salads, sauces, chicken, pork meat, and more. They are not so sweet as figs but they give a special tart-sweet flavor to your dish.

Related Questions

Can I use dates instead of figs?

Dates are as sweet as figs so they can be used instead of figs. In fact, they’re one of the best substitutes for figs.

What are figs supposed to taste like?

Figs are supposed to taste sweet like honey with a hint of berry, and little seeds that are popping under your teeth.

Are figs and prunes the same?

Figs and prunes are not the same because prunes are a type of plums.

Final Thoughts

This teardrop fruit was used as a sweetener even before sugar. You can eat it raw, grilled baked, in sauces, with bacon, with cheese, or in sweet dishes the choice is yours.

However, if you don’t have figs on hand, feel free to use some of the substitutes listed above. If you have any interesting facts about figs we will be more than interested to hear them.

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