Low Carb Friends

Low Carb Friends (http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/)
-   Low Carb Recipe Help & Suggestions (http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/low-carb-recipe-help-suggestions/)
-   -   Fig tree is dripping with figs...making preserves lower glycemic... (http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/low-carb-recipe-help-suggestions/808010-fig-tree-dripping-figs-making-preserves-lower-glycemic.html)

razberry 07-14-2013 12:18 PM

Fig tree is dripping with figs...making preserves lower glycemic...
 
Lsst year I made sugar free fig preserves and chutney and froze it, but it's so carby and I was looking for ways to lower the glycemic level. I read that fig leaves taken in tea form from fresh or dried leaves lower sugar levels in diabetics when taken in the morning. Never tried it, but it supposedly has kind of a coconut flavor. Right now I have the leaves in a big stainless steel pot and plan to cook the figs in that water. Any other suggestions? I would really love to enjoy figs throughout the year. I did eat some while picking them yesterday under the shade of that big old tree, and they were warm from the sun and so good. Then I got out early this morning with a light rain and picked some more, and something about being under the canopy of the tree in the cool morning air with that light rain eating figs and picking felt so beautiful and natural, then my hubbie came out and helped and we played a bit in the rain and just felt very grateful to be healthy and alive and talked about in 30 years still picking figs from this old tree and enjoying our time together. I hope I can find a way to truly enjoy this great fruit, and stay on a lower carb plan. I lost 47 pound recently, and don't want to gain it back. Please help me with your suggestions!

Nigel 07-14-2013 01:39 PM

What about drying/dehydrating them?
I know you could only eat about 3 per day, depending on how many carbs you can have, but they taste like candy.

mojave 07-14-2013 02:15 PM

Thanks for sharing your lovely moments with a fig tree in the rain.

Dee

Pami 07-14-2013 02:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nigel (Post 16514743)
What about drying/dehydrating them?
I know you could only eat about 3 per day, depending on how many carbs you can have, but they taste like candy.

That bumps the glycemic index up from about 35 to over 60

GME 07-14-2013 02:35 PM

How about stewed and frozed and used as a sauce/garnish for meat, like a cranberry sauce? Then you can enjoy the flavor but the sugar hit will be blunted by the protein/fat in the meat.

I guess Newtons are out. That is my personal favorite way to consume figs. :laugh:

rosethorns 07-14-2013 02:46 PM

I don't know what this will do to the carb count but I add water to my jams to extends them. So that I get more for the carb.

What about using a crockpot to make fig butter. I'm really guessing.
I've always eaten them fresh.

razberry 07-14-2013 03:17 PM

Thanks so much everyone! I was worried I wouldn't get any answers! I love all of your ideas, not sure how to dry them and am afraid that would concentrate the natural sugars too much but it does sound yummy. I just made a huge stock pan full, but I should have reduced the fig leaf tea water more before adding in the figs. It started to scorch before the mixtre reduced enough. I grabbed it off quickly, so it was saved. I had two zested organic lemons in it, 4 cinnamon sticks, left the big figs leaves in it while it cooked, added in 1 teaspoon of organic tahitian vanilla. Then in the end I added in 1 can of pure pumpkin. I then made a big mistake, I wanted to mix in the lemon rinds, so after removing the leaves and cinnamon sticks, I took my emulsion blender to it and made, well....fig apple sauce. Mistake. Now, it is absolutely delicious, but no longer practical for preserves. I'm going to refrigerate it and add it to my next batch on Tuesday, which I won't blend. I think that will be better. I really do wish I had of checked my sugars with a regular batch, then again with a batch using the leaf tea and pumpkin, and see how it reacted differently. I may have some frozen from last year, I'll have to check. I'm not diabetic, but checking my BS is a great way to keep me on plan and know what I can and can't eat. I would love to use your idea, Gina, and use some during the holidays to mix with fresh cranberries and make a "fig-berry" sauce, and also as a glaze for pork. I'm a terrible low carb baker, but may experiment a bit with almond and coconut flour,.protein powder, and coconut oil/meat and try to make a ginger-snap like breakfast cookie. This mistake also gave me a great idea for pie for the holidays. Although not as smooth as pumpkin, this would make a great pie with a nut crust. If my babies weren't grown, I'd use it for baby food, too! I'm going to put this in the crockpot and see if I can reduce it a bit more and just sent hubbie out for some sugar-free pectin. I pinned some great recipes for little bites of Goat Cheese, Fig Jam, and Proscuitto, and one for glazing a pork loin that I can try and bring down the overall carb impact. Last Thanksgiving I glazed a ham with it, and it was really good. I do wish, though, I could figure out how to make this set up better now that I've blended it. Maybe another more experienced canner will post a little help a bit later. Thanks again so much everyone!

razberry 07-14-2013 03:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rosethorns (Post 16514808)
I don't know what this will do to the carb count but I add water to my jams to extends them. So that I get more for the carb.

What about using a crockpot to make fig butter. I'm really guessing.
I've always eaten them fresh.


Esther: What would I do to it to make the fig butter in the crockpot. Sugar free pectin, or none? How long should I cook it? How do you make your jams set up without sugar? Sorry so many questions!!!

razberry 07-14-2013 03:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mojave (Post 16514784)
Thanks for sharing your lovely moments with a fig tree in the rain.

Dee

You're welcome, Dee. We're over 50, and for so many years it's been all about the kids, and I wondered how we, as a couple, would be during these golden years, or how I would feel. Now that the pace of life has slowed, and I'm not concentrating on the girls all the time, I'm rediscovering in these little, simple moments, myself, again, and who we still are just as a couple. It is unexpected and alot of fun with a sense of freedom I'd forgotten about. Now, tomorrow, I may be crying over the empty nest, or things I wish I'd done differently or better as a mom, but for right now I'll just enjoy today and the great blessing it brought me along with this much-needed rain!

razberry 07-14-2013 03:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by razberry (Post 16514842)
Esther: What would I do to it to make the fig butter in the crockpot. Sugar free pectin, or none? How long should I cook it? How do you make your jams set up without sugar? Sorry so many questions!!!


What about xanthan gum or chia seeds? I think I have both. Kind of scared to try it.

ravenrose 07-14-2013 04:04 PM

glycemic index/etc is just not that relevant from what I can tell. figs are so high in sugar, this is a losing battle. why not eat a half fig a day while they are ripe and give the rest away?

I know it seems wasteful, but it really is like eating straight sugar. they only way you lower that is to make a LOT of jam with just a LITTLE fig, mostly something else. and if you have lots of figs, that would mean like a lifetime supply of fig jam. just a slippery slope for a lot of people.

good luck figuring this out!

razberry 07-14-2013 04:30 PM

Ok, I placed it in the crockpot to try to reduce it prior to freezing. It filled my whole 6 quart crockpot to full. Found some sugar free pectin, but not sure how to use it at this point, or if I should use the xanthan gum or chia seeds instead. I'll wait for more responses. :)

razberry 07-14-2013 04:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ravenrose (Post 16514874)
glycemic index/etc is just not that relevant from what I can tell. figs are so high in sugar, this is a losing battle. why not eat a half fig a day while they are ripe and give the rest away?

I know it seems wasteful, but it really is like eating straight sugar. they only way you lower that is to make a LOT of jam with just a LITTLE fig, mostly something else. and if you have lots of figs, that would mean like a lifetime supply of fig jam. just a slippery slope for a lot of people.

good luck figuring this out!

Thanks Raven Rose. Well, I may just reduce it as much as I can and freeze it for the holidays. My figs are really small, so I may savor 1 a day, give neighbors and friends what they want, then process and freeze the rest for the holidays then mix if with pumpkin or however I can find to lower the glycemic level between now and Thanksgiving/Christmas. Thanks!

rosethorns 07-14-2013 05:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by razberry (Post 16514842)
Esther: What would I do to it to make the fig butter in the crockpot. Sugar free pectin, or none? How long should I cook it? How do you make your jams set up without sugar? Sorry so many questions!!!

I always use Pamona Pectin. I don't know where you live but Sprouts carries it in TX. If not Ball low and no sugar pectin looks like it would work really well.


When I make butters I don't use pectin.
You have to ready your jars for canning. Sterilize.
Put it in the crockpot for 8 hrs on low so that it will reduce and thicken. If it is still not thick enough add xanthan gum, guar gum or gluc . You want it thick.
Then ladle into your canning jars and process in a water bath canner for 10 mins.

I've made peach, apple , pumpkin , and fig butter this way.

Once you have made the butter , you can make homemade fig newtons.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
This just for the figs blended.
If you don't want to reduce it then add your thickeners to it and some water with the way it is now. But check to see if it is thick enough for you & your family.If you reduce your carbs will go up . I would just thicken what you have and get it hot and can it, I might add water if you want to strech those carbs.

Hope I'm helping. If I left anything out I'll correct it.

razberry 07-14-2013 06:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rosethorns (Post 16515005)
I always use Pamona Pectin. I don't know where you live but Sprouts carries it in TX. If not Ball low and no sugar pectin looks like it would work really well.


When I make butters I don't use pectin.
You have to ready your jars for canning. Sterilize.
Put it in the crockpot for 8 hrs on low so that it will reduce and thicken. If it is still not thick enough add xanthan gum, guar gum or gluc . You want it thick.
Then ladle into your canning jars and process in a water bath canner for 10 mins.

I've made peach, apple , pumpkin , and fig butter this way.

Once you have made the butter , you can make homemade fig newtons.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
This just for the figs blended.
If you don't want to reduce it then add your thickeners to it and some water with the way it is now. But check to see if it is thick enough for you & your family.If you reduce your carbs will go up . I would just thicken what you have and get it hot and can it, I might add water if you want to strech those carbs.

Hope I'm helping. If I left anything out I'll correct it.

Thanks so much Esther! You're a life saver. I have it still in the crockpot. The Ball brand low/no sugar pectin is what I have, but I also have glucomannan and Xanthan gum, so I'll use your suggestion and add water and one of those to minimize the carbs a bit more. I took some out and have a batch of oatmeal spice fig cookies making for hubbie and to take to work (I won't eat them), then I'll thicken it up and instead of canning, freeze the rest. I have some chicken breasts, so I may save a bit out to make some chicken with the fig glaze and a bit of balsamic vinegar and 2 packages of haricot vert I have in the fridge that I need to use. I'm scared to can after a disaster a couple of years ago, so I froze the fig preserves last year in double freezer bags and they did great. That way, I'm not tempted to go in and open a jar. Thanks so much to everyone. This board is so great!

Pami 07-14-2013 06:47 PM

If the birds don't get 'em, I'll have a blue million figs here in a couple months
(4 trees- they're all still little, as in this is the 3rd year for fig trees, but man,
can they pump out some figs!)

BTW, we use Sure Jellhttps://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/i...UN6doo_2r9hYQ_

razberry 07-14-2013 08:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pami (Post 16515102)
If the birds don't get 'em, I'll have a blue million figs here in a couple months
(4 trees- they're all still little, as in this is the 3rd year for fig trees, but man,
can they pump out some figs!)

BTW, we use Sure Jellhttps://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/i...UN6doo_2r9hYQ_

You're further north, I'm in Texas, and we've had a hot, dry summer, so even my smaller tree is producing already, and it typically doesn't until Fall. I'll have to get with you and share recipes! By the way, I read if you put sparkly things in your tree that move, like extra large glittery outdoor Christmas ornaments, spinners, mashed up aluminum foil wraped around outside braches, that the birds won't bother your figs. Our largest tree is too big for a net (taller than our very tall home) so the birds mainly get only the top ones that are too high for us to reach without getting on the roos, so we still have plenty but I plan to graft some of our lower branches that have grown to the ground and grow some new trees in pots for friends and family. The smaller tree is near the pool and we didn't cut it back last year, so we are going to have to cut is way back this year, and will need to use the ornaments or foil next year. I've pasted a clip from an article for you below. Hope this helps to keep the birds away from your figs!!

How to Keep Birds Out of Fruit Trees the Green Way
How to Scare Off Birds with Recyclables
Keeping birds away from fruit trees can be a bit of a challenge. While the urban farmer can purchase special bird nets to wrap the fruit trees, the "greenest" solution of all is to make whirligigs and spinners from recyclables to strung up in the trees. Birds tend to be a skittish lot, and the moving shadows and reflections created by spinners do an excellent job of scaring them off.

Easy to make coiled spinners. To make a coiled spinner out of a foil pie plate, you'll need one clean pie plate and a sharp pair of tin snips or kitchen scissors.
1. Flatten out the pie plate.
2. Starting from the edge, cut the plate into a spiral shape.
3. Pull apart the cut foil so that it is about 2 feet in length.
4. Hang from the branches of the fruit tree.

To be totally effective, it's best to have at least one spinner per branch.

Foil streamers. Recycled foil gift wrap and aluminum foil can be used to make streamers. These bits of foil should be cut into three foot lengths measuring about an inch wide. Tie the ends of the streamers to the various branches. Foil streamers are how local fruit growers discourage birds from landing in the fruit trees.

Bells and chimes. Old sleigh bells and wind chimes will also help keep birds out of the fruit trees. If you don't have any of your own, simple chimes can be made from old silverware. For this, just need a bunch of old stainless (this can be found at thrift stores) and strong fishing twine.
1. Tie one end of the fishing twine to one end of a fork or spoon. Repeat as often as necessary.
2. Hang the silver ware up in the fruit bearing branches, taking care to arrange them in clusters so that they bang together when a bird alights on the tree.

Shiny foil and noise are the best deterrents for keeping birds out of your urban fruit trees. By using recycled material, you can keep down the costs while saving your crop.

Pami 07-14-2013 08:42 PM

Grape Kool-Aid, too
 
from umass.edu

Quote:

Grape Kool-Aid
A product right off the grocery shelf can be used to deter birds. Grape-flavored Kool-Aid
contains a grape compound called methyl anthranilate. The compound has a flavor that is very
distasteful to birds. To repel birds in blueberries, cherries and grapes, mix 4 packets of grape
Kool-Aid in one gallon of water and spray the plant and the fruit when the fruit begin to color and
attract birds. Several applications during the season may be necessary. This product is also
sold as Re-Jex-It as a bird repellant. This is an effective approach, but if bird pressure is great,
combination with another method is recommended.

Nigel 07-15-2013 09:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pami (Post 16514789)
That bumps the glycemic index up from about 35 to over 60

Ooops, I had no idea. Sorry.

Pami 07-15-2013 10:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nigel (Post 16515758)
Ooops, I had no idea. Sorry.

"Sorry" isn't necessary :hugs:

But think of it this way- you have a cup of grapes (for example). They have
16g carbs. Now dry those grapes. You have two tablespoons of raisins.
Nothing has happened to the sugar, so the carbs remain the same: 16g.
Glycemic index of grapes is 46; glycemic index of raisins is 64.

Same thing happens with the figs. :)

Nigel 07-15-2013 01:20 PM

That makes perfect sense.
Thanks for explaining it to me.

Charski 07-15-2013 04:55 PM

Personally, I'd just make the sugarfree preserves/jellies/jams and can or freeze it. I mean, really, how much do you use at a time for a serving - 1 teaspoon? Even a tablespoon couldn't be THAT awful in the overall scheme of things.

I make jellies with the Ball No/Low Sugar pectin and have great success. I make pomegranate, grape, blueberry, sour cherry, pineapple...and we eat it on my homemade sprouted wheat bread. It's one thing DH can eat that keeps him feeling satisfied for breakfast - 2 pieces of that bread, toasted, with a little jelly or jam on each one, probably a teaspoon per slice.

That's what I'd do with that load of figs anyway! :D YMMV!

Nigel 07-15-2013 05:32 PM

I like the jam/preserves idea myself. I found a recipe online that uses Splenda and s/f strawberry jello. Don't know how that might work.

I have made regular jam with sugar and all that years ago and it worked great with regular jello.

I just had a lightbulb moment. I always buy dried figs and dried apricots and eat about 3 per day of either one...the carb count is 21 for 7, so I figured I'm getting about 10 carbs and now that I see that, it seems like a lot. I don't eat them every day, but I think they might get taken off the grocery list now.

I may try the s/f jam recipe I found later this week. I have figs, not tons of them, but probably enough to make a batch of jam.

pooticus 07-19-2013 04:08 PM

Yep make it, give extra's as Cristmas pressies.

What about adding more fiber to the preserves? Don't know much about canning so don't know what added fiber works. I just know Polaner does it and it's great!

Nigel 07-20-2013 07:21 AM

That sounds good. I don't know what would be fiber, but that's a great idea.

Where have you been gal?

pooticus 07-20-2013 07:46 AM

Nigel!!! ((hugs)) Life's been complicated. :)

But I'm back and ready to get my booty back into weight loss mode!!

Missed you! MUAH!

Nigel 07-21-2013 06:08 PM

Good to see you back. You have been missed a lot around here.
Glad you are okay.


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:08 PM.