Healthy Blueberry Jam – A Sweet Summer Condiment

Healthy Blueberry Jam – A Sweet Summer Condiment

Did you know July is National Blueberry Month? Erin, our guest blogger from Food Wise Family, is here to share a quick, yet healthy blueberry jam recipe that’s perfect for spreading on your favorite breads, pancakes, crackers, or even adding to yogurt or oatmeal.

This healthy blueberry jam recipe makes approximately one cup of jam, which is ideal when you only want a small batch in your refrigerator. Plus, this recipe takes 15 minutes or less and uses only three ingredients, making this recipe super simple!

What Makes This Jam Healthy?

The jam you find in the store is usually packed with refined sugar, but this healthy blueberry jam lets the natural sweetness of the blueberries and a little bit of honey do the work.

So, this isn’t the sweetest jam you’ll ever taste, but it does the job to create a balanced bite of blueberry sweetness to whatever you add it to.

I love to use chia seeds, and this healthy blueberry jam recipe is an opportune time to add them. In jam recipes, you often will discover that pectin is used to help gel the jam. The chia seeds are replacing the pectin in this recipe. Chia seeds absorb the blueberry juice produced in this recipe and helps to give the jam its gelatinous quality. If you’re not familiar with chia seeds, they are rich in omega-3s, protein, fiber, and calcium, making them a great addition.

Healthy Blueberry Jam Recipe

Cook Time: 5 Minutes
Rest Time: 5 – 10 Minutes
Total Time: 10 – 15 minutes

healthy blueberry jam ingredients

Ingredients
2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
3 tbsp chia seeds
2 tbsp honey

Instructions

healthy blueberry jam prep
  1. In a small saucepan, heat blueberries on medium while stirring occasionally.
  2. Once berries are warmed and start to break down (about 5 minutes), mash them with a potato masher or other utensil (fork, wooden spoon, etc).
  3. Add chia seeds to the saucepan and stir several times until mixed in. Let lightly simmer for 2 minutes.
  4. Remove pan from heat and stir in honey.
  5. Allow the jam to cool for 10 minutes, and enjoy warm or store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for later use.

I believe that the food we put on the table should not only be healthy, but easy and full of flavor. Check out my website foodwisefamily.com for more wholesome recipes.

Sweet Potato Toast Recipe – A Must Try!

Sweet Potato Toast Recipe – A Must Try!

Sweet Potato Toast
Here’s something sweet, yet wholesome for dad this Father’s Day. Our guest blogger, Erin, over at Food Wise Family, has a great addition for any breakfast, brunch or even appetizer.

What is Sweet Potato Toast?
Sweet potato toast is sliced sweet potatoes that have been perfectly baked in the oven. Well, it’s not bread and it doesn’t really taste like toast, so why call it toast? It is dubbed as toast because it can hold all your favorite toppings just like toast. If you want to be fancy, you could even think of it as a healthier form of bruschetta. Not only is this gluten free, but it is a delicious and healthy option.

The recipe below uses almond butter and strawberries, but this is just an example.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to sweet potato toast. Whether it’s avocado and tomatoes or honey and cinnamon, just think of your favorite toast toppings and have at it.

Leftovers Are Great
This sweet potato toast recipe calls for one large sweet potato. If you don’t think you’re going to eat that much in one sitting, these make great leftovers. Just store any plain slices in an airtight container in your fridge. When you want to eat them, just pop one in the toaster on a low to medium setting, and then top with your favorite topping once warmed.

Sweet Potato Toast
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Baking Time: 25 Minutes
Total Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients
1 large sweet potato
almond butter
sliced strawberries

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Wash and dry sweet potato. Cut off both ends of the sweet potato and cut lengthwise into 1/4-1/2 inch slices.
  3. Place sweet potato slices in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are tender.
  4. Remove from oven and let cool. Smother sweet potato slices in almond butter and top with sliced strawberries.
sweet potato toast prep

I believe that the food we put on the table should not only be healthy, but easy and full of flavor. Check out my website foodwisefamily.com for more wholesome recipes.

Looking for another Father’s Day Recipe? Here is a (not-so-healthy) recipe for you to consider: Father’s Day Sliders!

Homemade Salsa Recipe – Feel The Heat!

Homemade Salsa Recipe – Feel The Heat!

Erin, our guest blogger over at Food Wise Family, has a homemade salsa recipe with an awesome kick to it! So break out those tortilla chips, and get ready to make this quick and easy salsa just in time for Cinco de Mayo.

I like my salsas hot. With two jalapeños and a little bit of cayenne pepper in this homemade salsa recipe, you can definitely feel the heat. So I’ve added chunks of creamy avocado to help cool down each bite.

Not a Fan of Cilantro
Cilantro is very common in Mexican dishes and salsas, but this homemade salsa recipe just doesn’t have it. I am one of those people who isn’t sold on cilantro; my taste buds just don’t like it. The salsa needs some herbs to help balance out the flavor, though, so my favorite herb mix to use in my salsa is Italian seasoning. That’s right, Italian seasoning! Trust me on this one. However, if you are a fan of cilantro and you are wondering why on earth wouldn’t she use cilantro, by all means, sub a handful of fresh cilantro for the Italian seasoning.

This homemade salsa recipe is not only great with your favorite tortilla chips, but is so versatile and full of flavor, it complements anything that needs a punch of flavor.

Enjoy it on top of eggs, meats, fish, tacos, hamburgers, baked potatoes… the possibilities are endless.

Homemade Salsa Recipe

Total Time
5 mins

homemade salsa recipe

Ingredients
• 1 14.5oz can of diced tomatoes
• 2 jalapeños, seeded and roughly chopped
• 2 green onions, roughly chopped
• 1 tsp Italian seasoning
• 1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
• 1/4 tsp black pepper
• 1/8 tsp salt
• 1 small ripe avocado, cubed
Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients, except the avocado, in a food processor and pulse for 15 to 30 seconds.
  2. Put salsa in a bowl and lightly stir in the cubed avocado.
  3. Enjoy immediately. This will keep in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.

I believe that the food we put on the table should not only be healthy, but easy and full of flavor. Check out my website foodwisefamily.com for more wholesome recipes.

This recipe goes great with a Hibiscus Margarita! Read our Blog!

Crunchy Snack Recipe – Maple Cinnamon Glazed Pecans

Crunchy Snack Recipe – Maple Cinnamon Glazed Pecans

National Pecan Day is this weekend and a great way to celebrate this nut is with a healthy, protein-packed pecan recipe. Our guest blogger Erin from Food Wise Family is here to share a wonderfully crunchy yet sweet snack that you don’t feel guilty about indulging in.

My maple cinnamon glazed pecans are a delightful way to honor the delicious pecan. Not only is this recipe super simple, but it makes your house smell amazing. I know I can’t resist the smell of maple and cinnamon welcoming me when I walk in the door.

These glazed pecans don’t last long in our house. My most recent batch only lasted a little more than 24 hours. It’s really hard not to eat more than one. They are addicting!

 

This tasty little snack is sweetened by just a little bit of maple syrup, keeping it paleo.

This not only makes a great snack, but is also a great topper for salads, if you want to add some crunch. Plus, the pecan is heart healthy, full of vitamins and minerals, and packed with fiber.

Maple Cinnamon Glazed Pecans
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Baking Time: 45 Minutes
Total Time: 50 Minutes

Ingredients
2.5 cups raw pecans
1 egg white
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp salt

glazed pecans bake

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 250°.
  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk egg white for about one to two minutes until it is frothy.
  3. Add maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, and salt to the egg white mixture and mix well.
  4. Pour the pecans into the egg mixture and stir until well-coated.
  5. Spread mixture evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes. Stir the mixture every 15 minutes while baking.
  7. Remove from the oven, and let cool for 5 minutes.

Recipe Note:
Looking to make more? This recipe for maple cinnamon glazed pecans can easily be doubled. Just make sure when you are baking it, that the there is enough room on your baking sheet for the glazed pecans to be spread out evenly.

I believe that the food we put on the table should not only be healthy, but easy and full of flavor. Check out my website foodwisefamily.com for more wholesome recipes.

Love pecans and looking for a sinfully delicious dessert? See our blog for Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie!

Matcha Chia Pudding Recipe

Matcha Chia Pudding Recipe

Whether it’s St. Patrick’s Day or any other day, here’s a little bit of green to start your morning. Our guest blogger, Erin over at Food Wise Family, has a creamy treat perfect for matcha lovers – it’s called Matcha Chia Pudding!

Matcha is a finely ground powder of high-grade green tea. Unlike normal tea where you steep the leaves, with matcha you are consuming the whole leaf. Matcha has more caffeine than black tea, but less than coffee.

Chia seeds are tiny seeds that retain a large amount of water. That’s why they are great in pudding, because they soak up all the delicious coconut milk in this recipe, creating a texture similar to tapioca pudding. Since they soak up at least 10x their weight, it’s best to eat chia seeds soaked, like in a pudding, so they don’t absorb the water in your body. These tiny seeds are a great source of fiber, protein, calcium, and omega-3s.

Chia seeds tend to soak up whatever flavors you pair with them, so this matcha chia seed pudding is a balanced blend of creamy coconut and the refreshing earthy notes of matcha.

While this matcha chia pudding is far from being Irish, this tasty little goody is a great alternative to enjoying a cup of matcha. I’m not giving up my morning coffee any time soon, but every once in a while I love to indulge in a cup of matcha. This vibrant green wonder is full of antioxidants and just the right amount of caffeine.

With my love for coconut milk chia pudding, it was a no-brainer for me to combine it with matcha.

This matcha chia pudding takes just minutes to prep and requires only four ingredients. Plus it’s dairy-free and paleo!

Matcha Chia Pudding Recipe

Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Chill Time: 1 hour to overnight
Servings: 4

Ingredients
13.5 oz can full-fat coconut milk
6 tablespoons chia seeds
2 – 3 tablespoons maple syrup (or honey)*
2 teaspoons matcha

Instructions

  1. Empty a can of coconut milk into a mixing cup and blend for a few seconds using an immersion blender.**
  2. Place remaining ingredients in the coconut milk and mix thoroughly.
  3. Spoon the matcha chia pudding into separate serving containers and cover.
  4. Refrigerate for at least an hour before enjoying. For the best flavor and for chia seeds to fully set, refrigerate several hours or overnight.

Recipe Notes:
*Use more or less sweetener to desired taste.

**You can also use a regular blender, or even just whisk the matcha chia pudding. Just make sure to mix well. If whisking, make sure to mix it immediately after adding the chia seeds. Once the chia seeds get wet, they stick to everything and clump, so it’s best to mix it right away.

I believe that the food we put on the table should not only be healthy, but easy and full of flavor. Check out my website foodwisefamily.com for more wholesome recipes.

Try Our Tangelo Margarita Recipe!

Try Our Tangelo Margarita Recipe!

Time to break out the cocktail shaker and mix up a tangelo margarita just in time for National Margarita Day. Our guest blogger, Erin, from Food Wise Family, will show you how.

Margaritas are my go-to drink when I want a cocktail. They are oh so refreshing and the perfect balance of sour and sweet. My tangelo margarita tastes similar to the classic margarita, but leaves triple sec out of the mix. For those of you who may not recall, tangelos are a hybrid of a tangerine and pomelo/grapefruit.

I mainly eat a paleo diet, so I am always trying to recreate my past food/drink loves to be paleo-friendly. Alcohol itself really isn’t paleo, but when recreating this recipe, I made sure there was no added refined sugar or other icky additives, like most mixed drinks tend to be filled with. And so, the tangelo margarita was born!

Choosing the Tequila

When it comes to choosing the tequila for your tangelo margarita, make sure it is blanco/silver and 100% agave. Blanco tequila is usually used for the classic margarita because its pure flavor compliments the bold citrusy goodness that is a margarita. Tequila that is not 100% agave has sugars and other additives, so it’s best to make sure it says 100% pure agave on the bottle. 

tangelo margarita ingredient

Leave Out the Triple Sec

Triple sec is typically found in a margarita recipe, but I cut this from my recipe.

Triple sec is a type of orange-flavored liqueur, and liqueurs are high in sugar. By using the tangelo in the recipe instead, the sweet orangey flavor is still present.

Getting More Lime Juice

I always have a tough time juicing limes because they are so small and the rind is so tough. I found the best way to get the most juice out of a lime is to stick a whole lime in the microwave for approximately 15 seconds. This softens it up a bit and makes it so much easier to juice.

How to Make a Tangelo Margarita

Total Time: 5 minutes

Serving size: 1

Ingredients

1 1/2 oz blanco tequila (100% agave)

1 1/2 oz freshly squeezed tangelo juice

1 oz freshly squeezed lime juice

1 oz water

2 tsp maple syrup*

lime slice for garnish (optional)

1. In a cocktail shaker, combine all ingredients and add ice.

2. Shake well and strain into a salt-rimmed glass with fresh ice.

3. Garnish with a lime and enjoy!

*Recipe Note: You can use honey in place of maple syrup, but let the honey dissolve in the cocktail shaker before you add the ice. If you add ice too early, the honey just won’t dissolve.

tangelo Margarita with salt

I believe that the food we put on the table should not only be healthy, but easy and full of flavor. Check out my website foodwisefamily.com for more wholesome recipes.

Looking for another margarita recipe? Check out our Hibiscus Margarita.

Turkey Fried Cauliflower Rice Recipe

Turkey Fried Cauliflower Rice Recipe

Turkey Fried Cauliflower Rice

Erin from Food Wise Family wants to make eating healthy easy. Check out this simple yet delicious turkey fried cauliflower rice recipe…

The new year is usually filled with resolutions. Some are kept and others are easily forgotten, but one common resolution that I agree strongly with is eating healthy. If you are determined enough, you will make it happen, but I think one trick to getting into the habit of eating healthy is finding meals that are quick and easy.  Loaded with protein and packed with veggies, this turkey fried cauliflower rice recipe takes only 30 minutes to whip up. Plus, it utilizes mostly frozen veggies, making prep for this meal complete in only minutes. This quick and wholesome meal creates plenty of leftovers, so lunch is taken care of, too.

Eat What Works For Youturkey fried cauliflower rice ingredients

If you’ve read any of my previous posts on here, you’ll know that I usually share paleo recipes. Not today, but only by a little. This turkey fried cauliflower rice recipe calls for a bag of frozen peas and carrots. Peas are not considered to be paleo because they are legumes. I want to point out that eating healthy also means not boxing yourself in completely to one way of eating. Eat what works for your body. However, if you’re hoping to make this meal completely paleo or you just really hate peas, substitute the peas and carrots for just carrots, or perhaps your favorite frozen veggie combo. Personally, I love peas and love having a meal that is super fast to make. So, yay for frozen peas!

Cooking Oils

I like to cook with virgin coconut oil. One thing to watch for with coconut oil is to not overheat it when you’re cooking. I’ve noticed on my stove the hottest I can go with it is medium heat, but your stove might be different. If your virgin coconut oil starts to smoke, it’s too hot. So adjust your temperature if needed.  Another good fat to cook this meal with is ghee, which is clarified butter. Ghee has a higher smoke point than virgin coconut oil or even butter, and it is a good substitute for anyone who is lactose intolerant but likes cooking with butter. The process of making ghee removes the majority of the lactose, plus ghee contains several healthy fatty acids and is rich in nutrients. Make sure you use grass-fed ghee.turkey fried cauliflower rice

This turkey fried cauliflower rice calls for coconut aminos – a soy-free and gluten-free alternative to soy sauce. It is produced from coconut tree sap and sea salt and is packed with amino acids and minerals.

However, if you are a soy sauce type of person, feel free to use soy sauce instead.

Turkey Fried Cauliflower Rice

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs ground turkey
  • 2 tbsp virgin coconut oil, or ghee
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 1 bag frozen peas and carrots (10 oz)
  • 2 bags frozen cauliflower rice (12 oz each)
  • 1 tsp virgin coconut oil, or ghee
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp pepper, or to taste

Instructions

  1. In a skillet or sauté pan, cook ground turkey.
  2. While the turkey cooks, heat coconut oil, or ghee, over medium heat in a large skillet or sauté pan. Sauté diced onion until translucent (about 5 minutes).
  3. Add peas and carrots and cauliflower rice to the cooked onions and stir in thoroughly.  Cook until heated through while stirring occasionally (about 10 minutes). If your veggies have a lot of excess water, cook a few minutes longer to reduce the amount of liquid in the pan.
  4. In the center of the pan, create an empty space by pushing all the veggies to the side of the pan. Turn the heat to medium-low and add one teaspoon of coconut oil or ghee. Once melted, add the beaten eggs. Using a spatula, scramble the egg. Once the eggs are a little over halfway cooked, stir thoroughly into the veggie mixture.
  5. Combine cooked turkey, coconut aminos, salt, and pepper in the veggie mixture and stir well.turkey fried cauliflower rice

Recipe Note: This is great served by itself, or if you want to add a kick to it, this tastes amazing with hot sauce.

I believe that the food we put on the table should not only be healthy, but easy and full of flavor. Check out my website foodwisefamily.com for more wholesome recipes.

Interested in learning more about healthy oils? Read our blog Healthy Oils For A Healthy You.

No-Bake Chocolate Coconut Balls Recipe

No-Bake Chocolate Coconut Balls Recipe

Our monthly guest blogger, Erin from Food Wise Family, is sharing the perfect holiday treat that will be the star of your next holiday party. If you are looking for a last-minute, homemade goodie to take to a holiday party or for a Christmas cookie swap, look no further. These no-bake chocolate coconut balls are simple to make, deliciously chocolatey and crunchy, and secretly healthy.
 
Healthy Holiday Sweets
During the holidays, it’s so easy to load up on sugary treats because they are everywhere. A great solution for this is to make sweets that utilize something that’s already naturally sweet. While these chocolate coconut balls are addicting and indulge your chocolate craving, they are also guilt-free because they are sweetened only with dates. No added refined sugars here…just pure, natural dates!  

This recipe is also paleo, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and egg-free, making these chocolate coconut balls a great choice for anyone with special dietary needs or certain food allergies.

Packed with protein from the almonds, these little chocolate coconut balls are also more satisfying than you think, making it easy to stop at only eating one or two.
 chocolate coconut balls
No-Bake Chocolate Coconut Balls
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Chill Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Serving: About 14-16 balls, depending on size
 
Ingredients
1 cup pitted soft Medjool dates(about 15 dates)
1 cup raw almonds
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup melted virgin coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt
2-3 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut, as a topping
 
Instructions
1. Add dates to food processor and pulse several times until they are roughly chopped.
2. Add the remaining ingredients, except for the shredded coconut topping, to the food processor and blend until mixed well. 
3. Using a spoon, scoop out enough mixture to easily roll into a small ball using your hands. Continue until you’ve rolled all the mixture.
4. In a small bowl, place the remaining shredded coconut and gently roll each chocolate ball to evenly coat with the coconut.
5. Place balls on a parchment lined plate, tray or baking sheet, and chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
6. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator and serve chilled.
 
I believe that the food we put on the table should not only be healthy, but easy and full of flavor. Check out my website foodwisefamily.com for more wholesome recipes. 
Homemade Paleo Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Homemade Paleo Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Erin, our guest blogger over at Food Wise Family, has a healthy cranberry sauce recipe that is sure to be your new holiday favorite!

Whether you are cooking Thanksgiving dinner for the whole family, or you are just bringing a side dish for the upcoming holiday, homemade cranberry sauce is the way to go. Skip the canned stuff and buy some fresh cranberries instead. This dish is perfect for making the day before and grabbing from the fridge just in time for dinner.

Cut Out the Refined Sugar
I can’t have a turkey dinner without cranberry sauce, but when I started eating paleo I wanted a cranberry sauce that wasn’t full of refined sugar. So, I adapted this recipe from my mom’s that she makes every holiday.

To make this cranberry sauce recipe paleo, I removed all the refined sugar and replaced with real maple syrup.

I chose maple syrup because that’s something we always have in the house; however, you can substitute the maple syrup with honey or coconut sugar. If you use coconut sugar, make sure it completely dissolves before adding the cranberries.

Paleo Cranberry Sauce

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients
Juice and zest of 1 orange
1/2 – 3/4 cup of real maple syrup*
1 small piece (about 1 inch in size) of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
3 cups of fresh cranberries

Instructions
1. In a large saucepan, combine orange juice, orange zest, maple syrup, and ginger. Simmer for about 5 minutes, while stirring often.
2. Bring to a gentle boil on medium heat and stir in cranberries. Cook, stirring occasionally, until cranberries pop and the sauce starts to thicken (about 10 minutes).
3. Let cool and place in a storage container. Refrigerate until serving time.

*Recipe Note: Use 1/2 cup of maple syrup for a more tart cranberry sauce, or use 3/4 cup of maple syrup for a sweeter version. Personally, I enjoy a tart cranberry sauce!

Cranberry Sauce steps

I believe that the food we put on the table should not only be healthy, but easy and full of flavor. Check out my website foodwisefamily.com for more wholesome recipes.

See more of Erin’s recipes on our Butcher Block Co. Blog:

Make Your Own Pumpkin Spice

Super Moist Gluten Free Banana Bread Recipe

Try Our Recipe For Easy Grilled Sweet Potatoes

 

National Fig Week – Gettin’ Figgy With It

National Fig Week – Gettin’ Figgy With It

National Fig Week is November 1st-7th, which falls between the summer and fall harvest seasons. Unfortunately for us in Phoenix, that means no fresh figs in the grocery store. Fresh or not, figs are a fascinating fruit! Or are they…? Turns out figs are actually inverted flowers! Each fig is basically a sack filled with tiny flowers. Figs have been considered an aphrodisiac food since ancient times, due in part to their, umm, resemblance to a certain anatomical part that I will leave to your imagination (this is a family-friendly blog!), plus the fact that they are filled with seeds. Let’s not forget the world’s original lingerie: fig leaves. We’ll discuss this more later.

If all this fig talk is revving your engine, grab your closest hungry friend and get figgy with it!

Figs are packed with potassium and iron to keep you pumped up during your favorite fig frolicking. We’ve got the most delicious Fig, Blue Cheese, and Honey Crostini to kick off the festivities.

Fig

Tips before starting:

  • Taste all of your ingredients.  Grab a chunk of baguette, a blob of blue cheese, a piece of fig, and a couple drips of honey and try them all together. This will give you a great starting point for how to assemble your toasts.
  • If your cheese is super pungent, go easy. If it is more mild, though, slather it on.
  • Dried figs are going to have more concentrated sweetness than fresh.
  • I prefer a good quality, local honey.  The stronger your blue cheese, the more honey you can use.
  • A lovely alternative to honey is a balsamic reduction. Reduce balsamic down slowly over medium-low heat until it becomes syrupy. This should cook out some of the acidity, leaving a punch of flavor with a bit of sweetness.
  • If you’re not into blue cheese, go away. Just kidding! If blue cheese isn’t your thing, try goat cheese as a lighter alternative. Add a little fresh rosemary for extra earthiness. There is plenty of room for creativity!

Fig

Fig, Blue Cheese, and Honey Crostini

  • Baguette
  • Olive Oil
  • Blue Cheese
  • Figs (dried or fresh), sliced
  • Honey

Slice baguette on the bias into 1/2” thick pieces. Brush both sides with your favorite olive oil and toast on both sides until light golden brown. This can be done stovetop or in the oven; or for even more flavor, toast them lightly on the grill.

Meanwhile, prepare figs. If using dried figs, simply slice into 2-3 pieces. For fresh figs, if you’ve already got the grill going for your bread or a main course, cut figs in half, brush with olive oil, and lightly grill, cut-side down. Slice into thin pieces.

Heat blue cheese for about 10 seconds in the microwave until spreadable.

Spread blue cheese on each piece of toast. Top each toast with sliced figs and return to oven for a few minutes to warm the figs through. I popped mine in the toaster oven at 400°F for 4-5 minutes.

While your toasts are warming up, get your honey ready to drizzle. High quality honey is more likely to solidify a bit in cooler temps, so you may need to heat it up slightly. Scoop out a tablespoon or so into a microwave safe bowl and heat in five second bursts (mine literally only took five seconds) until runny.

Transfer warm toasts to your serving dish and drizzle liberally with honey.

Slap on your fig leaves and have some fun!

Fun Fig Facts

Having researched more into figs, I think part of the aphrodisiac quality comes from the terribly sexy way figs are fertilized. Those internal flowers are pollinated from the inside by a very special fig wasp, who dies after depositing her eggs and pollen into the fig’s ovaries (seriously, that’s what they’re called). When the male wasps hatch, they fertilize the unhatched females, and then tunnel through the fig flesh and die. Newly hatched female wasps pick up some pollen from inside the flowers, stretch their freshly-grown wings, and make their way out through those sacrificial brotherly tunnels, off to find a new fig to turn into a nursery. I read half a dozen articles about this and was still a little confused, until I found this fun and informative video with illustrations. It was a bit off-putting at the end when our host tells us we’re eating dead wasp bodies, but it turns out that’s a bit of a stretch. Figs produce enzymes that break the wasp exoskeleton down during ripening, so you don’t need to worry about getting wings stuck in your teeth. Besides that, most of what we find in the grocery store are “common figs,” which are artificially polinated without the need for wasps.

Do you believe in the aphrodisiac power of foods? I ate an entire tray of these fig crostinis, and I can’t say I got anything but full… So it’s probably safe to serve these at Thanksgiving.