It was her beautiful photography that first caught our eye. Ashley Neese has a taste for unique flavour combinations and an eye for capturing them with beautiful simplicity. She is also a certified holistic nutrition consultant, has a passion for holistic living, and calls Los Angeles home. With plans to run some European workshops in the New Year, we wanted to share Ashley’s End of Summer Fig Smoothie and some of her thoughtful insights on the sacred fruit.
‘Figs are one of the oldest cultivated plants. They are often thought of as a fruit but botanically they are flowers. The inside of the fig is where the flower blossoms, pretty cool right? Figs are one of the highest plant sources of calcium. Figs are loaded with antioxidants and fiber. They are one of my favorite prenatal and pregnancy foods to recommend as well.
Traditional Chinese medicine views figs as having a neutral temperature and as one of the most alkalizing foods. Alkaline foods help balance acidity which is common in diets that rely on processed foods and lots of meat. Figs are great for treating constipation because of their high mucin content and work well to clear coughs and sore throats.
In Ayurveda figs are cooling and sweet. They are a wonderful source of iron and help keep our blood strong. Ayurveda maintains that if you have low digestive fire (agni) you should avoid figs, especially with dairy.
To really get that amazing fig flavor I used a combination of dried and fresh figs. Soak dried figs for 10-15 minutes in just enough water to cover to make for smoother blending. If you don’t have access to raw, ground vanilla, scrape out seeds from a vanilla bean! You’re going to want serious vanilla flavor in this, trust me!
I threw in a cardamom pod and a pinch of saffron threads to bump up the earthy flavors. A little saffron goes a long way so stick to a pinch. This smoothie is a favorite afternoon pick-me-up.”
End of Summer Fig Smoothie
- 1 cup fresh almond milk
- 3 large dried figs
- 3 large fresh figs
- 1/4 tsp. ground vanilla
- 1 cardamom pod (or 1/8 tsp. ground)
- 1 pinch cinnamon
- 1 pinch Celtic sea salt
- 1 pinch saffron threads
- Add the almond milk and dried figs to a high speed blender. Process until smooth.
- Blend the remaining ingredients and blend until creamy.
- Pour into glasses and enjoy!
This smoothie will keep for 2 days in the fridge when stored in a glass, airtight container.
For other recipes and to see more of Ashley’s swoon-worthy photography, visit her blog: http://ashleyneese.com/