Loving the BITE: Goat Cheese Figgy Appetizer


What comes to mind when you think of Christmas carols?  Is it children singing?  Hay rides? Sleigh bells?

For me, it’s figgy pudding.  And, although I’ve never actually had it, figs intrigue me.  One of my favorite pizzas boosts a healthy serving of figs.  This week, we’ll keep it simple and serve up a delicious fig Holiday appetizer with antioxidants, healthful minerals, and fiber.  Like a dream come true, you’ll be able to enjoy Holiday foods while staying a strong and healthy cyclist.  Maybe next year we’ll conquer the pudding.

Recipe of the Week: Goat Cheese Figgy Appetizer


  • 12 fresh figs, halved (or dried mission figs if fresh not available, halved)
  • 4 ounces herbed goat cheese (chevre)
  • 24 almonds
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar


  1. Preheat broiler to high heat.
  2. Place the fig halves, cut side up, on a baking sheet. Top each half with about 1/2 teaspoon goat cheese. Top cheese with one almond and press to push the cheese slightly into each fig.
  3. Broil figs in the preheated oven until the cheese is soft and the almonds are turning a rich shade of brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the broiler and let cool for 5 minutes. Arrange the figs on a serving platter and drizzle with honey and balsamic vinegar. Serve warm.


Another nutrition winner…figs are not only tasty, but full of nutrients to help your body ride well.   Here’s how:

  • They are full of antioxidants and phytochemicals including carotenes, lutein, tannins, and chlorgenic acid. These antioxidants work to reduce free radicals in cyclists’ bodies, which reduces cholesterol plague formation, damage to cells, and risk of chronic diseases.
  • Figs are a good source of potassium.  Potassium helps reduce and control blood pressure.  As a cyclist, you’re already doing a good job of keeping your arteries elastic by consistently getting your heart rate up and blood pumping.  Next, minimize processed foods and include whole ones high in potassium, such as fruits.
  • F is for Fiber.  In just one serving of figs, you’ll get 3-4 grams of fiber.  Fiber is important for all athletes as it keeps your gut healthy, improves immune function, promotes healthy hormone levels, and aids in fat loss.  Digestion and gut health are crucial for overall nutrition since your gut serves as the gateway for all nutrients entering the blood stream.
  • Figs may reduce high blood sugar and symptoms of diabetes.  In addition to fiber, figs provide chlorogenic acid, which specifically lowers blood sugars in people with Diabetes.
  • Minerals abound.  Potassium supports healthy blood pressure.  Then, you can count on figs for calcium, copper, potassium, manganese, iron, selenium and zinc. Copper and iron are important for red blood cell production, oxygenation of cells, and energy production.

Bonus Recipe: Figgy Raspberry Sauce


  1. Combine all ingredients except raspberries in a saucepan.
  2. Stir continuously over a low heat until honey dissolves. Then, bring to the boil and simmer until figs are tender and liquid has reduced to a thick syrup, stirring frequently, ~20 minutes.
  3. Stir in raspberries and continue to simmer until sauce thickens to required consistency, about 5 minutes.  Serve over Holiday pudding breads, ice-creams, fruits, etc.  Perfect for a snazzy Holiday party.

This year, you can “bring us some figgy pudding,” Goat Cheese Figgy Appetizers, or Figgy Raspberry Sauce. No matter the dish, you’ll also serve up some great nutrients and delicious flavor.

Fuel Your Ride.  Nourish Your Body.

Enjoy Your Ride
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7 Responses to “ Loving the BITE: Goat Cheese Figgy Appetizer ”

  1. cyclelogical on December 15, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    Thanks for the recipe-now to find someone to make it for me! 

  2. John Breckner on December 15, 2011 at 11:24 am

    Sure now that figgy pudding song is playing in my head.  We might have to give this one a shot as figs is one thing we have never cooked with before. 

    • Kelli Myers Jennings on December 15, 2011 at 11:37 am

      Me too! – “so bring us some figgy pudding and bring it right here.”  Or something like that.

  3. George on December 15, 2011 at 8:15 am

    You always seem to inform me of the benefits of foods that I would never have thought to be nutritious.  I don’t believe I have ever eaten anything made of figs in my entire life other than fig newtons and a few dried figs.  I’ll pass this one to my wife and see what she thinks about making it.

    • Kelli Myers Jennings on December 15, 2011 at 10:53 am

      Hi George – I’m thrilled that you’re using the information to try new foods!  One of my favorite pizzas actually features figs (from the Secret Stash in Crested Butte, CO) – sounds weird, but oh-so-good!  I hope you enjoy these figgy recipes!

  4. Izzy on December 15, 2011 at 6:48 am

    Every Christmas for the past few years I’ve said I’m going to make something with figs but just never get around to it.  This is my year.  Goat Cheese Figgy here I come.  This sounds so yummy.  Thanks loving the bike.

    • Kelli Myers Jennings on December 15, 2011 at 10:49 am

      Awesome!  Here’s to a wonderful Figgy Christmas!:)


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Sugar Alternatives for Energy and Hydration

Question: I am using the homebrew sugar formulations (sometimes added to green tea).  I am also trying to wean myself off 1/2 dose adrenalean “lip tonic delivery system” (biorhythm brand- caffeine, hoodia g, synephrine, yohimbe) capsule for energy.

My question is other than juice, can you suggest modifications in lieu of table sugar for energy and hydration.


Both raw/organic honey or agave can work great in the homebrew (substitute in the same quantities for the sugar, or to taste), but you do have to shake well in order to make sure they don’t settle out.  Have you tried either of these?  Also, make sure to use at least the minimum amount of salt recommended in the homebrew as the temps rise, you need the sodium replacement if you’re sweating.

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Please send us your questions for our Expert Sports Nutritionist, Kelli Jennings to “Ask the Sports Nutritionist“. Kelli Jennings is a Registered Dietitian with a passion for healthy eating, wellness, & sports nutrition. For more information go to www.apexnutritionllc.com.

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