Fresh Fig and Rose Smoothie Recipe

Although smoothies have been around for decades in North America, only in recent years have they grown popular in Europe, and in France in particular*.

We call them smoothies too, if you want to know, except we don’t pronounce the final “s,” even in the plural, and the “th” sound, ever a challenge for the French tongue to produce, varies in accuracy. Most people opt for a straightforward smoo-zee, unless they go for a smoo-tee or even, more rarely but much more amusingly, a smoo-fee.

(I’ll take this opportunity to note that in France, when an English word is used in a French sentence, even those who normally have fair pronunciation skills will say that word with a French accent — it sounds pompous otherwise.)

In any case, it is now frequent to see smoothies for sale, either bottled or freshly blended, at sandwich-and-salad shops in Paris, and a few have made it their specialty. They’re also available in the supermarket’s juice aisle, and a number of books have been written on the subject — always a good trend-o-meter.

Among these titles is a recipe book issued by Innocent, a British company that produces dairy-free, all-natural, no-sugar-added smoothies, and markets them with a “we’re real people” approach that has served them extremely well so far.

The French rights for this book were recently acquired by my French publisher, and because Matthew Gardan, the half-French, half-Aussie guy who handles the marketing for Innocent France, happens to be a reader of Chocolate & Zucchini, he asked if I’d contribute a recipe to the French edition.

I said I would, and this is the recipe I offered: a simple fig smoothie, thick and velvety, its rich flavors exalted by a splash of rose water.

The book came out last May, and my recipe appears on page 154, among fifty-four other recipes that range from classic (strawberry and banana; carrot, apple, and ginger) to unusual (avocado and pear; blackcurrant and litchi), illustrated by candid photography on matte paper, and introduced by the friendly banter that has become the signature voice of Innocent.

You’ll find my smoothie recipe below — and of course, if you have a killer combo of your own to share, I’m all ears!

* Lilo tells me she had excellent smoothies in Amsterdam ten years ago, including a memorable one involving raspberries, banana, and passion fruit, so it seems some European countries caught on earlier than others.

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Fresh Fig and Rose Smoothie Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Serves 2.

Fresh Fig and Rose Smoothie Recipe


  • 6 ripe black figs (about 250 grams or 9 ounces) (see note)
  • 2 or 3 large oranges, to yield about 250 ml or 1 cup juice
  • 2 teaspoons rose water, plus more to taste (see note)


  1. Remove the very tip of the fig stems and quarter the figs.
  2. Juice the oranges.
  3. Combine the quartered figs, orange juice, and rose water in a blender, and whizz until smooth.
  4. Taste, and add a little more rose water if desired.


  • If the figs you have are not very sweet, throw in a dried fig (preferably a baglama fig from Turkey), rehydrated overnight in a bowl of very hot water. It’s okay to use frozen (but thawed) figs; in France, they’re available from Picard stores, for instance.
  • Depending on the potency of your rosewater, you may want to start with a gingerly amount (reader Meredith suggested 1/2 teaspoon) and work your way up from there.
  • I use an all-natural rose water made in Lebanon by a company called MyMouné. I buy it at La Grande Épicerie; their orange flower water is great, too.
  • Rose syrup can be substituted. The smoothie will be a bit sweeter (and no longer sugar-free) then.
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  • My husband loves figs. I think I’m going to give this one a go, thanks! We’ve already made the pistachio gelato and it was wonderful. :)

  • Marilu

    I live in Bilbao, and unfortunately smoothies are not popular yet. However I love to eat fruits and I think that this recipe of mine could be a smoothie.

    Honeydew melon smoothie

    – A half of a Honeydew melon (my favourite type of melon)
    – The fresh juice of half a lemon.
    – 2 fresh mint leaf
    – a teaspoon of honey

    Take the pulp of the honeydew melon and cut in pieces. Juice the half lemon. Clean de mint leafs. Combine all this ingredients in a blender and whizz. Taste and add more lemon juice or honey depending if you want it more or less sweet.

    (I´m sorry of my horrible English)

  • omg this sounds absolutely delicious. thanks for sharing!

  • Oh Clotilde, your fig & rose pairing sounds like a killer combo to me – must try it very soon! Love Innocent stuff, although I can’t afford very often! x

  • Sam

    That looks yummy!

    Your note about French pronounciation of English words is interesting. I’d say it’s exactly the same for foreign words used in English… except for French words.

    So, while it would be very pompous to say Italian words with an Italian accent (“bruschetta,” “paparazzi”) or Japanese words with a Japanese accent (“tofu”), you MUST say French words with a French accent (“faux pas,” “je ne sais quoi”).

  • Smoothies are one thing I really avoid when traveling in Europe. Perhaps things are changing, and French smoothies are closer to American ones, but when I think of “smoothie” I think of fruit and crushed ice or maybe a frozen banana, with a thick, slushy consistency. In London once I saw an advertisement for smoothies and excitedly purchased one, only to find that it was a thick, bottled juice. I’ve never seen a smoothie in France, so it may not be the same, but I hope someone has caught on to the blender variety!

  • SAS

    Thanks for this great entry. Figs are a hard to come by fruit in the U.S. in general. But this sounds great! Sometimes in the summer, the co-op where I shop has figs. Rose water – again a hard to come by item in U.S. Are these items easy to find in France? You mention where you shop, but I wasn’t sure if these were specialty stores or not.

    I love your blog not only for the recipes, but also for your writing style and learning about French culture.

  • That sounds lovely! With the hot weather upon us in the Midwest, I’ve taken to making smoo-zees for dinner on the nights when turning on the stove just seems like too much. To make two smoothies, I use one container (6 oz.) of vanilla yogurt, a cup of frozen peach slices, a cup of frozen mango slices, and enough orange juice to achieve the right texture. It comes out a lovely pale orange color. If I’m feeling ambitious, I’ll toast an English muffin to have with it.

  • Gloria

    I adore figs – fresh or dried – but I never thought of using them in a smoothie. Very good idea! Unfortunately as much as the idea of rose flavoring appeals to me, everything I’ve ever had rose flavored has tasted like soap :( I’ll definitely be making this minus the rosewater!

    Also, I love Innocent drinks. I first had them in London; I hope they come to the US soon!

  • oh yum – I love figs, and the idea idea of fig smoothie in the middle of hot and steamy summer sounds fabulous.

  • Joseph

    I’m with Gloria on this one. Rose flavoring has never struck a chord with me. A recent smoothie I’ve tried was peanut butter and jelly. Not as elegant sounding as “Fresh Fig and Rose” but it was pretty tasty. Love the photography!

  • Claire

    I do love smoothies, but I think they’re overrated in terms of their ‘healthiness’ – most ones you can buy are very sugary and about 1/3 of it would be a reasonable portion of fruit; the whole thing is far too much!
    Also Innocent smoothies are all fruit, but they are pasturised. So I suppose it’s much better to follow a recipe like this and make your own.

    …Saves you from having to encounter all that sickeningly cutsie ‘we’re your mates!’ packaging and marketing that makes Innocent such an irritating brand (in the UK, anyway, not sure how they’re putting themselves across in France)

  • We totally love smoothies over here in Los Angeles, but they are filled with so much sorbet, yogurt and juice that they border on a dessert. I like to make my smoothies with fruit, soymilk, a dash of juice, a dash of vanilla flavoring, ice and a little bit of psyllium husk (which I can’t eat unless I trick myself to do so:).

  • Anna

    Canteloupe and raspberries are a great combination. I sort of agree but also disagree with Sam. In the case of so many foods and ballet positions that come from French, NO ONE here pronounces it with a French accent, and the few that do sound pompous. How many people say “croissant” correctly?

  • I bet we could make this interesting by putting some other fruits in like grapefruit.

    Marilu: I love honeydew!

  • This smoothy must have a wonderful delicate flavor. One my favorite fig dessert comes a Deborah Madison cookbook( vegetarian cooking for everyone) and it’s: Caramelized figs with orange flower water. It involves caramelizing fig halves dipped in sugar and then making a sauce in the same pan with creme fraiche and orange flower water. It’s amazing. Merci pour la recette du smoothie. Ca a l’air tres bon.

  • Michelle

    Delurking to say that I love your note about an English accent in the middle of a French sentence sounding pompous. I always giggle a little to myself when I’m in the cheese section at the grocery store, and everywhere I hear the drone of the midwestern accent until a chunk of Gruyère appears and suddenly there is a flurry of guttural rs. You’re right–it sounds a tad pretentious, but I’ve often wondered if it’s the same in the reverse situation. Thanks for the cultural insight–it’s fascinating!

  • Abe

    Intriguing! I’ll have to try that one. My girlfriend recently made an amazing fresh fig, cherry, and Ficoco tart (Ficoco being a Croatian cocoa and fig spread) and I would venture a guess that a fig, cherry, and chocolate smoothie would be delicious as well.

  • Dean

    Very intriguing recipe. I’m curious to see what the addition of rosewater will add to the flavors.

    My favorite smoothie is very simple.

    ~ 3 cups of seedless watermelon chopped into chunks.
    Juice of 1 lime
    VERY SMALL pinch of salt

    Blend until smooth.

    Server over ice. Don’t blend ice into the mix or it will become too watery.

    If you’re so inclined (and I sometimes am) a spash of vodka turns this into a very nice summer cocktail. With or without the vodka, it’s a nice drink on a hot day.

  • Clotilde…what happened to your blueberry tart recipe? I’ve already made it twice and will again later this week.

  • This sounds incredible. I know what I’m making for Sunday brunch…

  • Figs? Pistachio gelato? *sigh* Sometimes it’s hard being a southerner. Although it’s good weather for cassoulet, so I can’t complain too much.

    BTW, here in Australia we mostly reserve “smoothie” for the kind of blender fruit drinks that contain milk (or subsitute). A non-dairy fruit & ice blender drink is mostly called a “frappe”, though usage is less settled there.

  • Sounds great. I’ll try this with rose tea since I can’t find rose water in China.

    It seems that in the US only certain people, like foodies and writers, take the time to pronounce French words the French way. Most others think it sounds pretentious. I’ll second another commenter’s “croissant” example, and add that crêpe is often pronounced “crape” or even worse, “crap”, by Americans who don’t want to seem pompous.

  • francielynne

    I agree with Judith that smoothies really must be thick, slushy and ice cold. I make them all the time with whatever frozen fruit I have on hand, sometimes with milk, sometimes orange or mango juice and a bit of maple syrup. Whatever my daughter and I don’t consume I freeze into popsicles. However, the above recipe does look pretty good. I have a friend in Los Angeles with a fig tree that gets so loaded she has to beg people to take the fruit. I will definitely let her know about this.

  • I’m not enthusiastic about smoothies, since I’ve came upon some artificial and overly-sweet stuff. But your flavor combo sounds delicious, Clotilde, I’ll try it soon. I think that food and drink is best at its simplest. We have some good figs in season here in Mexico, actually they’re my favourite fruit! Thanks for sharing your recipe and beautiful picture.


  • Your recipe speaks to me so well! :)

    Recently, I tried to perk up traditional banana smoothie’s flavors by adding fresh green basil or mint leaves. Banana/fresh mint combo is one of my favourites now.

    Surprisingly, but plain silkiness of avocado does wonders in smoothies too.

  • Profitons-en, les figues font leur apparition sur les étals!

  • kylie

    mmmmmm! i love smoothies.
    when i was in college i worked for a japanese lady who opened a small cafe. They moved there so her husband could teach Japanese. She made the best smoothies…my favorite one (which i still make all the time) is apple kiwi. I don’t have real directions for it but basically you use your drinking glass for measurements.

    Kiwi Apple Smoothie:
    2-3 tablespoons apple juice
    (if you have a fiji apple add 2-3 slices)
    1 kiwi peeled and sliced (i peel and freeze them for future use)
    milk halfway mark on glass

    also another one i like, peach oj smoothie:

    1 peach blanched, peeled, and sliced (you can use frozen peaches too)
    fill approx. 1/3 of glass with milk
    add oj until glass is half full

    …mmmm i might have to make a smoothie tonight

  • Marsha

    I love figs & am also a fan of rose water. I’ll definitely use this recipe. My favorite smoothie is extremely simple: equal parts almond milk, frozen blueberries and banana. Put them in a blender and whiz until the mixture reaches the consistency you like.

  • Marsha

    Almost forgot – Marilu, your honeydew smoothie sounds great! I’ll be making that one for sure. And your English is just fine.

    Anya – I’m going to add some mint to my usual blueberry, banana, almond milk combo. Maybe I’ll replace the banana with some avocado. Hmmmmm…

  • Pietro

    Here in Italy smoothies are becoming popular rapidly, I found them on sale in my supermarket. But they cost 2 euros! For 25cl! Probably it’s because it’s such a new thing for Italians, but I think i’ll make them at home instead.

  • Figs and rosewater are a perfect combination.

    I posted a fig and rosewater smoothie recipe last year but rather than going down the “all fruit” route I made a thick and creamy one with natural yogurt. When my fig tree gets going this summer I must try your version with the oranges!

  • Karleen

    In Japan, I had a green tea, avocado, and soy milk smoothie that was delicious! I believe they used a green tea powder, at least that’s what I did when I tried to recreate it.

  • gingerpale

    The idea of eating or drinking flowers is a heady notion to me!
    (Just for fun I tried to find how to translate “smoothie” into French literally–
    1. homog’ene,
    2. moelleux or moelleuse,
    3. lisse’.
    These 3 seem to be quasi-culinary terms for fine-textured foods.)

  • Nikki

    I’ll have to soak some figs tonight! This sounds like a lovely breakfast after a bike workout.

    One of my favorites is mango, blueberries and a splash of pomegranate syrup blended with ice. I also add a scoop of hemp protein for a most lasting effect.

  • Yuummmm, all the smoothie post and comments sound so delicious! It’s been a while since I had a smoothie. But I recall my favorite smoothie is mango. I use to get them at our smoothie shops in Florida, but ended up making my own at home when mangoes are on sale. Fresh ripe mangoes, vanilla flavored yogurt (I prefer fat-free), ripe banana, and orange juice (I think I threw in some strawberries into the mix once and it turned out great).

  • lucy

    i’m drink a strawberry smoothie each morning, and this is my favorite combination. i’m not too scientific about the measurements, just as long as it’s liquidy enough to not break the blender: the secret is the fresh apple cider.

    frozen strawberries
    1/2 banana
    fat-free vanilla yogurt
    flax seed oil
    fresh apple cider

  • Y

    smoo-fee.. how cute! Very smurfy! :D

    That rose water is my favourite as well. Once I stumbled across that brand, I couldn’t bring myself to use anything else!

  • CeliacChick

    Here is my latest Green Smoothie Recipe.
    Here is my kefir smoothie recipe.

  • Alison

    Best ever smoothie:

    Three nectarines, a couple handfuls of frozen mango chunks, a cup or a little more of plain yogurt, a half cup to a cup of skim milk, and a teaspoon of rosewater. Very thick, icy, and delicious.

  • ciniminis

    When I was pregnant, the thing I craved most was watermelon – so much so that I think a good portion of my baby’s molecules were probably made from watermelons at first.

    Here’s a very refreshing combination:
    – big chunks of watermelon, about half a blender-ful
    – a handful of strawberries
    – a handful of seedless red grapes
    Blend away and enjoy. No need to add ice if the watermelon had been chilling in the fridge. This amount makes more than 2 big glasses, which was 1 pregnant woman’s serving.

    My baby will be 1 year old tomorrow! And I can assure everyone, watermelon molecules make the sweetest of babies:-)

  • I have never heard of a fig in smoothie before, but I love the idea and can’t wait to try it!!
    This isn’t a smoothie, but on the topic of beverages, this red, white, and blue sangria would work well for Bastille Day!

  • noah

    i was in Montreal in 2005 and there was a big promotional event going on. People were handing out lots of free smooo-tees. we’ve been calling them that ever sense.
    oh, and agree about not-mixing-accents mid-sentence. i found that when i was talking in french i’d keep the same accent even when saying english words. whenever i had a chance to mention Jack Lang, though, i used my most american twang.

  • Marcia

    Being allergic to dairy, my smoothies have soy products in them. Tofu if I have any or soy yogurt; soy milk, frozen fruit, a dash of cinnamon, 2 packets of Splenda and a 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. I seldom have ice, but frozen fruit works. A teaspoon of sugar free syrups is good too. I mix it in the blender.

    I use half, and put the rest in the freeze for a nice breakfast treat.

    I dearly love figs and will remember your recipe. I have several Smoothie cookbooks and they are based on dairy, fruit, and ice.

  • I enjoyed your blog, especially the part about French pronunciations of English words. My daughter attends college in Oklahoma and is majoring in French. Many people question her choice and think it’s very odd, that a girl from Oklahoma would major in French. To them, it’s like a submarine with a screen door, what’s the point? But she is happy and I am proud of her and we will definitely be visiting your blog again as I have a blog “” and enjoy trying new recipes.

  • Hello Clotilde,
    I have been a silent reader, but this time I decided to make a remark.
    I’m a Brazilian living in Paris since last May.
    When I moved to California five years ago smoothies were a novelty. People took me to smoothie shops saying it was a brand new trend. Oh well…
    In Brazil, smoothies have been around ever since. The thing is we don’t ad ice and use all natural fruit and veggies and we can use milk too. Popular ones include oranges and carrots, oranges, carrots and beets, oranges and strawberries. My favorite is avocato, milk and sugar. Yes, for most of us Brazilians, avocato is a fruit to be eaten with some sugar.
    Be brave and try some!
    My f

  • That smoothie looks really delicious. As you know, here in the States, smoothies are traditionally made with fresh berries. Here is a fun smoothie recipe for you to try, which incorporates tea: Green Tea Fruit Medley Smoothie

    1 cup water
    3 Bigelow® Green Tea Bags (can use any flavored green tea)
    1 cup fresh berries, choose from raspberries, blueberries,or strawberries
    ¼ cup pineapple juice
    ½ cup vanilla yogurt
    ½ cup ice cubes

    Yield: Makes 4 – 6 oz drinks. Prep time: 5 minutes.

    Prepare tea by steeping 3 Bigelow® Green Tea Bags in 1 cup of boiling water for 5 minutes.. Squeeze out bags and discard. Combine tea and remaining ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.

    Julie for Bigelow Tea

  • I am right into smoothies right now – as our fruit supply dried up in winter I find that this is a great way to eat frozen or tinned fruit and for me to eat fruit I might not otherwise touch – favourite ingredients are banana, berries, apple juice and pomegranate juice – have tried some cooked pumpkin and cooked rhubarb in smoothies recently and both are good ways to use up leftovers

  • American’s by and large have an aversion to floral tastes, usually likening them to “detergent” or bathroom soap. the only victory i’ve scored with my friends is lavender creme brulee.
    For californians, figs abound!! ASk your neighbors, shop at Trader Joes, or visit your farmmers markets!
    Roasted, Port-Fig sauce, or
    simmered in orange syrup over greek yogurt.
    This sounds right up my alley! Thank god the farmers market is tomorrow!
    Thanks once agaian for the recipe

  • Liz

    Fabulous. I never would have thought to put figs in a smoothie. Can’t wait to try this!

  • Edna Hart

    I would never have thought to put figs in a smoothie. So creative – I can’t wait to make myself one. For me Summer is all about a smoothie at leas once a day.

  • Evelyne

    I stumbled upon an amazing cozy little café called the Gogo Breakfast Club where they sold smoothies by the pitcher (what a stroke of genius!). All of their smoothies had cute names; mine was simply called “Green is Good”. It contained melon, spinach, apple, mint and yogurt. I know it sounds a bit odd, especially the spinach, but it was totally amazing. For those who are interested, the Gogo Breakfast Club is in London, on Camden Passage near Angel Tube.

  • Yes, figs is genius! Elegant, and delicious. I love it the recipe as is, but I am also tempted to now do something similar with carob syrup. I have been inspired by your chocolate combinations Clotilde, thank you.

  • Delicious-so creamy without even using milk!

  • Meredith

    Ok, I tried this recipe, but there is far too much rosewater for my taste, and I really like rosewater. I’d suggest starting with a 1/2 teaspoon and working your way up from there…

  • All – Thanks for all the smoothie suggestions!

    Meredith – Thanks for reporting back. I actually end up using a little more than 1 tbsp when I make it. Perhaps different brands/batches of rosewater vary in potency? I’ll update the recipe to reflect this.

  • I have not tried this yet, but judging by the ingredients, it looks like it would be delicious. I hate when smoothies are packed with powders, ice cream, sorbets, and yogurt. I appreciate you using the fig for flavor and body, and not ruining its subtleness!

  • As an athlete, I find smoothie recipes always pertinent to my training needs. Thank you! This one sounds interesting.

  • Sounds amazing! What a smoothie creation!

  • Hi, yes, figs and rose sounds like a wonderful marriage of flavors. I just started a food blog and I’m making smoothies all week. Tomorrow I’ll be posting up one with mango, rose water and lilikoi!

  • Courtney

    Hi, I live in Georgia, USA and have been making smoothies for years. Though I don’t like ice in mine, so I freeze the fruit first and then add coconut milk and some fresh squeezed apple or orange juice for the blender and some added flavor. Here’s my favorite
    Frozen fresh Pineapple, Mango, Strawberry, and a piece of frozen banana for thickener plus above mentioned liquids and blend. I sometimes switch the berries or use papaya. Enjoy!Courtney

  • Nicole

    Here in northern california, it’s easy to get figs and rosewater. Sounds great! I’ll have to try it.

    My all time favorite smoothie recipe is: one whole young coconut cut open with a knife and add all the coconut water and coconut meat, squeeze half lime, half lemon, 1/4 to 1/2 peeled cucumber, half avocado (if you want it really creamy) handful of cilantro or mint, handful of any kind of greens (I like lacinato kale) and blend on the highest setting of your blender. It is incredibly satisfying!

  • Dear Chocolate & Zucchini,
    I have a question about the smoothie, not only I loved it I am so curious to make it!
    can I use rosehip jam/jelly instead of the rose water, as I think the rosewater is too strong for me. I found this rosehip jam at an arabic store, which is made from rose petals and is really fragrant and sweet.
    Here is my killer combo for smoothie:
    Peach, yogurt and cayenne pepper smoothie,
    Mango,pineapple,coconut smoothie and last but not the least,
    Apricot date smoothie
    all of the smoothies I make are with little yogurt to give that fullness. Sugar and other ingredients to experiment is entirely upto you
    Hope you will like it.

  • Oh, that sounds and looks really yummy! I just hope I can find the rose water. The raspberry passion fruit sounds like it is pretty delicious too! :)

  • Neko

    This smoothie recipe tastes a million times better than it sounds.

    1 banana (sliced and frozen)
    1 c. strawberries (frozen)
    2 fresh medjool dates
    1 heaping spoonful of natural peanut butter
    Milk or soymilk (1 cup or so to loosen)

    Blend until smooth

    So yummy! And I don’t like peanut butter :)

  • Made your Fresh Fig and Rose Smoothie today. HUGE hit with the family. We will definitely make this again and again. Thanks for the recipe . . . a great flavor combination.

  • Gwendolyn – So glad you enjoyed it! I’m going to whip some up soon, now that figs are back.

  • Sonia Abigail

    I tried this, but put in a peach instead of orange juice and more rose water, and it was delicious! And the taste seems to be very compatible with chocolate so I’ll try putting in some chocolate next time.

  • Sandra

    This is a classic, Arabic, Mediterranean recipe.

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