Apricots are a wonderful fruit that resembles a peach without the fuzz, have that sweet-tart taste, and are part of the stone fruit family.
This small fruit was originally domesticated in Asia, but they are now cultivated on every continent in the world apart from Antarctica. There is archaeological evidence that suggests apricots were eaten way back when, in ancient times, in Armenia.
The apricot grows on small trees with broad leaves. This type of fruit is known as a drupe which means it has a large, relatively flat, pit or stone in the center of it. Peaches, plums, cherries, and mangos all fall into this category among others.
A drupe contains the seed or kernel of the fruit. The kernel almost looks like a squat almond and is poisonous to us until it is roasted. The seeds or kernels have a similar flavor to the almond and are sometimes used in making almond extract.
Apricots are green before they begin to ripen. Once ripened, they are that beautiful orange and yellow color. They will ripen once picked. It is best to allow them to ripen at room temperature and not crowded by any other fruit.
This fruit is ideal for a simple, fresh afternoon snack, an addition to smoothies and as the base for things like jams, preserves, and jellies. It’s sweet and tart flavor is ideal for both sweet and savory dishes.
Here are some great recipes that use apricot:
- Apricot Cranberry Baked Brie
- Apricot Pear Crostini
- Sweet and Spicy Italian Sausage Sandwiches
- Bacon Wrapped Asparagus
- Roasted Asparagus with Apricot Sauce
What are the benefits of apricots?
They are nutritious and low in calories. They are full of antioxidants as well as potassium and may promote eye health, gut health, skin health and possibly protect your liver.
How many dried apricots can I eat a day?
Short answer, as many as you want. Keep in mind though that dried apricots are very, very high in fiber and while they are great for you in that regard (not to mention delicious, low in sugar, and so very snackable) it is best to keep your consumption on the lower side. Nutritionists say 3-4 of them is a healthy amount to stick to.
How do you eat apricots?
Give the fruit a good wash in cold water to remove anything that might be on the skin. Pat it gently dry and then bit into it like you would an apple or take a paring knife and run it along the seam of the fruit to cut it in half. This is similar to what you would do when cutting open an avocado. To remove the stone/pit, use a spoon to gently nudge it out and discard it.