Why We LOVE Apricots
Apricots. Just the name can make your mouth water. Walk by a fruit stand and their sweet aroma grabs you before you get to the table. The fruit itself is a color richer than its outer skin. And whether eaten raw or cooked, the flavor is intense in its tartly-sweetness. High in beta carotene and lycopene, apricots are rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, and fiber, and an average-sized apricot has only about 17 calories.
Most of the year it’s best to eat dried or canned apricots, considering the VERY short fresh season (June-early July). California dried apricots are very different from their imported, Turkish varieties. California’s are a deep orange in color and maintain those intense summer flavors: remember ours are dried in the California sun. (Turkish varieties are more candy-like in nature and taste a bit processed. Of course, we are biased.).
So now that summer is almost over and fresh apricots are long gone from the farmer’s markets and fruit stands, what are the best ways to enjoy canned, dried or frozen apricots:
- Make an easy fruit tart where a custard or pastry cream base is typically topped with fresh fruit.
- Stuff a pork loin or roast chicken with wedges of fresh fruit. Sage is a nice addition to apricots and meat or poultry.
- Dice pieces of apricots (canned or dried) and toss with rice pilaf, adding some toasted sliced almonds. Serve with lamb or fish.
- Whip up an apricot pie or crisp — substitute canned apricots for fresh peaches in your favorite peach pie recipe (you may want to reduce your baking time as canned apricots are already cooked).
- Swap out the pineapple and make an apricot upside-down cake.
- Serve over Greek yogurt for a yummy and nutritious snack anytime.
- Tell your kids that to look for frozen apricot cups at their schools! They are a favorite at schools from coast-to-coast
- Oven-roast canned apricots with a sprinkling of almonds or crushed Amaretti cookies for a quick and easy dessert.
- Pick up some store-bought puff pastry and make a rustic apricot galette in minutes. Your friends will think you took a Parisian pastry class!