Friday, March 27, 2015

Hungry? Have an Apricot!

Just a few moments ago, I turned to Crystal and asked her...

"So, what should I write about tonight?"

Her answer... apricots.

How wonderful! I absolutely love apricots. They're tasty, versatile and incredibly healthy for consumption. Though, apricots seem to get lost in the global cornucopia of fruits. Between all of the apples, bananas, pears, peaches and grapes, the delightful apricot seems to regularly be forgotten.

Not today, my friends!

Where the apricot originates from is not completely known, but we have a few clues. Archaeological sites have found apricots in Armenia which date as far back as the Copper Age. Apricots are also known to have been in use in the Middle East and Persia since ancient times. The fruit quickly spread to other parts of the Mediterranean region, where they are still cultivated. The beauty of the apricot tree is how versatile it is. They can survive in temperatures as low as -22 °F. As long as their blooms don't receive an early spring frost, they can make it through just about any other type of weather.

A batch of dried apricots that haven't been preserved
using Sulfur dioxide gas. Note the darker color.

One of the best ways to consume the apricot is after it has been dried. The most prominent global producer of dried apricots is Turkey, where they have a nearly perfect climate to grow in. Consuming dried apricots is a great way to intake vitamins A and C, potassium, antioxidants and fiber. Always remember -- Can't take a squat? Eat a dried apricot!

Conversely, here's a batch of dried apricots that have been preserved using Sulfur dioxide. This process causes the fruit to have a bright orange color. The use of Sulfur dioxide is completely safe for consumption -- except for certain asthmatics with a sensitivity to sulfiting agents.

Whether dried or fresh, the apricot is the perfect snack. A whole fruit is less than ninety calories and they pack a wallop. It's so easy to slice an apricot up and top off a bowl of plain, low-fat yogurt with it. Or, gently sauté a sliced apricot and garnish some grilled chicken. Lightly drizzle honey on top and you've got a mighty satisfying dish that's sure to delight!

Move over peach, your cousin the apricot wants some of the spotlight!

1 comment:

  1. I love Dates. I should try an apricot. Thanks for the info!