When I think about the abundant fruits of summer, apricots make the list.
Although some of you may not be fans, I ask that you consider giving this dainty little fruit another taste.
If your current rating for them is thumbs down, consider cutting an apricot into your next fruit salad so that you can ease into the flavor and texture of it.
When selecting apricots, look for those that are plump, firm, and have a deep orange color. Avoid those that are too hard or too soft. Ripe apricots should have a sweet aroma and yield slightly to gentle pressure.
Like peaches and nectarines, they can ripen once you get them home. If they’re not quite the way you like them, store your apricots at room temperature for a couple days or so, checking them daily. Refrigerate to stop further ripening.
Of course, as with all fruits and veggies, there are some delicious health benefits.
- Nutrient-rich: Apricots are a good source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium, and dietary fiber. They are low in calories and contain no saturated fats, making them a healthy addition to your diet.
- Rich in Antioxidants: Apricots are rich in antioxidants like beta-carotene and lycopene, which help protect the body’s cells from damage caused by free radicals. These antioxidants may contribute to better overall health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
- Eye Health: The high levels of beta-carotene in apricots are beneficial for eye health and may help prevent age-related macular degeneration.
- Heart Health: The potassium content in apricots supports heart health by helping to regulate blood pressure and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
- Digestive Health: Apricots contain dietary fiber, which aids digestion and promotes bowel regularity.
The peak season for apricots varies depending on the region and the specific variety. Generally, fresh apricots are available during late spring and early summer, typically from May to July in the Northern Hemisphere. During this time, you’ll find the most flavorful and sweet apricots.
There are many different apricot varieties, each with its unique characteristics, flavors, and uses. Some popular apricot varieties include:
- Blenheim: Known for its excellent flavor and sweetness, Blenheim apricots are widely grown in California.
- Moorpark: This variety has a rich and sweet taste and is commonly used for drying due to its high sugar content.
- Royal/Royalty: These apricots are reddish orange with a sweet and tangy flavor.
- Tomcot: Large, orange fruit with firm, sweet flesh. Slightly tart, old-time apricot flavor.
- Goldrich: This variety has a smooth texture and is favored for its sweetness.
- Harlayne: A late-ripening apricot with a delicate flavor.
I happened to discover Le Crème Apricots when I was at Whole Foods and decided to give them a try.
They’re grown in Washington and are a white fleshed apricot. When I brought them home, they were too firm to eat.
Now they’re just right—sweet, juicy, delicious.
Health Coach Carol
“Five tender apricots in a blue bowl, a brief and exact promise of things to come.”– Frances Mayes