Apricot, meaning “precious” in Latin, earned this upright title because of its ability to ripen much earlier than most other summer fruits. A relative of the peach, the apricot is smaller and has a smooth, oval pit and a somewhat musky flavor.
Although the origin of apricots is uncertain, it is known that they have been cultivated for over 4,000 years in China, India, and perhaps even Armenia. Apricots progressively made their way through the Persian Empire to the Mediterranean where they were fondly received. Spanish explorers introduced the apricot to the New World, and they were planted in the gardens of Spanish missions all over the Western United States—today, California remains one of the biggest producers of apricots.
The health benefits of apricots include the ability to treat indigestion, constipation, earache, fevers, skin diseases, cancer and anemia. To help treat cancers, a substance called laetrile is extracted from apricot seeds and prescribed to patients. Apricot seeds were even used to help rid the body of tumors as early as A.D. 502.
Apricot is consumed directly but can also be dried. It is also used in the preparation of juice, jam, squash, and jelly. Look for plump apricots with as much golden orange color as possible. Avoid those that are pale yellow, greenish-yellow, very firm, shriveled, or bruised.
www.apricotsrestaurant.com, www.whfoods.com. www.califapricots.com, wikipedia.org
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Crock Pot Lentil and Apricot Soup
- 1 cup red lentil
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 1 garlic clove, finely diced
- 4 1/3 cups water or 4 1/3 cups stock
- 2 slices fresh ginger, thin
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon cumin seed, ground
- 1 teaspoon coriander seed, ground
- 1 pinch chili powder or 1 pinch chili flakes, to taste
- 1/4 cup dried apricot
- lemon juice or lemon salt, to taste
- salt and pepper
- chopped cilantro, to taste, for garnish
Prep Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 12 hrs
- Wash and drain lentils.
- Chop up everything that requires chopping and throw the lot in the crock pot.
- Cook on the AUTO setting of the crock pot Garnish with cilantro when serving.
- Really nice with crusty bread!
- 1 lb baby carrot
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon butter or 1 tablespoon margarine, melted
- 1/2 cup apricot jam
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/8 teaspoon mace
Prep Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 15 mins
- Cook carrots, covered, in a small amount of boiling salted water for about 8 minutes or until tender.
- Drain thoroughly, return to saucepan.
- Combine butter, jam, lemon juice, salt and mace.
- Pour over cooked carrots.
- Cook, stirring constantly until carrots are evenly glazed and heated through.
Couscous With Dried Apricots and Pistachios (Vegan)
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 4 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 1/4 cups couscous
- 6 ounces dried apricots, thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground allspice
- 1 1/4 cups unsalted pistachios, toasted then chopped coarsely
- 3/4 cup green onion
- 6 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, cut into ribbons
Prep Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 10 mins
- Combine broth, olive oil and salt in medium size saucepan. Bring to boil.
- Combine the couscous, dried apricots and spices in a large serving bowl. Add the boiling water. Cover immediately and let stand until the water is absorbed; approximately 5 minutes.
- Uncover couscous and fluff with fork. Cool.
- Bring salad to room temperature and stir in the pistachios, green onions and basil ribbons.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Amaretto Apricots With Walnuts Teriyaki
- 2 cups walnut halves
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons dark rum or 3 tablespoons sake
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- Tabasco sauce
- 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
- kosher salt
- 2 -5 tablespoons Amaretto (or 1/2 teaspoon almond extract and 2 1/2 tsp. water) or 1 -3 tablespoon Amaretto, to taste (or 1/2 teaspoon almond extract and 2 1/2 tsp. water)
- 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- 1 lb dried apricot halves
Prep Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 50 mins
- Line a jelly-roll pan with foil.
- Spread the nuts on the foil lined pan.
- Combine the remaining ingredients for the walnuts, except the kosher salt, in a saucepan and heat until the sugar is dissolved.
- Pour the sauce over the nuts, making sure to coat them well.
- Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes.
- Place the toasted nuts on lightly oiled foil and sprinkle with the salt if desired.
- Assembly: Add the Amaretto to the cream cheese and mix well.
- Place a teaspoon of the cheese on each apricot and top with a walnut.
Apricot-Glazed Roasted Asparagus (Low Fat)
- 1 lb fresh asparagus spear (ends trimmed)
- 3 tablespoons apricot preserves
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/8-1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- black pepper
Prep Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 20 mins
- Rinse spears under cold water then pat dry with paper towels.
- Set oven to 375 degrees.
- Grease a large baking sheet.
- In a small bowl combine the apricot preserves with soy sauce, garlic powder and salt; pour over the asparagus on the baking sheet and toss using hands to coat with the mixture.
- Bake for about 10-15 minutes or until the asparagus is crisp-tender.
- Season with freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Barley Salad With Almonds And Apricots
- 1 1/2 cups pearl barley
- 4 1/2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- 3/4 cup dried apricots, sliced
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 pinch ground nutmeg
Prep Time: 1 hr 25 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 25 mins
- Rinse barley in a fine sieve. Bring water to a boil in a heavy saucepan. Stir in the barley, and return to a boil. Cover, and reduce heat. Simmer until water is absorbed, about 45 to 50 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
- Pour oil into a small skillet, and place over medium heat. Add onion, and saute until golden brown.
- In a serving dish, combine barley, onion, apricots, almonds, and parsley. Toss.
- In a small bowl, mix together yogurt, honey, lemon juice, cinnamon, turmeric, salt, and nutmeg. Pour over the barley mixture ,and toss well to combine. Serve at room temperature.
Apricot Glazed Chicken
- 6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
- 1 (10.75 ounce) can low-sodium chicken broth
- 3/4 cup apricot preserves
- 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon water
- Spray a large skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Brown chicken in heated skillet.
- Add chicken broth, jam and soy sauce. Simmer for 20 minutes or until chicken is done (no longer pink in the center).
- Remove chicken from skillet. Add 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 1 tablespoon water to sauce to thicken (equal amounts more of each if you like it thicker). Return chicken to skillet and turn to coat thoroughly with sauce.
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