Though some will argue the apricot’s place of origin — China, Persia, India, or Armenia — there’s no denying the worldwide appeal of the tangy flavor packed in this little fruit. Now widely grown in the Americas, apricots make a healthy and versatile food choice, great for cooking, as well as eating raw, sliced, baked and dried. What you might not know is how good apricots are for your health. Read on to learn more about the health benefits of eating apricot.
The Benefits of Eating Apricot
Apricots are a yellowish-orange fleshy fruit enclosed in an edible outer skin that is softly fuzzy. A serving size of 100 grams of fresh apricots provides you with several nutrients, most notably vitamin C, vitamin A, fiber, and potassium. Apricots are naturally high in antioxidants, which protect our cells against environmental damage from sunlight, pollution, and toxins such as cigarette smoke. Antioxidants, along with the beta-carotene in apricots, may benefit your skin by lowering your risk of wrinkles and sunburn.
To get the most from an apricot, eat them while in season (June-early Fall), choose organic when possible, and wash the fruit to remove debris from the skin. When picking apricots, the skin should be uniform in texture, free from damage spots or cracks and not too hard or soft. You should be able to cut or bite into the fruit with ease.
Cooked or raw, apricots add a delicate tang to rice dishes, salads, fruit parfaits, and baked goods. They are an ideal snack to take along on a day spent outdoors. Dried apricots are a wonderful addition to granola, oatmeal, and fruit and nut mixes…plus, you can enjoy the dried fruit all year long. Ideally, look for dried apricots that are sulfite-free and sugar-free.
Apricot-Date No Bake Trail Bars
June is the perfect time to experiment with the tangy sweetness of apricots. These snack bars are good fuel for wherever life takes you. Pack them for your next excursion in the great outdoors or as a healthy, sweet treat for a family picnic. You’ll love them so much, we bet you’ll start packing them for snacking during long days at work, too!
1 cup dates pitted and chopped
1 cup dried apricots, chopped
2 Tablespoons chia seeds
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger powder
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds/pepitas
2 Tablespoons carob chips (optional)
Line a 8×8 or 9×9 square pan with parchment paper.
Food process dates, apricots, chia seeds, cinnamon and ginger until a large mass forms.
Add pumpkin seeds and pulse until the seeds are broken up into pieces.
Add carob chips and pulse a few times to break up and distribute the chips.
Press the mixture into the pan.
Refrigerate for 30-45 minutes, then slice into bars or squares.