An Apricot is a fruit, or the tree that bears the fruit, of several species in the genus of stone fruits.
It is one of the most versatile fruits and there is a belief that the apricot was originally cultivated in China, till the Persians discovered it. There’s also a dispute that it was originated in Armenia since the fruit has been cultivated there since ancient times. It was when the fruit found its way to the Mediterranean that its true popularity came to light.
The Spanish explorers got the credit for introducing the fruit to America, where it grows well today.
Indeed, it’s as popular raw as it is cooked. As a matter of fact, the dried version of this fruit is globally loved.
Countries such as Turkey, Italy, Russia, Spain, Greece, USA and France are considered to be the leading producers of apricots.
This yellowish-orange fleshy fruit is quite a curious little thing!
The tiny hairs on the outer skin lend a soft furry texture, and can be eaten without being peeled. It’s also one of the healthiest fruits in the world, with loads of benefits. In fact it’s said that 100 grams of fresh apricots gives you 12% of Vitamin C, 12% of Vitamin A, and 6% of Potassium required by the body – all this under less than 50 calories.
The benefits of this fruit are:
1. Good source of Vitamin A.
2. Rich in fiber.
3. Good for your heart.
4. Treasure chest of antioxidants.
5. Good for your blood.
6. Good for the skin.
7. It is diet friendly.
8. It strengthens your bones.
How to add Apricots to your diet?
- You can chop apricots up and add them to your morning cereal.
- You can even make a blend of it with yoghurt and make a dip or a spread for bread.
- Apricots are also used liberally in jams and preserves. (Apricot tarts, pies, crumbles and cakes are popular)
- The fruit goes well with green leaves, feta, and almonds. And all you need to finish the salad is a little balsamic dressing!
Dried apricots are of course way easier to store, as long as you don’t keep it under too much light. However, fresh apricots need to be consumed quicker as the skin might get wrinkled and the fruit will begin to lose its efficacy.