Apricots are not sold by variety in Australia but do vary in colour, ranging from pale yellow to a golden orange colour – some even have a pink flush to them. Apricots have soft, velvety skin and a distinctly sweet scent.
Choose apricots that are plump and yield slightly when pressed. They should have a strong, sweet fragrance.
Allow to ripen at room temperature. Ripe apricots can be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for 2–3 days.
Apricots are delicious raw or cooked – just be sure to remove the stone first! Apricots can be stewed, baked, poached, or grilled. Add apricots to healthy muffins, pancakes, fruit and green salads, salsa, chutneys, jams or smoothies. They also complement chicken and pork dishes.
Four quick ways with apricots
For this fresh spring salad, halve 5 apricots, remove the stones, then cut flesh into thin wedges. Combine apricots with cooked, shredded chicken, Lebanese cucumber (peeled into ribbons), baby spinach leaves and 1 tablespoon each shredded parsley and mint. Top salad with crumbled reduced-fat feta and chopped walnuts. Drizzle with balsamic before serving.
For a deliciously sweet, low-fat dessert, cut apricots in half and remove stones. Place apricot halves on a lined baking tray, cut side up, and sprinkle with cinnamon and a little brown sugar. Bake at 180°C for 25–30 minutes, until tender. Place in a serving dish and top with low-fat yoghurt and crushed walnuts. Serve warmed apricots immediately.
Apricots add wonderful flavour and texture to meat dishes. Combine chopped apricots, roast pumpkin, parsley, nuts and lemon juice with cooked couscous or wild rice. Serve with slices of grilled lamb or pork.
For a quick and easy snack, halve an apricot, remove the stone and fill the cavity with fresh reduced-fat ricotta and top with a drizzle of honey.
Did you know? 100g apricot contains almost a third of your RDI for vitamin A – an important vitamin for eye health.