A member of the plum and cherry family, apricots are classified as a drupe, or a fleshy, one-seeded fruit enclosed as a pit. Apricots are thought to have originated in China, with records showing them being consumed there for thousands of years. Alexander the Great is believed to have brought back the apricot from China to Greece, from where it spread throughout western civilization. The first apricot tree in America was delivered to Virginia in 1720; however, it was in California where apricot trees flourished.
• Apricots are a good source of potassium, iron, carotenes, and fiber.
• A 3½-ounce serving, about 3 apricots, contains a mere 48 calories.
• The same serving size of dried apricot contains 241 calories.
• High in the carotenes lycopene and lutein, apricots help prevent macular degeneration, heart disease, and cancer.
Apricots’ sweet flavor blends well with other fruits, making it a great addition to most fruit salads. Add them on top of cereal, oatmeal or yogurt for breakfast. Grab a bag of dried apricots to take with you throughout your day, to keep you energized on the go. You can add apricots to baked goods such as breads, pancakes and muffins. One of my favorite recipes is to skewer whole or halved apricots brushed with honey and barbecue them on the grill or broil them in the oven until brown. Serve on their own, or as a side to chicken or vegetables. For more nutritional information on your other favorite foods, check out my other Healing Food Facts, or pick up a copy of my “Encyclopedia of Healing Foods”.