Apricots are a fan-favorite —and for good reason— with a unique combination of tanginess and sweetness, apricots are truly one of a kind.
The apricot, known by its scientific name Prunus Armeniaca L, is one of nature’s greatest delights. With firm yet soft skin, a juicy, peach-like center, and a slightly sour twang, they make for a delectable treat when eaten right from the tree, dried, or even canned. They are said to of originated in China approximately 5,000 - 6,000 years ago, but this is up for debate; to this day, Armenia has the largest variety of apricot species, meaning Armenia may be where the fruit originated. Regardless of their exact place of origin, apricots grew in popularity very quickly after it became known that the trees were self-pollinating, resistant to harsh weather, and particularly abundant in harvest. Thanks to their easily transportable seeds, apricots spread to Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, and other neighboring countries in a short period of time. In fact, apricot seed is suspected to of been transported via the Silk Road as an agricultural commodity, which may be how it made its way to Europe!
Besides being delicious and nutrient-dense, the apricot tree is also beautiful. The trees themselves are relatively short and stout, casting a wide canopy when they bloom. The flowers on the apricot tree are petite, white flowers with bold pink accents. When the flowers fall and the apricots bloom, the tree becomes a vibrant contrast of green leaves with bright orange apricot fruits (they make for a stunning orchard!) In fact, the color of apricots is still very prevalent in Armenia today, showing up in their stamps, and even in the flag for the Republic of Armenia. In other cultures, the apricot was praised more so for its medicinal uses that its’ beauty. In China, for example, the apricot was considered helpful in hydrating the body and quenching thirst. The pits of the apricots were also crushed to make cooking oil, which in turn was added to foods and beverages that were supposedly helpful in curing respiratory ailments. The apricot has been a staple in agricultural and medicinal practice for thousands of years, so it’s no wonder it’s still growing in popularity today.
Nutrients & Health Benefits of Apricots
Apricots are some of Mother Nature’s best work. Not only are they packed with flavor, but they are abundant in vitamins and minerals as well. In fact, the beautiful, golden color of the apricot is one of its’ superpowers; the golden-orange color is caused by Beta-Carotene, also known as vitamin A, which is a powerful antioxidant known to support eye health and the immune system. Beneath the skin of the apricot, in the sweet, tangy flesh is even more immune support. Apricots are a good source of Vitamin C, E, and B6, as well as calcium, phosphorous, potassium, and magnesium – talk about a functional food!
And, thanks to the high fiber content, apricots promote gut health as well. With 2 grams of fiber in every serving of dried apricots, you can count on apricots to keep you regular! This fiber also feeds the good bacteria in the gut, which can help strengthen the health of your gut microbiome. We, of course, prefer to get our fiber in through consuming copious amounts of Made In Nature’s organic, unsulfured Dried Apricots, but that’s just us.
Doing Well By Doing Good
Here at Made In Nature, keeping our dried fruit 100% organic is our main priority. Doing well by doing good, for the people and the planet, is our way of life. We understand the harmonious relationship between organic farming practices and regulating our farmland. We understand that organic farming relies on biodiverse, healthy soil. We understand that our consumers except nutrient-dense, flavorful dried fruit from us. That’s why we let Mother Nature take the lead with our dried apricots. Picked at peak ripeness and dried in the warm, Turkish sun, you can rest assured that our apricots are always treated with care. We never use sulfur, or any other artificial preservatives, on these natural beauties. Our apricots are plump, bronzed, and beautiful, just how nature intended them to be.
How to Use Apricots
Apricots are delicious in all forms: fresh, dried, and canned. Although they are absolutely delectable when picked right off the tree, most of us don’t have that luxury. Dried apricots are one of the most common ways you will find apricots in the grocery store, and this is how we prefer them! In their dried form, apricots are extremely versatile. One of our favorite ways to enjoy dried apricots is to add them to trail mix – sliced into quarters, combined with other dried fruits (such as our Dried Figs and Dried Cranberries), and mixed with your preferred nuts, this is an energy-packed snack that cannot be beat. You can also add dried apricots to your favorite salad, use them as a topper to overnight oats, or even bake them into scones for a sweet treat.
Not sure how to add more dried apricots into your diet? Check out this crowd-pleasing, dried apricot appetizer!
Recipe: Plant-Based Apricot CanapésIngredients:
- 12-15 Made In Nature Dried Apricots
- ½ cup plant-based cream cheese (We prefer Violife)
- 4-5 bunches of rosemary
- 1 tsp plant-based milk (We prefer cashew)
- 1 tbsp basil leaves, chopped
- ¼ cup chopped almonds, sliced
- ¼ cup Made In Nature Raisins (optional)
- Combine the cream cheese, milk, and rosemary in a small mixing bowl. Mix until soft.
- Finely chop your basil leaves and almonds. Set aside.
- Spread a small amount of cream cheese onto each apricot and sprinkle with basil and the sliced almonds.
- If you are adding raisins, add 1 – 2 Made In Nature Raisins to each apricot.
- Al-Soufi, Maryam Haroon, et al. “A Review with Updated Perspectives on Nutritional and Therapeutic Benefits of Apricot and the Industrial Application of Its Underutilized Parts.” Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 7 Aug. 2022, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9370680/.
- “Apricot.” EOL, eol.org/pages/301091/articles. Accessed 8 May 2023.
- “Apricot/Apricot Kernel.” White Rabbit Institute of Healing, 27 Sept. 2022, www.whiterabbitinstituteofhealing.com/herbs/apricot/.
- “Yale Nature Walk.” Apricot | Yale Nature Walk, 8 Feb. 2017, naturewalk.yale.edu/trees/rosaceae/prunus-armeniaca/apricot-70