Fresh apricot is regarded as a nutritious and tonic food and enjoys world-wide popularity.
Apricots are small, golden orange fruits, with velvety skin and flesh: not too juicy but definitely smooth and sweet. Their flavor is almost musky, with a faint tartness that is more pronounced when the fruit is dried. Some people think of the flavor as being somewhere between a peach and a plum, fruits to which they're closely related. Apricots range in color from yellow to deep orange, often with red or rosy touches. The fruits vary in size from about 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 inches in diameter. The flesh should yield to gentle pressure when held in the palm of your hand, and the fruit should have a bright, ripe aroma. Apricots are fragrant and juicy; more sweet than tart.
It can be used in subsequent ways:
Chopped fresh apricots
Apricot can be peeled or unpeeled, as desired. Take a sharp knife, slice it from the top to remove the stem and then cut it into half from the centre. Cut the half portion into another half and remove the seeds from centre. Chop ingredients by cutting them in small pieces approximately ¼ inch in diameter, although the chopped food doesn't need to be exactly the same size. If the recipe calls for the ingredients to be "coarsely chopped," make the pieces slightly larger.
Sliced dried apricots
Cut the apricot into half with a sharp knife. Remove the seeds. Slice them thinly or thickly as required.
How to Select
Sliced fresh apricots
Take a sharp knife, slice apricot in half and remove the pit, which will impart a bitter flavor. And slice them thin or thick as required using a sharp knife.
Look for plump, fairly firm fruit with an orange-yellow to orange color. Fully ripe fruit is soft to the touch, juicy and should be eaten as soon as possible. Culinary Uses
· Apricots in its fresh form are a wonderful addition to any fruit salad or dessert recipe.
· The juice from apricots can be drained and thickened with flour or cornstarch to make a fruit sauce for ice cream or pancakes.
· Freeze the drained juice in an ice cube tray; use instead of ice cubes in cold drinks or iced tea or Use it as part of the liquid when making gelatin desserts.
· Apricots can be substituted for their cousins peaches in most recipes, so feel free to experiment. They work well in desserts and confections. Complimentary spices include curry, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom, cinnamon, and star anise. For a real treat, try apricots in any recipe combined with pistachios or almonds.
· Dried apricot is extensively used in baked products, cakes and confectionery.How to Store
Look for plump, fairly firm fruit with an orange-yellow to orange color. Fully ripe fruit is soft to the touch, juicy and should be eaten as soon as possible. Keep apricots cool to prevent over ripening. Place hard apricots in a paper bag and let ripen for a day or two. Keep away from heat and sun Dried apricots should be stored in the refrigerator. If your dried apricots become too brittle, they can be softened by soaking in Liquid or by steamingHealth Benefits
· Fresh apricot is rich in natural sugars, vitamin A & B and Calcium.
· It is an excellent remedy for anaemia.
· Fresh juice mixed with honey or glucose, is a very cooling drink during fevers. It quences the thirst and eliminates the waste product.
· Essential for healthy skin and mucous membranes.