These beautiful golden-orange fruit are in season now, and have a bevy of health benefits for you! Apricots are chock full of antioxidants, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, iron, and fiber. Antioxidants (and vitamin C) across the board help to reverse the damage and aging associated with our day-to-day lives, can improve the appearance of our skin, and help the body fight dangerous free radicals caused by stress, pollution, and modern-living. Vitamin A is an essential nutrient for proper vision, and especially night vision. Iron can be especially useful for women who have heavy menses, or for pregnant women who are circulating for two. The fiber in apricots will ease constipation, creating softer and larger stools. Eaten fresh, you can get all of this nutritional power, along with sweet juice and a smooth texture. At just 74 calories per cup, you can make this a tasty desert while trying to lose weight. Eaten dried (a popular treat) you get higher levels of iron, but need to be careful because the calorie content soars! That same cup of apricots will get you 313 calories.
Recipe: Balsamic-Glazed Apricots with Ricotta Clouds
(as seen on Cooking For Real, Food Network)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 fresh apricots, pitted and halved
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup fresh ricotta
In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and cook until the foam subsides. Place the apricots cut side down in the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until apricots are slightly tender and warmed through, 5 to 6 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar and the honey. When apricots are ready, and add honey-balsamic mixture to the skillet. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring frequently, until the apricots have cooked through and the glaze is bubbling, uniformly coating the apricots. To serve, place a scoop of ricotta on each serving plate, top with 2 apricot halves and drizzle with the honey-balsamic glaze from the skillet.