Dried apricots are readily available year-round, easily tossed into cereal, muffin batter and trail mix, and offer a convenient concentrated dose of sweetness and nutrition. However, dried apricots pale in culinary comparison to tender fresh apricots. Beyond just being a tasty, healthy snack, fresh-picked apricots can add their distinctive flavor and yummy texture to both savory dishes and sweet desserts. If you’ve got a craving for apricots, here are eight ways to eat these plump, orange-hued fruit!
1. Apricot Pancakes
Fresh apricots are at their peak for a few precious weeks from late spring through summer, giving you an opportune window to include them in every meal of the day. Try them for breakfast, folding diced apricots into muffin, scone or pancake batter. Not only will they add a sunny color, they will start your day with a heart-healthy boost of lycopene and beta-carotene. For apricot pancakes, simply make your usual pancake batter, pour on the griddle, sprinkle with finely diced fresh apricot and proceed as usual.
Need a gluten-free breakfast recipe? Sink your teeth into these Gluten-Free Apricot Scones.
2. Apricot Salad
The abundant spring and summer bounty of produce makes salads a natural at the family dinner table. From juicy, sweet fruit salads for breakfast or dessert to leafy green salads tossed with fruit, nuts and cheese, apricots can play a star role in your salad making endeavors. And with every apricot salad, you’ll be nourishing your skin and eye health with a tasty dose of vitamin A. Try diced apricots, feta and sliced almonds in your next leafy green creation, or puree fresh apricots with olive oil, a little balsamic and seasonings for a tangy, luscious salad dressing.
You can also combine savory and sweet with this Apricot Basil Salad.
3. Apricot Grain Salads and Sides
The wide variety of grains and types of rice give you near endless possibilities to feature fresh apricots. These miniature peach-like orbs pair well with brown rice, wild rice, couscous, bulgur, quinoa and more. Along with their bright color, apricots also give grain salads and sides an extra bit fiber and iron. Toss diced apricots into your next barley salad or rice side dish.
Or try this nutty sweet grain salad: Pistachio Apricot Couscous.
4. Apricot glaze
Store-bought apricot preserves are a convenient go-to for sweet apricot glazes to generously brush on succulent meat and poultry, but save the jarred variety for when apricot season has passed. Make your own apricot glaze by pureeing fresh apricots, honey, olive oil, onion, vinegar and seasonings of your choice.
Here’s another apricot glaze recipe and how to use it: Apricot Glazed Cornish Game Hen.
5. Apricot dip
A simple, creamy blend of apricots and fresh cheese or yogurt is the beginning of a tast array of sweet or savory dips for snacking, appetizers, sandwich spreads and desserts. Not only do apricots embue a golden hue, they add low-calorie bulk to usually high-calorie cheeses, making the resulting dips more diet-friendly. To make a sweet dip for fruit, simply puree cream cheese, Greek yogurt and fresh apricots until smooth.
Have a savory dip need? Try this Apricot Goat Cheese Dip.
6. Apricot Bavarian
Being naturally sweet, apricots are ideal for both healthy and decadent dessert recipes. An even better combination is an inherently decadent apricot dessert that is also deceivingly healthy. Traditional Bavarian cream is a shaped dessert made with heavy cream accompanied with an apricot or other fruit puree. Achieving the look and palate-pleasing texture of bavarian while significantly reducing the calories is the best of both healthy and indulgent desires.
Try this lower fat rendition of Apricot Bavarian.
7. Apricot cake
Thinly sliced apricots can become the feature fruit in an upside down cake, diced apricots can be folded into light or dense cake batters, and apricot puree can be drizzled overtop fresh from the oven confections. Spring and summer are amenable to outdoor garden parties and afternoon tea on the patio with unexpected guests, making apricot cakes a perfect dessert to always have on hand. Simply take your favorite white or yellow cake recipe, fold in lightly floured pieces of diced apricot, and bake as directed.
Or give this recipe a bake: Fresh Apricot Tea Cake
8. Apricot crumbles and crisps
Tender, warm fruit layered under a buttery crisp topping is the stuff perfect summer desserts are made of. Give apricots a dessert showing of their own, or combine them with other ripe fruits for many crumbles and crisps to come. Make your apricot dessert even more sweet tooth satisfying with a generous dollop of whipped cream, Greek yogurt or vanilla ice cream.
A colorful antioxidant-packed dessert: Apricot Blackberry Crisp