Differences and Ways To Use Apricots
Turkish apricots are commonly sold in supermarkets and retailers, while California apricots are harder to be found. What is the difference between the two and how should we incorporate them into our diets?
Origins of Apricots
Apricots have been cultivated in the fields of Armenia since the first century AD. They were then brought to Anatolia in the fourth century BC. Thus, Anatolia is the second homeland for apricots. Now, Malatya in Turkey accounts for 65% to 75% of the world’s apricot production. Apricot was introduced to California in the seventeenth century by Spanish Missionaries, which is why California became the leading producing state of apricots in America.
California apricots have a darker tinge of orange than Turkish apricots. At one glance, one can also see that California apricots are halved, while Turkish apricots appear as a whole fruit. When California apricots are halved, moisture is lost and hence they look shrunken and are thinner. On the other hand, Turkish apricots look thicker and more succulent as moisture is not lost. Another difference is the shape of the fruit. California apricots have more curves and folds, compared to Turkish apricots which are more uniform in shape. California apricots have a more intense apricot flavour, while Turkish apricots have a milder flavour but are still sweet and juicy. In terms of nutrition, Turkish apricots have more calcium but have less beta carotene. Beta carotene is the red-orange pigment that gives apricots their hue. It is beneficial for health because it is converted into vitamin A in the human body.
Turkish apricots have low calories and fats. 1.4 ounces of dried apricots contain only six percent of one’s daily calorie allowance, hence they will not contribute to weight gain. Turkish apricots are also a good source of iron, calcium, protein, fiber, potassium, and magnesium. Potassium helps in muscle growth and aids in the functioning of organs, nerves, and cells. Magnesium on the other hand has calming properties and helps with insomnia. Turkish apricots also have high amounts of vitamin A that is essential for cell growth and the immune system. When Turkish apricots are taken in moderation, it may help in weight loss as the fiber in it helps to reduce hunger and increase one’s meal contentment. As Turkish apricots are rich in iron as well, it may help with pregnancy as pregnant women would need to increase their blood volume by 50%. It may also help in remediating anemia, which is the shortage of red blood cells. The iron present helps to produce haemoglobin and oxygen transportation. Additionally, the vitamin C present in apricots also helps in iron absorption. Lastly, Turkish apricots may promote bone health due to a mineral present called boron, which reduces the chances of osteoarthritis and osteoporosis from occurring.
How to use apricots
Turkish apricots are more suitable for baking and cooking, since they are more widely accessible and their juiciness and sweetness help to make your dishes more delectable. However, California apricots are good when you want to chew on them single-handedly, as they have a lot of bite and hence make a great snack to eat on its own. You may purchase Turkish apricots diced, and this makes them especially easy to be added and sprinkled onto your food, be it in your hot or cold cereals, granolas, and oats. As mentioned, you can also include them in your pancakes and baked goods such as muffins cakes and bread. This will give your food some sweet and tangy element.
Glazed Apricots Recipe
Here’s an easy recipe to make glazed apricots. Glazed apricots are a delight to have, for they are in a more soft and moist form that tastes like a dessert. Hence, they are great to be eaten on their own or to be added to fruit salads and cakes as fillings. When they are blended, they become a sticky sauce that makes for a good breakfast jam.
Total time: 35 minutes
What you need:
- Around 680 grams of dried Turkish apricots
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 1 and a ½ cups of fresh orange juice
- Add the apricots into a large pot and add the 4 cinnamon sticks as well, but make sure they are placed evenly.
- Cover the apricots with orange juice. Boil them first and then turn it down to a simmer.
- Simmer for 30 minutes or until little juice is left and the apricots are well coated with thick glaze.
- Let it cool and then store it in a container in the refrigerator.
Try our Turkish apricots
Turkish apricots as we have seen contains lots of iron, fiber and other minerals that are needed for cell growth, blood regulation and bone health, amongst many other benefits. They have an edge over California apricots for their versality and applicability on a variety of food items. Try some today to start reaping the benefits and sweetness of it!