Cooking & eatingIt’s officially summer and that means apricot season is just around the corner. Apricots are not only a tasty summer snack, but they also have a positive effect on health. “It is a small piece of fruit, with a lot of nutritional values.”
There are many health benefits to eating apricots. The drupe, which originates from China, is full of minerals, fibers and nutrients.
“The great thing about the apricot is that it is a very small piece of fruit with a lot of nutritional values and little sugar,” says nutritionist Desirée Marsman, when asked about the health benefits of apricots. For example, the fruit is packed with vitamin E, which works as an antioxidant and protects cells, blood vessels, organs, eyes and tissue.
An apricot also contains vitamins A, B and C. “But also minerals such as calcium, magnesium, selenium, potassium and phosphorus,” continues Marsman. Still, the nutritionist recommends eating no more than three pieces a day. ,,It is one of the healthier fruits, but variety is best. So if you eat any kind of fruit, you’ll get all kinds of things.”
What few people know, according to Marsman, is that the apricot is a good counterpart for the large amount of salt that we often ingest. “Potassium helps support the kidneys. Potassium cancels out the negative effect of sodium (salt).”
And another plus: apricots are good for the skin. The older you get, the less well your body absorbs minerals. Thanks to the many minerals and vitamins, the apricot is also good when you are in the menopause or pregnant,” says Marsman.
Fresh apricots are available in the Netherlands from June to September and are now mainly obtained from Italy and Spain. But dried apricots also contain many nutrients, says Marsman.
“Dried apricots contain a little more sugar and a little less nutrients, but they are also very high in fiber when dried.” Good news for enthusiasts: apricots are also very healthy in winter.
Apricots can be part of a varied diet. Below you will find recipes with apricots from culinary author Mari Maris.
“This recipe is quick, simple and very tasty”, Maris says. ,,I use a lot of apricots in the summer. Usually for sweet dishes, such as this bruschetta with apricot: a warm, caramelized fruit roll. So squeaky and very tasty.”
Ingredients (for 4 people):
– 0.5 dl strong ‘warm’ drink such as cognac or whiskey
– 1/4 vanilla pod, opened and detached
– 1 tablespoon of sugar
– 4 ripe apricots
– baguette (preferably grey/campaign)
– possibly crème frache
– Put the drink in a large bowl. Add the vanilla pod and the sugar (Yes, it is: the fruit is already sweet, but the sugar will give a nice caramelized result. After all, it’s a dessert, isn’t it?) and mix well.
– Halve the fruit above the bowl (so that the liquid is collected) and remove the pits. Cut the apricots in half. Cover and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours.
– Cut the bread – which is now from yesterday – into 4 (or for 10 people: 10) diagonal slices of a large centimeter thick and butter them on one side. Place it on an oven tray lined with baking paper. Place the fruits, skin side up, on the bread and gently press them in slightly.
– Spoon a few spoons of marinating liquid over it and put in an oven at 180 ºC. Let the bottom of the bread crispy and caramelize the fruit slightly for 10 to 15 minutes.
– Serve straight from the oven. Spoon a spoonful of crème fraîche on top, see it slowly melts
– Variation: for a fresh accent, replace some of the apricots with nectarine or plum wedges.
Fruit salad with orange blossom
Ingredients (for 4 to 6 people):
– 3 to 4 types of fruit, in total 750 g (for example apricot, strawberry, & peach, or (water) melon, nectarine, apple & grape)
– 2 tablespoons of honey
– 2 to 4 tablespoons of orange blossom water to taste (can be found at a Moroccan or Turkish shop)
– 2 sprigs of mint, stripped and finely chopped, a few tops kept aside
– 1 orange, squeezed
– Clean the fruit and cut it into pieces, as big or as small as you want.
– Mix the honey and chopped mint with the orange blossom water through the orange juice and make the fruit with it. Garnish the salad with the mint tops.
Nectarine-apricot-almond tart with crème anglaise (rest for at least 1 hour)
Ingredients for the dough
– 100 g flour
– 100 g butter, cold, cubed
– 30 g sugar
– 1 egg yolk
Ingredients for the filling
– 90 g butter, at room temperature
– 90 g white caster sugar
– 90 g almond flour (you can also grind white almonds yourself)
– 1 small egg
– 1 nectarine, halved and pitted
– about 5 apricots, halved and pitted
– Making this dough is easiest with a food processor: mix flour, butter and a pinch of salt on the pulse setting to a crumbly dough. Then add the sugar and then the egg yolk. Press pulse a few more times. Once the dough is well mixed, it will separate from the bowl. Then wrap it tightly in cling film and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour (up to 24 hours).
– Divide the dough into a thin metal cake pan of 30 cm ø lined with baking paper (or a 4-person mold). It is shortcrust pastry: so don’t expect it to roll well, but use your hands to push it evenly into a model with a raised edge.
– Bake blind in an oven at 180 ºC; bake the dough for 20 minutes. Let the base cool and turn the oven to 150 ºC.
– Beat the butter and sugar (with a planetary mixer if you have one) for the filling until they look white and have a little fluffiness. Then mix in the almond flour, a pinch of salt and the egg (or one at a time).
– Place the fruit with the flat side down in the cake tin and pour the dough mixture over it. Bake in the oven for 40 to 50 minutes, until the filling is set and golden brown. Then let the cake cool.
This cake keeps well for two days. Preferably keep it in an airtight container, so that the bottom and the crust of the filling remain nice and crispy. The points can withstand the freezer: a few minutes in a hot oven and they are like new.
Need even more ideas for your apricots? Hidde de Brabander makes a cake with poached apricots and food:
Free unlimited access to Showbytes? Which can!
Log in or create an account and never miss a thing from the stars.