People started drying apricots centuries ago when they noticed a need to preserve them for a long time. First of all, dried apricots were produced and supplied by the countries where it is warm and sunny for more than half of the year. Not much has changed till present.
Maybe dried apricots don’t have as much vitamins as the fresh ones, but they have a lot more minerals: potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, and phosphorus. They are also very rich in organic acids and pectin’s which are effectively deducing heavy metals and radionuclides from the body.
The sweetness of the dried apricot is caused by big quantities of glucose, sucrose and fructose.
How to Choose the Best Dried Apricots?
Nowadays we have vast choice of dried apricots available on the market. How do you not get lost among all that variety and choose a good product that you will benefit from? Pay attention to the following characteristics:
Color. Most of all we are attracted by yellow or bright orange color of the dried fruits. But it is deceiving, why is the color orange? It is orange because immature fruit is exposed to sulfur treatment. Dried apricots are hung up in a room and then the sulfur is set on fire. This allows it to gain beautiful and attractive for customers orange color. This technology was first used in Iran back in 1970’s. Due to its usage the harvest was protected from the vermin’s and preserved the color and taste. Moreover, the technologies used for orange apricots enable to bring them to the market much faster than with eco-friendly drying.
Smell. The orange dried apricots have almost no smell. Natural, brown dried apricots have the smell of apricots, sometimes it is similar to the sweet smell of a melon. It can stay on a table for a while and you will still smell it.
Tactile sensations. Oily. It is covered with oil so it doesn’t stick together. Special machines which pack apricots at the manufacturing plant, wash them and add some oil before packaging. Good dried fruits shouldn’t shine or be too greasy, if it’s the case then the product is not of the best quality.
Taste. Sometimes though dried fruits look attractive, they have a sour taste and don’t have the sweet apricot smell. It indicates that the fruits used were not ripe enough. Only immature dried apricots will have a sour taste. The sweeter the fruit, the better it is.
Appearance. Some people think that the bright color is a result of drying process, but it’s not possible. When you dry leaves, their color doesn’t become brighter, does it? Thus, the bright color of dried apricots is the first sign that the product has undergone a severe treatment.
Are Dried Apricots Good For You?
Apricots are great for everyone as an additional source of vitamins, especially in winter time when the selection of fresh fruits are limited. Health benefits of these dried fruits can not be underestimated. In particular, they are very good for the cardiovascular system, due to a high content of potassium salts. They contribute to the regulation of blood pressure and increase hemoglobin levels. It is recommended to consume dried apricots if you have anemia and during pregnancy, when hemoglobin amount decreases naturally.
It is also good for those taking diuretics, as it prevents the washing out of potassium. Apricots have a soft laxative effect where they assist in normalizing the peristalsis. Pectin and fiber help cleanse the body; remove harmful substances, toxins, heavy metals and radionuclides.
The consumption of dried apricots also helps to lower bad cholesterol levels in the vessels. Apricots are rich in carotene, which is vital for the organs of sight but you should keep in mind that they are not absorbed fully if there is a dysfunction of the thyroid gland.
Dried Apricots Nutrition Facts
- Proteins – 3.4 g
- Dietary fiber – 7.3 g
- Vitamin A – 3.5 mg
- Vitamin B – 0.015 mg
- Vitamin B2 – 0.074 mg
- Niacin – 2.6 mg
- Cholin – 13.9 mg
- Vitamin B5 – 0.52 mg
- Vitamin B6 – 0.14 mg
- Folic acid – 10 mcg
- Vitamin C – 1 mg
- Vitamin E – 3.1 mcg
- Potassium – 1160 mg
- Calcium – 55 mg
- Magnesium – 32 mg
- Sodium – 10 mg
- Phosphorus – 71 mg
- Iron – 2.7 mg
- Selenium – 2.2 mcg
Calories in Dried Apricots
As to calories in dried apricots, 100 g contain approximately 241 calories. It’s not much for the ration of most people but for those who are trying to lose weight consumption of big amounts of dried fruit is not recommended.
You can easily dry apricots at home. Take big and ripe fruits and put them at well-ventilated place where the sun won’t be able to reach them. It can take up to 3-4 months to dry these fruits. In order to get 1 kilogram of dried fruit, 5-6 kilograms of fresh apricots are needed.
Dried apricots are tasty and healthy snack. Besides they can be used in various dishes. They are added to the bakery, salads and even rice. There are many recipes of meat, poultry and fish with the usage of these dried fruits. And most importantly, the desserts.
Store dried apricots in a hermetically sealed container, preferably made of glass, in a room with low humidity. They can be preserved up to a year in such conditions.