My farmers market had freshly picked apricots and I could not resist buying a pint. I don’t know about you, but I typically don’t’ eat fresh apricots. I normally buy the dried variety from Fresh Market (which are especially great in trail mix.) But, I figured that eating food fresh and in their natural state is better…..and when I read more about it, I found out I was right. Even though I LOVE dried apricots, they are actually pretty high in sugar because they are so concentrated. Compare the calories: ½ a cup of dried apricots has 157 calories vs. only 34 for two small apricots. Not only that, but which would make you feel more satisfied? A few small dried apricots or two whole, juicy fresh ones? Another odd fact, when the apricots are dried, they lose the beta-cryptoxanthin (which is a shame because it can reduce the risk of lung cancer by more than 30% and reduce arthritis symptoms by 41%.) Luckily the beta-crypotaxathin is present in the fresh apricot variety, along with 1,348 IUs of vitamin A, 766 IUs of beta-carotene, 181 mg of potassium and 13 mg of phytosterols. All this plus 1.5 grams of fiber!
I have to be honest though and say that apricots are not my favorite fruit. I like them alright, but I much prefer a fresh peach (which I’ll be blogging about soon!) After reading this research though, I will definitely be grabbing a fresh apricot instead of the dried variety from now on. If I’m going to eat an apricot, I may as well get the amazing combination of cancer-fighting antioxidants that only the fresh ones provide.
With summer upon us, I thought it would be appropriate to share an apricot ice cream recipe. I LOVE making my own ice cream, it is so much more satisfying than buying it from the grocery store. When I make it myself, I can make sure that only the freshest ingredients go in the mix and I can control the fat and sugar content. Try this one out and let me know what you think!
Fresh Apricot Ice Cream
- 1 can (12 oz.) skimmed evaporated milk
1 envelope plain gelatin
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups diced, ripe fresh apricots (about 3/4 lb.)
12 oz. apricot nectar
1/2 pint low-fat plain greek yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla
Rock salt or table salt (according to ice
cream maker directions)
Combine skimmed milk and gelatin in large saucepan. Heat, stirring often, until gelatin dissolves. Add sugar and heat until it dissolves. Using a whisk, stir in apricots, apricot nectar, yogurt and vanilla. Pour mixture into canister of ice cream maker and assemble the machine. Make alternate layers of ice and salt around the canister. Churn 20 to 30 minutes or until softly frozen.