National Apricot Day 2019
National food holidays have been in existence for decades. Although they are not official holidays, they are sure fun to celebrate. It gives us a good excuse to enjoy certain foods. National Apricot Day is celebrated on January 9th every year in the USA by apricot lovers.
The apricot tree is a hardy winter tree that grows to 12 to 15 feet but can grow to 45 feet if not pruned. The tree produces pink, white, or red flowers,1 and produces fruit for 20 to 25 years.2
The apricot fruit is fleshy and similar to peaches - a golden orange fruit color and a firm texture. Its flavor is more tart than a peach. You can eat it fresh, canned, or dried. To select fresh apricots, look for fruit with a rich orange color that’s soft to the touch; avoid pale yellow or green.
Apricots are fruits we can enjoy throughout the year when dried. They are tasty, healthy, and can be eaten any time of the day. Organic dried apricots are brown in color. Although most store-bought apricots have bright orange color indicating they were treated with sulfur compounds during preservation.1
Here’s what you should know about National Apricot Day.
Origin of the name
Apricot is a Latin word meaning precious, but its history has been linked to an Arabic word “al barquq” or early ripe. They ripen in early summer, much earlier than most summer fruits, and are dried to preserve for use throughout the year.1
History of National Apricot Day
Apricots were discovered about 4,000 years ago in China. It was introduced in the USA in California in the 18th century by Spanish explorers. They planted the trees all over the west coast of the USA, and it quickly became a popular crop.1
The first commercially produced apricots were cultivated in south San Francisco in 1972. The USA is among the top apricot producers. Currently, California farmers produce more than 95% of the apricot grown in the US.2
Nutritional value of apricots
Fresh apricots are rich in nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, iron, calcium, and iron. They are also a good source of fiber. They are versatile with their unique flavor and can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. They make a perfect low-calorie snack right of the pack, whether dried or fresh. Dried or freeze dried apricots can be added to salads or granola.1
How to observe National Apricot Day
Use the hashtag #NationalApricotDay on Facebook and Twitter. Aside from that, you can add apricots to your dishes, cakes, or salads. Be creative! They can be used in many more ways than you think. Here are five apricot recipes to try on National Apricot Day.
Make delicious apricot raspberry preserves in just 15 minutes. It acts a good sauce over pancakes and waffles or you can even add it to yogurt and ice cream. The raspberries add a sweet taste and pop of color.
1 lb. ripe peeled pitted and halved apricots
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup fresh raspberries (optional)
Add the apricots, lemon juice, and sugar in the food processor bowl. Pulse several times till the apricots are coarsely chopped.
Transfer the mixture to a pan. Lightly boil the mixture over medium heat while uncovered for about ten minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.
Add more sugar according to your preference. Add half of the raspberries and simmer for another minute or two till they are softened. Put aside to cool at room temperature. Then cover and refrigerate until when you want to use it. It can stay in the refrigerator for a week.
This easy and quick smoothie recipe is healthy and delicious. The sweet-tart flavor is perfect for a summer afternoon or when a taste of summer is needed during winter. The strawberries add health and an energy boost with loads of vitamin A and C.
1 cup chilled coconut water/ filtered water
1 cup strawberries
2 cups pitted apricots
1 cup frozen pineapple
1 tsp. flax seed oil (optional)
Mix all the ingredients in the blender, one by one in the order listed and blend until smooth.
This simple delicious chicken recipe is quick and easy for a busy day. Serve with rice or potatoes.
12 chicken thighs
1 cup apricot preserves
1 cup French dressing
1 (1 ounce) package dry onion soup mix
Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C. // 350 degrees F
Combine the jam, dressing and soup mixture in a bowl. Place the chicken pieces in a baking dish. Pour the apricot mixture over the chicken. Bake uncovered for about an hour. You can also bake in aluminum foil to cook it evenly and keep the chicken moist.
This budget friendly refreshing juice incorporates the goodness of pineapple and lime. Enjoy a glass of the tropical flavored punch and garnish with a slice of pineapple.
1 cup pineapple juice
1 cup apricot nectar
1 cup frozen limeade concentrate
2 liters lemon-lime flavored carbonated soda
Combine all the ingredients except soda in a punch bowl. Add the soda and mix.
One will not be enough.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup butter
2 egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup apricot preserves
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 175° C/350° F.
Mix together butter, sugar, and flour. Add eggs gradually and mix well. Add vanilla extract. Don’t over mix. Pour the mixture into a baking tin preferably 9x13 inch pan. Bake for 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and spread the apricot preserves evenly. Sprinkle nuts on top. Cut into bars while still on the pan. Return to the oven at 120° C/250° F for another 15 minutes. Then cool on the rack.
Enjoy these delicious recipes on National Apricot Day. Don’t forget to purchase our freeze-dried apricots. They will make your work easier for these recipes.