Food Lifestyle

7 Fresh and Dried Apricot Recipes Packed with Nutrients

8 min read

From sweet treats to savory dishes, apricots add flavor and health benefits to any dish. Dive into our apricot-inspired recipes and make the most of this versatile fruit year-round!

When you hear the word “precocious,” what comes to mind? Six-year-old Wolfgang Mozart composing music and playing harpsichord for European nobility? Judit Polgar, the youngest ever chess grandmaster at 15? Roald Dahlʼs Matilda?

One of my favorite “early bloomers” is the apricot, which blossoms and ripens before most other stone fruits. In fact, the word “apricot” shares its etymology with the word “precocious” — both come from the Latin “praecoquum,” meaning “early ripening.”

Apricots are a favorite fruit around the world and feature in many regional cuisines. Originating in the Himalayas, theyʼre now grown throughout Europe, the Mediterranean, and California. The worldʼs biggest producer of apricots (and exporter of dried apricots) is Turkey.

Apricots are prized across cultures for their versatility and tantalizing taste. Theyʼre more than palate-pleasers, though. They offer a host of nutritional benefits to your diet as well, including lots of phytochemicals and the precursor to vitamin A — beta-carotene.

So if you want to include apricots in your diet, this article will help you discover how to tell if they’re ripe, keep them fresh, and integrate them into a myriad of culinary creations. Youʼll also learn how to cook with dried apricots so you can enjoy their goodness year-round.

Whether you pluck the fruits directly from a tree or pick them out in a bustling market, dive in to learn more about apricots — and put your newfound knowledge to use with seven delicious apricot recipes.

When Are Apricots in Season?

Ripe fruits of the apricot tree on a branch with leaves in an orchard. Fruit harvest.

Apricots, like many other stone fruits, are warm-weather crops. In the US and Turkey, theyʼre in season in the spring and summer months.

Dried fruit and preserves are often available year-round in grocery stores.

How to Tell if an Apricot is Ripe

While apricots are precocious, you still have to wait for them to ripen fully. One clue to apricot ripeness is color: they should have yellowish-orange skin when ripe. If youʼre picking apricots straight from a tree, look for fruits that snap off easily in your hand — or even ones that have just fallen.

If you get your fresh apricots from a grocery store or farmers market, choose round fruits with a little give. Avoid ones with any cuts, bruises, discoloration, or signs of mold.

A ripe apricot will taste sweet, tart, and slightly fragrant.

How to Store Fresh and Dried Apricots

Ripe organic apricots in steel colander. Composition in rustic style - organic yellow juicy apricots in steel colander and whole and halved apricots on dark marble background. Healthy food concept. Harvest time.

If you have some apricots that arenʼt yet ready to eat, store them at room temperature until they ripen. Then move them to the refrigerator to slow down over-ripening (or eat them right away!).

If youʼve cut or prepared apricots in some way, refrigerate them in an airtight container and use them within a few days.

A sealed container of dried apricots will keep in the pantry for six months. Once opened, theyʼll stay good in the fridge for up to six more months.

You can also freeze sliced apricots in a single layer on a baking sheet, bag them, and then store them in the freezer for 8–12 months. If you want to keep the slices from browning, you can halt this chemical reaction by tossing them in lemon juice immediately after cutting.

How to Prepare and Use Apricots

Oatmeal porridge with fresh apricots on a wooden background. Porridge in white plate with sliced apricots. Healthy breakfast. Kurnosova

Apricots are among natureʼs more straightforward fruits. You can eat them raw (when ripe); you can eat the outer skin, so there is no need to peel them, and they are easy to bite into or cut.

Apricots do have a hard pit, also called a stone — so donʼt bite into them too enthusiastically unless you want to pay a nonsocial visit to your dentist. And, of course, youʼll want to remember to remove the stone before tossing fruit into a blender for smoothies or sauces.

Beyond eating apricots raw, there are many ways to include them in delicious and healthy dishes. As mentioned, you can add them to smoothies and, if youʼre into juicing, to raw juices as well (again, remove the pit unless you want your juicer to play a heavy metal drum solo as its final act on this earth).

You can cut apricots into small pieces that make a great topping for granola, chia pudding, overnight oats, or plant-based yogurt.

You can also cook apricots in many ways, including grilling, roasting, and poaching (which can sweeten and soften underripe fruit — hereʼs a video demo). You can also make them into compotes, jams, preserves, and sauces.

Apricots can also add a lot of flavor and juiciness to baked goods such as cobblers, muffins, pies, tarts, cakes, and cookies.

Cooked and dried apricots are also common ingredients in Middle Eastern-style salads and rice dishes, often paired with slivered almonds.

If you have access to a lot of apricots all at once — from a tree, a neighbor, or a local farmer — you can dehydrate them yourself and store them in an airtight container just as you would store-bought dried apricots.

A Note About Pesticides on Apricots

Apricots grown nonorganically arenʼt the worst or the best fruit in terms of pesticide residue. According to the Environmental Working Group, they donʼt make either the “Dirty Dozen” or the “Clean Fifteen” lists.

However, if youʼre worried about pesticides on your produce, you can remove residue on the surface of your apricots by washing them. Hereʼs an in-depth article looking at the best ways to clean pesticides off of produce.

Apricot Recipes

Get ready to fall in love with the sweet and tangy flavor of apricots with seven creative and delicious recipes! Whether itʼs blending up a Spicy Apricot Margarita Mocktail, baking a sweet and tangy Apricot Cobbler, or whipping up the vibrant Quinoa and Apricot Jackfruit Tagine, these recipes make apricots the star of the show. Perfect for any meal or occasion, from cozy, slow mornings to lively community dinners, our apricot-centric dishes are designed to nourish and satisfy. So, dive into the delicious world of apricots, and add some fresh, fruity flair to your plant-based meals!

1. Apricot Almond Overnight Oats

Apricot Almond Overnight Oats

Start your day with a burst of flavor and nutrition with Apricot Almond Overnight Oats. The star of this recipe is the dried apricots, which bring a delightful sweetness and slightly chewy texture to each bite. Apricots are packed with health benefits, too. Theyʼre rich in vitamins A and C, antioxidants, and dietary fiber, which makes them excellent at promoting eye health, boosting the immune system, and aiding digestion. Prepare this quick and delicious meal the night before, and wake up to a refreshing and nutritious start to your day!

2. Apricot Jam

Apricot Jam

Experience the delightful taste of summer with our Apricot Jam. Made from ripe, juicy apricots, this jam captures the vibrant sweetness and tangy flavor of fruit at its peak. Rich in vitamins A and C, apricots provide a nutritious boost while their natural pectin creates a perfectly spreadable texture. Enjoy this versatile jam on toast, in oats, or as a glaze for your favorite plant-based protein. Apricots’ unique taste brings a touch of sunshine to your breakfast table and culinary creations!

3. Quinoa and Jackfruit Apricot Tagine

Quinoa and Jackfruit Apricot Tagine

Dive into the sweet and tangy world of our Quinoa and Jackfruit Apricot Tagine, where dried apricots steal the show. These golden fruits bring a burst of brightness and a hint of sweetness that perfectly complements the savory spices and hearty ingredients. The apricots are a key flavor enhancer in this dish, plus they add a wonderful texture that absorbs and melds with spices like cumin, coriander, and cinnamon. Their natural sweetness contrasts beautifully with the earthy tones of the fennel and the robustness of the jackfruit, making every bite a delightful balance of flavors. Rich in fiber and antioxidants, apricots help to make this tagine as nutritious as it is delicious!

4. Cheesecake with Baked Apricots

Cheesecake with Baked Apricots

Creamy Cheesecake with Baked Apricots is guaranteed to be your go-to dessert of the season. These succulent fruits are baked to perfection, enhancing their natural sweetness and creating a rich, caramelized texture that pairs exquisitely with the creamy cheesecake, their vibrant, tangy flavor cutting through its richness. Enjoy this perfect blend and enticing aroma — each bite is a decadent delight!

5. Apricot Cashew Butter Energy Bars

Apricot Cashew Butter Energy Bars

Celebrate the natural sweetness and delightful chewiness of apricots in our Apricot Cashew Butter Energy Bars. These energy bars feature dried apricots that provide a burst of tangy flavor and enhance the texture with their pleasing stickiness and fruity flavors. The natural sugars in the apricots offer a quick energy boost, perfect for on-the-go snacking or a pre-workout pick-me-up. Their bright, fruity flavor perfectly complements the rich, creamy cashew butter, creating a homemade energy bar thatʼs both nutritious and irresistibly tasty.

6. Apricot Cobbler

Apricot Cobbler

Enjoy the heartwarming and rustic charm of our Apricot Cobbler, where these sun-kissed fruits shine brightly! As the apricots bake they release a beautifully sweet and slightly tart juice that caramelizes and gets warm and gooey. Each bite offers a perfect balance of fruitiness complemented by the crunch of slivered almonds and oats. This is a true treat that showcases apricots in all their glory!

7. Spicy Apricot Margarita Mocktail

Spicy Apricot Margarita Mocktail

Get ready to have some fun with the naturally sweet allure of apricots in our Spicy Apricot Margarita Mocktail. Fresh apricots blend seamlessly with the tropical punch of pineapple, creating a base thatʼs both juicy and richly flavored. The natural sweetness of the apricots is enhanced by the subtle heat from jalapeño slices, offering a tantalizing twist that surprises and delights the palate. Each sip brings forward the lush, tangy flavors of apricots, making this mocktail not just a drink but a healthy toast to summerʼs favorite fruits!

Letʼs All Appreciate Apricots

Apricots offer a delightful blend of versatility and nutrition that can enhance pretty much any meal, whether sweet or savory. From selecting to storing apricots, this guide can help you experiment with apricot recipes. Whether you enjoy them fresh during their peak season or as dried fruit and preserves available year-round, apricots provide a myriad of culinary possibilities.

Editor’s Note: For an entire article devoted to apricot nutrition, health benefits, and downsides, check out our companion article Are Apricots Good for You? Hereʼs What You Need to Know About Apricots.

Tell us in the comments:

  • What are your favorite ways to eat apricots?

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