Ahh dried apricots. Who can resist their chewy texture, sweet and tangy taste, and perfectly golden hue? This world-loved snack has been around for ages, being eaten in ancient Persia and cultivated in Assyria for centuries. And the great thing about them – you can enjoy all the deliciousness of an apricot wherever and whenever you want, anytime of the year, thanks to drying!
Dried apricots are a healthy, nutrient-packed, versatile snack that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Here, let’s take a closer look at this delectable dried fruit to examine what sets it apart from its fresh counterpart.
So, what is a Dried Apricot?
At its most basic level, a dried apricot is simply an apricot that has been dried in order to prevent spoilage and make it shelf-stable. This can be done through the use of air-drying, sun-drying, or hot-air oven drying. In all cases, the drying process results in a product with reduced moisture content and higher sugar content due to caramelization.
What Benefits Does Drying Have on Apricots?
Drying apricots preserves their shelf life and nutritional value. Since much of apricots’ natural moisture is removed during the drying process, it helps keep the apricots from spoiling while preserving their valuable nutrients. Aside from increasing their shelf life, the drying process also brings out certain flavor nuances in the fruit. Heat, through either air-drying or artificial heat, helps caramelize the sugar that is naturally found in apricots, giving them a sweeter and sometimes slightly spiced flavor.
Dried apricots also pack a bigger punch than their fresh counterparts when it comes to nutrients. This is because the drying process concentrates the vitamin and nutrient content, making it possible for you to get a larger dose of fiber, potassium, iron and other nutrients from just one serving. For example, a cup of fresh apricots contains just 2.5 grams of fiber while a cup of dried apricots contains nearly 10 grams – that’s four times more fiber! Furthermore, since dried apricots contain far less moisture, you can get more servings out of the same weight than you would with fresh apricots.
What are the Different Types of Dried Apricots?
There are two main types of dried apricots – California apricots and Turkish apricots. As the name implies, California apricots are grown in the sunny state of California. These apricots tend to be larger and plumper than Turkish apricots and have a sweet but slightly tart flavor. Similarly, Turkish apricots come from the country of Turkey and are much smaller than their California counterparts. They are also slightly firmer, tarter and somewhat spicier.
Both types of dried apricots come in several varieties. If you’re looking for a snack that’s chock-full of nutrients, choose an organic, sulfite-free variety. Alternatively, you could opt for sulfite-infused apricots if you’re looking for a burst of vibrant color and flavor. Other varieties, such as chopped and diced apricots, are ideal for quickly adding to recipes like granola bars and oatmeal.
What are Some Different Ways to Use Dried Apricots?
Dried apricots can be used in myriad ways. With their natural sweetness and versatility, they are the perfect addition to any recipe, be it sweet or savory. Here are some common uses for dried apricots
• Snacking: Dried apricots make a great anytime snack. Simply pair them with a handful of nuts or some dark chocolate chips for a delicious and nutritious treat.
• Baking: For bakers, dried apricots are the perfect ingredient for creating deliciously flavorful cakes and muffins. They also pair wonderfully with oats, flours and nuts to make wholesome granola bars, cookies or energy balls.
• In Salads and Sides: Dried apricots bring a subtle sweetness and wonderful texture to salads and sides. Consider adding them to a quinoa stuffing or try tossing them into a salad with fresh greens, nuts and seeds.
• As Toppings for Yogurt and Smoothies: Add some natural sweetness and texture to your morning meal by topping a bowl of yogurt or a smoothie bowl with chopped dried apricots.
Overall, when it comes to snacking, baking and more, there’s nothing like dried apricots. Full of flavor, nutrients and versatility, they are an excellent choice when you’re looking for a healthy and delicious snack or ingredient. So, whether you’re in the market for a midday snack or something to add to your recipe repertoire, reach for a pack of dried apricots. Trust us – you won’t regret it!
Dried apricots are a popular and nutritious snack, often added to desserts, salads, or eaten on their own. But have you ever thought about where they come from and the incredible journey they take before they eventually reach your dinner plate?
In this blog post, we’ll explore the entire process behind the production of dried apricots – starting with the journey they take on their way to your fork. From harvesting and drying to packaging and shipping, we’ll explain each step of the process and how it contributes to the amazing taste of these dried apricots.
Harvesting and Cleaning
The process behind dried apricots starts in orchards, usually situated at a temperate climate ranging from mediterranean to sub-tropical. Apricots for commercial purposes are mostly harvested mechanically with specially designed shakers or rakes.
The harvested apricots must then go through a number of steps before they are ready for drying. Firstly, they are passed through a number of cleaning bars to remove any debris from the fruits. They are then inspected for any molded or spoiled fruits which are removed. This is why it is important to buy dried apricots from reputable producers and sellers – to ensure the quality and safety of the product.
Following this, the apricots are passed through a sorter which sorts the fruits according to their size and quality. Only the best apricots are chosen for drying while the rest are used in preserves or jams.
Once the apricots have been sorted and cleaned, they are then ready for the drying process. This is a very important step as it determines the quality and taste of the dried apricots.
The drying process begins by blanching the apricots to remove the bitter outer skin. This allows the flavor and sweetness of the inner flesh to be preserved. After blanching, the apricots are then subject to a number of drying methods.
The most common way to dry apricots is through sun drying. This involves laying the apricots on special mats or trays and then placing them out in the sun. The apricots are then rotated throughout the day so that all sides get exposed to the sun. This method of drying is slow but produces good results as the slow drying preserves the natural flavor, texture, and sweetness of the apricots.
The other method of drying is known as convective air drying. This involves using heated air to dry the apricots quickly. This method is used when time is of the essence as it is much faster than sun drying. However, it can also produce undesirable results such as a harder texture and a lack of flavor and sweetness.
Finally, the apricots are sorted again to ensure that only the best fruits have been chosen for the final product. They are then packaged and sent out for distribution.
Packaging and Distribution
The dried apricots are then placed in resealable bags or cans before being shipped out to the stores. In some cases, the apricots may also be vacuum sealed to ensure long shelf life and a better quality product.
The dried apricots are then distributed to grocery stores, supermarkets, and other retailers where they are sold to consumers. The dried apricots can then be enjoyed as a snack or added to recipes for a nutritional and flavorful boost.
This is how a dried apricot goes from the orchard to your dinner plate. As you can see, there is a lot of work and care that goes into the process to ensure that you get the best quality product. So next time you bite into a dried apricot, think of all the hard work and dedication that went in to bring you this amazing snack!
|Vitamin A||0.18 mg|
|Vitamin E||0.00433 grams|
|Vitamin K||0.0031 mg|
|Vitamin C||0.001 grams|
|Vitamin B1||0.02 mg|
|Vitamin B2||0.07 mg|
|Vitamin B3||0.00259 grams|
|Vitamin B4||0.0139 grams|
|Vitamin B5||0.52 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.14 mg|
|Vitamin B9||0.01 mg|
Daily Value 1.3 g
Daily Value 0.018 g
Daily Value 0.4 g
Daily Value 1.25 g
Daily Value 4.7 g
Daily Value 2.3 g
Daily Value 0.011 g
Daily Value 0.9 mg
Daily Value 0.0023 g
Daily Value 0.055 mg
|Aspartic Acid||0.937 grams|
|Glutamic Acid||0.188 grams|
|Total Sugars||0.131141 grams||
|Palmitic acid (16:0)||0.02 grams||
|Total Saturated fatty acids:||0.02 g|
|Oleic acid (18:1)||0.07 grams||
|Total Monounsaturated fatty acids:||0.07 g|
|Linoleic acid (18:2)||0.07 grams||
|Total Polyunsaturated fatty acids:||0.07 g|