Glossary of Foods: Apricots

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These bite-sized beauties are a tell-tale sign that summer is here! Once apricots hit the stands at the farmers' market, you know that warmer weather is coming and sweet, delicious fruit is in season.

A relative of peaches and nectarines, apricots are often classified as a stone fruit because they bear a large hard seed. They look like a small peach with a fuzzy or soft outer skin layer, vibrant golden orange flesh, and a hard pit or stone. Apricots grow on a tree that flowers beautifully in early spring with pinkish-white flowers. The growing season is short and early throughout growing regions in the United States, usually beginning in May and ending in August. When out of season, it's possible to find apricots in preserves or dried, one of our favorite low-carb snacks.

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The fruit itself may look like a peach or nectarine but apricots have their own distinct taste. Apricots have a depth of flavor often described as musky with sweetness and tartness like that of its stone fruit family. The texture is velvety and not too juicy. Their lower water content makes them easy to dry for snacks.

Dried or fresh, these beta-carotene rich, fiber packed mini fruits make the perfect snack. Apricots also have plenty of vitamin C and vitamin A. Apricots will help you reap the benefits of eating a rainbow of colors in your well-rounded diet.

Now that you've stocked up on a bunch of market-fresh apricots at the market, here's some inspiration to use them all! Hosting a summer BBQ with friends and family? Try one of our skinny sangria recipes with apricots and other fresh fruits. Keep the grill fired up for these 10 fabulous grilled fruit recipes, including apricots, peaches, and plums. Easy, 20-minute Apricot Lamb Chops make a fast dinner during the week. Plus, don't forget a sweet, skinny dessert with this Apricot Almond Fudge.

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