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Simply Nutritious, Quick and Delicious

Jenna Smith, Extension Educator brings you helpful tips to make meals easy, healthy and tasty!
Apricot Almond Mueseli

All About That Fruit: Apricots!

Many people in the U.S. enjoy eating apricots, albeit its generally in the dried fruit form. But fresh apricots are equally delicious. Native to Asia, they are widely popular in the Middle Eastern countries with Turkey and Iran being the top producers. In the United States, California grows nearly 85% of all apricot production.

Apricots range from a cream to a bright orange color. They belong to the plum family and are often called a "stone fruit" due to their stone-like pits. Apricots are less juicy than a peach or nectarine, but they still deliver on taste. Their slight tartness makes them particularly good for baking. Apricots are wonderful in a tart or crumble, and of course they make a stellar jam. This jam can be heated and made into a delicious glaze for pork or chicken. Fresh apricots can also be used in salads, including a cold lentil salad or warm tabbouleh. For those that prefer them dried, try them in muesli or granola bars.

Store fresh apricots at room temperature until ripe. Then, transfer to the refrigerator crisper drawer for 3-5 days. Apricots are excellent sources of vitamins A and C. Plus, they are a good source of fiber and potassium. Enjoy dried apricots and apricot jam this winter, but keep your eye out for fresh apricots this spring!

Apricot Almond Muesli (Printable PDF)

2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
½ cup wheat bran
½ cup slivered almonds
¼ cup lightly salted sunflower seeds
½ cup unsweetened flaked coconut
½ cup raisins
½ cup diced dried apricots

2 Tablespoons ground flaxseed (optional)
¼ cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350°F. On a large baking sheet, spread oats and wheat bran; toast for 10 minutes, stirring halfway through. Stir in almonds, sunflower seeds and coconut. Toast for an additional 7 to 10 minutes, stirring halfway through until slightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool. In a large bowl, add raisins, apricots and flaxseed (optional). Stir in oat mixture. In a small microwave-safe bowl, heat honey in microwave for 15 seconds. Stir in vanilla and cinnamon. Pour over oat mixture and toss. Measure ½ cup and soak in ½ cup milk overnight or serve dry over low-fat yogurt.

Yield: 9 servings (½ cup each)

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 250 calories, 9 grams fat, 25 milligrams sodium, 40 grams carbohydrate, 6 grams fiber, 6 grams protein

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