Apricots: The Time Is Ripe

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There are some fruits that never disappear from store shelves. Year-round you can find apples, oranges, strawberries and bananas. However, the same can’t be said for apricots, which are available only for a limited time during the summer months. At their prime now, and ranging in color and size, the apricots at Sprouts will not disappoint when it comes to flavor. The sun has kissed their cheeks, giving them a rosy blush on their light orange skin. Once you bite into the flesh, you’ll officially experience the essence of summer. To the naked eye, the plain green budding flowers look unremarkable and spare. But our farmers’ discerning eyes can see palate-pleasing treasure hiding just beneath the surface. Sure enough, the flowers blossom and produce summer’s fragrant, juicy fruits several weeks later. They’re picked, packed, and shipped quickly to Sprouts—proving our commitment to farm-fresh produce, once again. Just in case you’re new to apricots, here’s how to pick, prepare, preserve and polish off summer’s precious fruit. Apricots in a carton

What to Look for:

Like apples, apricots are available in many varieties. The Helena, Tri Gem, Honeyrich and Patterson varietals are usually firm with good flavor, while Robada and Goldbar apricots have higher sugar contents as indicated by their red blush skins. When choosing apricots, look for fruit with a vibrant orange color. They should be plump and fairly firm. Fresh apricots are fully ripe when they are soft to the touch.

How to Prepare Them:

Because apricots are delicate in nature, they do not need to be peeled when eaten. After washing well, simply cut a fresh apricot along the seam and remove the seed (you’ll be able to separate it easily using your fingers).

Dish Them Up:

Fresh apricots are a flavorful and nutritious snack on their own. They are also an excellent complement to sweet, soft cheeses and tasty additions to baked goods such as pies, cakes, muffins, breads and ice creams. As far as entrées go, apricots pair especially well with poultry and pork dishes. View the Seared Tempeh with Grilled Watermelon and Apricots.

Make Them Last:

To keep apricots from over-ripening, you can store them in the refrigerator for up to a week. On the flip side, apricots that are slightly hard can be ripened in a paper bag for a couple of days. Fresh apricots can be frozen by halving and then placing them on a baking sheet until frozen. They can then be packed in plastic freezer bags.