Celebrate a Little Stone Fruit

On National Apricot Day we celebrate the little stone fruit we call the apricot, which is also known as the Armenian plum. Apricots have long been hailed for medicinal purposes for everything from asthma to infertility. They are high in antioxidants and potassium. Better still, apricots are very hydrating and low in calories. Yup, 2 whole apricots (or 4 halves) either fresh or dried contain just 34 calories. Further, they may help eye, skin, and gut health, and even our livers. With their low-calorie and high fiber content, they even boost metabolism.

While apricots look like mini peaches, but their tartness is that of a purple plum. Like plums, they are best eaten whole and unpeeled, discarding the pits. We can also enjoy them sliced and added to salads or atop yogurt. Dice apricots and include in salsa. Stew them in a slow cooker with chicken, pork, or beef. Apricots are also lovely in pies and pastries. Using their nectar, which adds zero sugar, apricots are wonderful in sauces, like this little gem of mine.

Spicy Apricot Sauce

Spicy does not mean “hot” in this case; you can always add some chopped hot peppers, if that is your preference. The “heat” in this recipe comes from mustard. Next time you are preparing pork chops, pork roast, ham, or even meatloaf, give this little sauce a whirl before you bake or roast. It’s also great as a BBQ sauce.

½ c brown sugar (or golden monk fruit)
4 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp each: dry mustard & ground allspice
2/3 c. apricot nectar
3 T lemon or lime juice
2 tsp apple cider or white vinegar
¼ c finely chopped sweet onion

Combine brown sugar, cornstarch, mustard and allspice in small saucepan. Add liquids and onion; bring to a boil. Cook & stir for 2 min; reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes.

About Cathy Burnham Martin

Author of 20+ books, and counting! A professional voice-over artist, dedicated foodie, and lifelong corporate communications geek, Cathy Burnham Martin has enjoyed a highly eclectic career, ranging from the arts and journalism to finance, telecommunications, and publishing. Along with her husband, Ron Martin, she has passions for entertaining, gardening, volunteering, active and visual arts, GREAT food, and traveling. Cathy often says, "I believe that we all should live with as much contagious enthusiasm as possible... Whether we're with friends or family, taking people along for the ride is more than half the fun."
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