Apricots and HealthApricots are high in vitamin A, even more so when dried. One serving of 3 apricots provides 45 percent of the recommended daily allowance. of vitamin A. They are also high in vitamin C and potassium as well as being low in fat and cholesterol-free. One apricot averages less than 20 calories, making it a perfect sweet snack. Dried apricots are mildly laxative and should be consumed in moderation. Apricot oil made from the seeds is used in cosmetics, soaps, and skin products due to its softening properties.
For those with allergies, be aware that most commercially-dried apricots are treated with sulfur dioxide as a color preservative. You should be able to find dried apricots without sulfur (which also lends a bitter taste) in natural food markets, or dry your own in a dehydrator. Those dried without sulfur will usually be much darker in color.
Raw pits of the bitter apricot (not sweet) do contain a small amount of cyanide. However, the accidental ingestion of a single pit or the splitting of a pit to expose it to the fruit flesh should not be a problem. Ingestion of large amounts can be harmful. Fifteen raw apricot pits of some bitter varieties can kill a child. Roasting of the seeds neutralizes the cyanide threat.
Having said this, there are now some varieties available with large, sweet, edible pits that are used like almonds. Roasted apricot seeds are used in confections and as a liqueur flavoring.
The drug laetrile, used for some controversial cancer treatments, is derived from apricot seed extract.
More about Apricots and Apricot Recipes:• Apricot Cooking Tips
• Apricot Selection and Storage
• Apricot Measures, Substitutions, and Equivalents
• Apricots and Health
• Apricot History, Legends, and Lore
• Apricot Recipes
Apricot Photo © 2008 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, licensed to About.com, Inc.
|•||Nicole Routhier's Fruit Cookbook|
|•||A Passion for Fruit|
|•||Sweet and Sugar-Free|
|•||Jams and Jellies: 543 Recipes|