A is for Apricot

It’s apricot season!

During most of the year, we expect to see these tiny, delicate, pale-orange-hued nuggets in dried form. Wrinkled and chewy, dried apricots are sweet and tasty, especially when combined with raw nuts and seeds.

But take a look around the grocery store fruit and vegetable section this week. They’re here! The velvety apricot is everywhere these days and we should all be enjoying its sweet, peach/plum-like tang. Lean in and take a whiff of the apricot’s perfume – fresh, fragrant and willing you to toss a few in the cart.

So I did.

In fact, my local grocery store had the organic apricots on sale – even better! So, I stocked up on a few handfuls, and of course, came up with a winner of a green smoothie this morning, courtesy of a couple of blushing apricots.

More about that in a moment. But first, let me applaud the nutritional profile of the apricot, in case taste alone isn’t enough to convince you to pick up a few.

Apricots deliver goodness in the form of:

  • fiber – we all need more fiber to keep our bowels in check, to regulate blood sugar, and to feed the good bacteria in our gut
  • vitamin A – for a small fruit, these gems provide ample amounts of this micronutrient, which is excellent for eye and skin health, and bolsters your immune system; be sure to consume a little fat with your apricots to enhance the bioavailability of vitamin A (a handful of raw nuts alongside is delish!)
  • vitamin C – this vitamin is amazing for skin health, helping to build collagen and heal wounds, and is a major immunity hero; vitamin C assists in absorbing iron from our plant-based foods, so try tossing a diced apricot into your spinach salad
  • potassium – this mineral supports blood pressure regulation, and is important for healthy digestion and bones

Whew – that’s a lot of nutrient joy in such a tiny fruit! Here’s how I got my apricot love on this morning:

Apricot-Apple Green Smoothie

Ingredients

1 cup water

1 knob fresh ginger, peeled

1 organic lemon, seeded (yes – peel and all; make sure to scrub well)

1 tbsp. chia seed

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp spirulina

2 celery stalks

1/2 English cucumber

2 enormous leaves of rainbow chard (stalk, too)

3-4 leaves of kale

1/2 green apple

2 apricots, pit removed

big handful of fresh basil leaves

big handful of fresh mint leaves

Optional – liquid stevia, or other natural sweetener, to taste

DSC00566

DSC00568

Directions

Place first 8 ingredients in high-powered blender; whir. Add leafy greens; whir again. Toss in remaining ingredients and blend to a thick, creamy smoothness.

DSC00569

Et voila! As you probably know by now, I like to eat my smoothies with a spoon – so, the thicker the better. If you prefer a beverage to a bowl, simply add more water. I think unsweetened almond or hemp milk would also be lovely in this smoothie.

Oh yes – note that I always include a bit of fat in my morning green mash, usually in the form of chia seed, flax seed, hemp hearts…or a combination thereof. This is really important to help absorb fat-soluble vitamins, like the vitamin A in apricots and leafy greens.

I think I can see better already!

DSC00571

 

 

 

Social tagging: > >

Leave a Reply