Delicious on their own or used as a versatile ingredient in cooking, fresh apricots are a good source of vitamin A, antioxidants and dietary fiber. Although they can be preserved for use throughout the year, there is nothing quite like the taste and texture of fresh fruit. Extend the storage life of your fresh apricots by following a simple procedure that will slow the breakdown of chlorophyll and prevent the beautifully orange-colored fruit from decaying quickly.
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Choose apricots that are a bright orange-yellow color. Tree-ripened fruit has the best flavor so look at local farmers markets in June and July. Avoid green-colored apricots or those that are damaged. The flesh of a ripe apricot will move slightly when pushed, but not feel soft or mushy.
Place slightly under-ripe fruit into a paper bag and store it in a cool, dark place to ripen at room temperature. Although the action of enzymes in the fruit will soften the flesh, it will not become sweeter once it has been picked. Store under-ripe apricots at room temperature for up to three days.
Place ripe apricots into a plastic food-saver bag. Secure the top and store it in the refrigerator for up to four or five days.
Slightly overripe apricots can be made into a puree and frozen. Peel, pit and halve the apricots then add 2 tbsp. sugar and 1/4 tsp. ascorbic acid for every pound of fruit before blending the fruit into a puree in a food processor. Freeze in ice cube trays to make a tasty flavoring for homemade, natural yoghurt.
References and ResourcesWH Foods: Apricots
Still Tasty: Apricots
Bon Appetite: Fresh Apricots