Spring Ingredient: Apricots

Eating apricots are a great way to celebrate the spring - they're even the same color as the beautiful, warm light outside these days. Originating in Asia, these wonderful fruits spread in popularity across Europe and were a favorite of Spanish colonizers in America, who brought apricot trees across the Atlantic. Apricots have long been valued for their more than nutritive properties: Shakespeare references apricots as an aphrodisiac, the Chinese used them as medicine, and, today, compounds found in apricot seeds are extracted for alternative cancer treatments.

These little gold-orange spheres are colored with the same pigment as carrots, beta carotene, and have a plentiful supply of Vitamin C and antioxidants. Apricots have a smooth texture and sweet taste that is best enjoyed May through August.

While apricots can certainly be enjoyed on their own, they are a great addition to a bowl of cereal, salads, or stews!