Apricots: Pork Recipe and 5 Fun Facts
1. When They're in Season
Fresh apricots are available year-round throughout North America. From May through August, varieties mainly come from California and Washington. The rest of the year they're likely from South America.
2. How to Choose Apricots
To select ripe apricots, look for fruit with a rich, orange color -- not pale yellow or green -- that's a little soft to the touch.
3. Calories and Nutrients
One apricot has only 17 calories.
Apricots are an excellent source of vitamin A and a good source of vitamin C, dietary fiber, and potassium.
4. Family and Name
The fruit is a member of the rosaceae or rose family and is closely related to the similar-looking peach and plum.
In Latin, the apricot is called praecocquum, which means "early-ripening peach."
5. Where They Came From
Apricots originated in Asia more than 4,000 years ago, migrating to Persia and the Mediterranean before Spanish explorers brought them to the United States.
In China, apricots were once called "moons of the faithful" and were thought to enhance women's fertility.
Recipe: Apricot-Stuffed Grilled Pork Tenderloin
Makes 8 servings
2 1-pound pork tenderloins
1 cup (about 7 ounces) dried apricots, diced
1 Tbsp grated orange rind
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese (orblue or feta cheese)
3 Tbsp fresh thyme, divided
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
1/2 tsp salt
fresh ground pepper
2 Tbsp apricot jam
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tsp mustard
1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat and spray grill rack with cooking spray.
2. Slice pork in half lengthwise but not all the way through to create a flat piece of meat. Lightly pound pork to 1/2-inch thickness.
3. Combine apricots, orange rind, cheese, nuts, and 2 Tbsp thyme for stuffing. Distribute stuffing on each piece of pork, and roll up jellyroll-style lengthwise.
4. Secure stuffed pork with kitchen twine, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and coat with cooking spray.
5. Combine apricot jam, orange juice, mustard, and thyme to baste pork.
6. Grill pork for 25 to 30 minutes, basting occasionally with apricot sauce and turning once. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes, discard twine, and slice.
Per serving: 252 calories, 27 g protein, 12 g carbohydrate, 11 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 84 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber, 9 g sugar, 286 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 37%