Dried fruits like apricots are a great source of fibre and contain many nutrients like anti-oxidants beta carotene, vitamin C and minerals like iron. During the drying process water is removed from fruit so it makes sense to rehydrate when consuming otherwise they can be hard to digest and may cause bloating.
Some manufacturers may add the chemical sulphur dioxide as a preservative and to maintain bright fruit colours. If possible, try and source dried fruits which do not contain sulphur dioxide as some people may be sensitive to this chemical. I am using a Pakistani variety of apricot (also known as Khubani) which still have their seeds intact and haven't been processed with sulphur dioxide.
Dried fruits are a concentrated source of fruit sugar especially when eaten in the dry state and can quickly add to calorific intake. Rehydrating by soaking helps to re-balance this aspect.
1 cup dried apricots
Water to cover
- Wash the dried dried apricots with a solution of bicarbonate soda in water or use a specialised soap for washing fruits and vegetables to remove surface dirt.
- Cover the washed fruit with filtered water and leave until the fruit is soft in texture.
This may take around 2-4 hours depending on how dry the Apricots are. I left mine for around 6 hours to rehydrate.
- When the apricots have hydrated they should be plump.
Drain away the soak water.
- Check the hydrated apricots for any stones which need to be removed before blending.
I had to slit my apricots them to remove the stones.
- Puree the apricots in a blender to make a paste.
Store in a glass jar and keep refrigerated. Use within a week.
Benefits of Apricot Spread
Tip: Apricot spread made from hydrated apricots will be easier to digest than dried apricots and helps ease conditions like constipation.
- The fibre contained within this spread ensures that fruit sugar (fructose) does not get quickly released into the blood and overload the liver with processing it.
- Apricot spread contains small amounts of the B vitamins and is a dietary source of minerals like iron, magnesium, potassium, calcium and copper and the antioxidants vitamin C.
- Use this natural apricot spread to replace jam and marmalade.
- Apricot spread is an excellent natural sweetener for porridge, smoothies and yoghurt.
- May also be added to savoury dishes like middle eastern tagine dishes or sauces like tomato sauce in place of sugar.