Sunday, June 17, 2012

Cooking Fruit in Summer?

If ever I doubted Summer has arrived, my resistance to letting go of another nonexistent Spring had to be put to rest with the arrival of 4 things all in the same day at the Farmers' Market yesterday.

#1 91 degree temperatures
#2 corn
#3 tomatoes
#4 apricots!

I love cooked fruit, and in most previous years I've had a ton of fun poaching fruits in wine using my pressure cooker, and making chutneys both sweet and savory with every kind of fruit from apples, kiwi and guava, cherries, blueberries, peaches and pears to figs.  Is there a fruit you can't cook?  Hmm..probably but who cares!  The one time I bought bananas, I bought them to make banana chutney!  Since I don't make pies (notice I didn't say I didn't eat pies!) I enjoy cooked fruit mostly in my yogurt, or as a spread with cheese and/or pate.  In fact I probably have some fig chutney in the freezer as I write this.

I have yet to cook any fruit so far, except to use my microwave!  There, I admit it!  I've been blasting already super soft ripe fruits like strawberries and blueberries, and now apricots in the microwave until they are hot and gooey!  Maybe a drizzle of maple syrup or a sprinkle of brown sugar, mixed with plain yogurt and a squeeze of lime....gotta put a squeeze of lime on everything these days

If eating seasonally is important to you, then paying attention to the handful of foods that really are available for maybe only a few weeks, and personally apricots top my list!  I never understood why anyone could get "tired" of eating apricots during their short appearance.  If you ate them everyday that would mean barely two weeks of apricots! Why doesn't anyone get tired of strawberries?  For goodness sake, there's not a day that doesn't go by, all year round, that I don't see someone buying strawberries!  Skip the strawberries for 1 1/2 weeks and enjoy the apricots while we have them!

My affinity for fruit may come from my native roots here in Northern California's Santa Clara Valley.  Here I grew up surrounded by orchards and lived many years in a home with an apricot tree right in our front yard!  Prunes, grapes and apricots were some of this areas major crops, but rare is it now to see an apricot tree in a front yard : (

FYI  Apricots have 17 calories per small fruit...small fruit!  There are 8 large apricots in this picture weighing a total of 12 oz!  That calculates out to about 160 calories.  Know what you are eating!  Just because it may be organic, seasonal, fresh, homegrown, farm raised, pasture picked, super healthy doesn't mean it's calorie free!


Andrea Reyna said...

The first house I ever lived in had the most amazing fruit trees in the backyard. My daddy and I used to spend so much time out there when I was little. The apricot tree was massive and beloved. She gave us the most wonderful fruit. Apricots are a taste of heaven.

Tracy Reifkind said...

Andrea, I can see that I'm going to have to freeze some apricots this year!