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June, 2010

Grilled Miniature Apriums

By Cheryl Forberg

Cooked, dried or fresh, apricots are a stellar source of beta-carotene, the plant form of vitamin A
.

Apricots
One apricot fulfills the daily requirement; Because Vitamin A is fat-soluble, cooked apricots are a more concentrated source than fresh apricots. The same idea holds for the fat soluble lycopene found in tomatoes. But that doesn’t mean we should only eat the cooked form. Raw apricots (like raw tomatoes) have higher concentrations of water soluble vitamins (like Vitamin C) so it’s optimal to enjoy them both ways!

Apricots are also loaded with potassium, fiber and a vitamin called B17. Otherwise known as laetrile, B17 is derived from apricot’s pits and is thought to have powerful anti-cancer properties. There a variety of different types of apricots available as well as apricot hybrids such as the plumcot and the aprium. I hadn’t tasted an aprium before today. This fairly new invention has only been around for twenty years or so. It’s a luscious marriage of plum and apricot, though it looks like a small apricot to me. Because the flesh is dense and the flavor sweet, I figured it would be the perfect candidate for a grilled dessert (or grilled for a savory course for that matter, if combined with salty cheese or ham). This dessert takes minutes to make, particularly if you make the syrup ahead of time.

Grilled Miniature Apriums with Pomegranate Ginger Syrup and Macadamia Nuts
Grilled Miniature Apriums with Pomegranate Ginger Syrup and Macadamia Nuts

Ingredients

Cooking oil spray
12 miniature apriums cut around the pit and separated in halves (about 1 pound)
½ cup Pomegranate Ginger Syrup (recipe below)

Garnish:
2 Tablespoons chopped macadamia nuts
1 Tablespoon chopped mint

Instructions:
Heat grill to medium high heat. Lightly coat the surface of the grill with cooking oil spray. Place apriums cut side down on grill and cook about 3 to 4 minutes or until just warmed through. Cut side should have nice grill marks. Arrange the grilled apriums on four dessert places. Drizzle with syrup and garnish with nuts and mint.

Pomegranate Ginger Syrup
Yield: About ½ cup Although you can buy pre-made pomegranate syrup, it’s usually sweetened with sugar. This antioxidant-rich version is easy to make and keeps about 2 months, refrigerated. Add a splash to tea, yogurt, or a smoothie for an anti­oxidant boost.

Ingredients:
1 cup refrigerated pomegranate juice
1/4 cup Melissa’s agave nectar
2 nickel-size slices of peeled ginger root.

Instructions:
In a small saucepan, combine the juice and agave. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer about 15 minutes or until the liquid reduces by half. Remove the pan from the heat and discard the ginger. Cool completely, strain and pour into a jar, seal tightly, and refrigerate.