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Apricot nectar is the juice of an apricot. The word nectar may be used to describe this type of fruit juice because apricots are not very juicy, so their juice tends to be thicker than most fruit juices. Nectar typically refers to a syrupy, sweet liquid, whereas juice is thin and runny. Apricot juice or nectar can be drunk on its own or used in recipes for food and drinks.
Tasting a little bit like a peach but not quite as sweet, apricots are a small, round, and meaty fruit that grows heartily in the pleasant climates of California, southern Australia, and the Mediterranean. The juice is a thick liquid made from pressing or pulverizing the fruit to squeeze everything out. Since apricot nectar is syrupy, it is commonly mixed with water to make it easier to drink. Sugar is sometimes added, but it is not necessary since apricots already have some level of fruity sweetness.
Cooking with apricot nectar is common, and recipes for breads, cakes, and muffins may call for this thick liquid. Apricots and their juice are popular additions to fruit smoothies, salad dressing, frozen treats, and mixed drinks. Sweet nectar may replace the sweetener in recipes for baked goods, and the syrupy juice can also be used to add moisture to dry ingredients. Apricot preserves sometimes contain juice or nectar for taste and consistency.
Apricots offer a number of health benefits, and drinking apricot nectar can be a healthful alternative to other fruit juices, especially those with a lot of added sugar. Juice can be drunk straight or in a smoothie or shake as a healthy snack or breakfast drink. Frozen apricot nectar can be turned into a sorbet to make a healthy dessert. Sugar may be added to some brands of nectar found in the store, so it is wise to read the label when purchasing this juice for health purposes.
Beta-carotene found in apricots and their juice can help fight heart disease. This fruit is also high in vitamins A and C and chock-full of fiber. Vitamin A is thought to encourage good eye health, and both A and C offer powerful antioxidants, which fight diseases, including cancer. Research has shown that high-fiber fruits such as apricots help promote good digestive health.
Farmers' markets and grocery stores sell fresh apricots when they are in season. This fruit grows best during the summer in North America and Australia and during winter in South America and New Zealand. Supermarkets and health food stores sell apricot nectar all year. The nectar usually comes in cans or glass bottles, and it is typically displayed with other fruit juices.