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Pregnancy can be a whirlwind of cravings, and sometimes only a sweet treat will hit the spot. But with all the dietary advice out there, it can be confusing to know what’s safe to indulge in. 

Enter dried apricots: a naturally sweet and nutrient-packed snack that can be a great option for pregnant women.

In this blog post, we’ll explore How to eat dried apricots during pregnancy; And the benefits of dried apricots during pregnancy, from their vitamin content to their digestive aid properties. 

We’ll also delve into how to enjoy them safely and in moderation, so you can satisfy your sweet tooth without worry.  

Whether you’re looking for creative ways to incorporate them into your meals or simply want to know how many are safe to enjoy in a day, this post has you covered! 

So, grab a handful of those dried apricots and get ready to learn how to enjoy them guilt-free throughout your pregnancy journey.

Know Your Apricots

Apricots belong to the Rosaceae family (which also includes roses, apples, pears, plums, and cherries). Apricots have been cultivated for over 4,000 years, with evidence suggesting they originated in regions of China and Russia.

The apricot fruit is similar to a peach or plum, with smooth, nearly hairless skin ranging in color from pale yellow to deep orange.

The flesh is typically a rich yellow to yellowish orange and surrounds a single large pit.

California is the leading producer of apricots in the United States, accounting for about 95% of domestic production. On the other hand, Turkey is the world’s leading producer of “dried apricots”, contributing almost 90% of the global supply!

Cultivating Apricots

Dried Apricots during pregnancy
Fresh Apricots

Apricots are delicious and nutritious fruits native to Central Asia. They are known for their sweet, tangy flavor and vibrant orange color. 

Apricots thrive in cool winters and warm, dry summers with good sunlight. They prefer well-drained, sandy loam soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0.

Apricots are typically propagated through bare-root trees purchased from nurseries. Planting is best done in late winter or early spring, before the trees bud.

Apricot trees require regular watering, especially during the first few years after planting. Once established, they are more drought-tolerant but still benefit from occasional deep watering.

Fertilization and Pruning of the trees help them produce healthy branches and encourage fruit production. 

Apricots are typically ready for harvest in late spring or early summer, depending on the variety and climate. The fruit is ripe when it has a soft yield to gentle pressure and a rich, golden orange color.

Also Read: How to Consume Dry Fruits During Pregnancy?

Buy Organic Kashmiri Dry Fruits Online and Save More

Processing Apricots into Dried Apricots

Drying is a great way to preserve apricots and enjoy their deliciousness year-round. Here’s a basic guide to making dried apricots if you want to stay away from packaged products:

1. Washing and Halving:

  • Wash the apricots thoroughly under clean running water.
  • Cut the apricots in half and remove the pit.

2. Optional: Sulfur Treatment (for brighter color)

  • Traditionally, some commercial dried apricots undergo a brief sulfur fumigation, which helps preserve their bright orange color. This step is optional for home drying and can be skipped if you prefer a more natural approach.

3. Drying Methods:

There are three main methods for drying apricots:

  • Sun Drying: This traditional method involves placing the apricot halves on clean drying screens in direct sunlight. Cover them with cheesecloth to protect them from insects. Depending on the climate, drying can take several days to a week. Turning the apricots occasionally ensures even drying.
  • Dehydrator Drying: Using a dehydrator is a faster and more controlled drying method. Arrange the apricot halves on the dehydrator trays in a single layer and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for drying time and temperature (typically around 130°F to 145°F for 6-12 hours).
  • Oven Drying: Preheat your oven to its lowest setting (usually around 150°F to 200°F). Arrange the apricot halves on baking sheets lined with parchment paper and leave the oven door slightly ajar to allow moisture to escape. Drying time can vary depending on the oven temperature and humidity, so check on the apricots frequently and remove them once they are dry and leathery.
Dried Apricots during Pregnancy
Natural Drying of Apricots

4. Storing Dried Apricots:

  • Once the apricots are fully dried, they should be leathery and pliable, not hard or brittle.
  • Store dried apricots in airtight containers in a cool, dark place. They can last for several months under proper storage conditions.

Also Read: Dried Apricots: How Many Should You Eat? A Guide to Sweet Snacking

Benefits of Eating Dried Apricots During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a trying period for a woman’s body, and it requires all the nutrition it can get. Dry fruits are a great way to add nutrition to your diet during snack time.

Dried apricots offer a delightful combination of sweet flavor and impressive health benefits, making them a versatile and valuable snack for pregnant women. 

Here’s how these little gems can support your well-being throughout your pregnancy journey:

  • Combating Common Discomforts:  Dried apricots boast a high potassium content, which may help reduce swelling during pregnancy, a common and sometimes uncomfortable experience.
  • Good source of antioxidants: Dried apricots are a good source of antioxidants, which can help to protect your cells from damage.
  • Curbing Cravings: Craving sweets? Dried apricots offer a naturally sweet indulgence packed with fructose and glucose. This can help you satisfy your sweet tooth in a healthier way compared to processed sugary snacks.
  • Promoting Digestive Health: Packed with fiber, dried apricots can aid in regular digestion, potentially easing constipation, a frequent pregnancy concern.
  • Supporting Fetal Development: Rich in calcium, dried apricots can potentially contribute to the healthy development of your baby’s bones.
  • Soothing Heartburn: Some women experience heartburn during pregnancy. Dried apricots may offer relief due to their potential benefits for digestion.
  • Presence of tryptophan: This amino acid is a precursor to serotonin, which can indirectly support prolactin production, a hormone essential for milk production. Phytoestrogens, a type of plant compound may also help regulate hormones involved in lactation.
  • May help to prevent anemia: Iron deficiency anemia is a common problem during pregnancy. Dried apricots are a good source of iron, which can help to prevent anemia.

If you want to add more versatility to your diet during pregnancy, all while prioritizing your and the baby’s health; Read Top 10 Foods to Eat During Your Pregnancy by The Baby And Toddler Show.

Also, Read: Saffron During Pregnancy: Benefits, Uses, Side Effects & More

How to Eat Dried Apricots During Pregnancy? A Guide

Dried apricots are a healthy snack option for pregnant women, offering a good dose of vitamins and fiber. Here’s how to enjoy dried apricots during pregnancy, safely:

How Many Dried Apricots Can You Eat During Pregnancy?

Like any food, don’t overdo it. Moderation is Key. A small handful (2-3 apricots) is a good daily serving to reap the benefits without any digestive issues.

Wash Thoroughly: Dried fruits can harbor bacteria or pesticides. Wash them well under running water before eating.

Enjoy in Different Ways:

  • Snack on them directly.
  • Chop them up and add them to:
    • Oatmeal or breakfast cereal
    • Yogurt parfaits
    • Trail mix
    • Salads for a sweet and tart contrast

Alternative Ideas:

  • Soak them in warm water for a softer texture. The soaking liquid can be used in smoothies for added sweetness.
  • Or use them in salads, using The Tastiest Recipes to Make a Dried Fruit Salad
  • If you’re feeling adventurous, try pureeing the soaked apricots for a homemade fruit spread.
Dried Apricot/ Fresh Apricot Fruit Spread
Apricot Fruit Spread

Consult Your Doctor:

  • While generally safe, consult your doctor if you have any concerns, allergies to stone fruits, or a history of gestational diabetes.

Avoid the Pits:

  • Apricot pits contain small amounts of cyanide, harmful in high doses. Stick to the fleshy part and discard the pits.

In conclusion, dried apricots can be a fantastic addition to your pregnancy journey. They offer a delicious and natural way to boost your nutrient intake, combat common discomforts, and keep your energy levels up. Remember, moderation is key, and always consult your doctor before making any major dietary changes. So, next time you’re looking for a satisfying and healthy snack, grab a handful of these sunshine-colored bites and enjoy the many benefits they bring to both you and your growing baby!

We at Kashmirica proudly present you with Organic Dried Apricots, which are sourced locally and ethically.

Also, Read:

Vitamin B12 Rich Dry Fruits

Top 21 Benefits of Dry Fruits [Science Backed]

Benefits of Eating Pista During Pregnancy

Healthiest Dry Fruits List to Strengthen Your Body

Shop Online and Save on Kashmiri Dry Fruits

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