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Got Apricot?

Cathy Christensen July 2008 issue of Skin Inc. magazine

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With its orange, velvety skin and sweet taste, the apricot is one of the first fruits to signal the beginning of summer.1 A member of the rose family, the wild apricot was discovered on the mountain slopes of China and, in the 18th century, Spanish explorers planted the golden fruit in the gardens of Spanish missions in California. Even today, the state is responsible for more than 95% of the United State’s apricot harvest.2

In the kitchen

Apricots can be enjoyed in a variety of ways—fresh, canned, frozen and dried—and are often included in a range of dishes, from appetizers and garnishes to entrées, sauces and desserts. Rich in beta-carotene, fiber, and vitamins A and C, apricots help strengthen the immune system and nurture healthy skin.1, 3

At Samadhi Spa & Wellness Retreat in Daylesford, Victoria, Australia, the Samadhi Breakfast includes toasted muesli with chewy apricots and cranberries. To satisfy a sweeter tooth, the Honey Vanilla Cheesecake from Green Valley Spa in St. George, Utah, is garnished with a tasty apricot orange topping, and the Oak Café restaurant at the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa in Ojai, California, serves Grilled Apricots and Cinnamon Meringues with Apricot Honey for a tasty dessert. And check out the recipe for delicious Apricot Couscous from Spa Chef Amie Reavis at the Château Élan Winery and Resort in Braselton, Georgia.

In the spa

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Recipe: Apricot Couscous

From Spa Chef Amie Reavis, Château Élan Winery and Resort in Braselton, Georgia

Makes 2 servingsapricot couscous

1 1⁄2 cups couscous

1 1⁄2 cups hot water

6 fresh apricots, chopped

3⁄4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

3 green onions, green parts only, chopped

1 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped

2 handfuls fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons lemon zest, finely grated

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt to taste

1. In a small pot, bring the water to a boil.

2. Place the couscous in a heat-proof medium bowl and pour the boiling water over it; stir with a fork to combine.

3. Cover and let sit for 10–15 minutes, then uncover and fluff with fork.

4. In a large bowl, mix the apricots, almonds, lemon juice, green onion, mint, cilantro, garlic and lemon zest.

5. Add the couscous, olive oil and salt to taste.

6. Toss gently to combine.

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