Yes, we cook too!
In our quest for health we have created lots of recipes to increase our whole food intake and up the amount of vitamins and minerals we get straight from food, since that is how our body likes it best.
I decided to share the recipe for our orange fig & apricot spread since I made a bunch this morning as my business partner was sharing her maca smoothie recipes with me via email. She would say I am not a measurer – that I fly more by the seat of my pants. That is true, but I am into health and so I simply took the time to write it down.
This particular recipe is great for anemia and or iron deficiencies. This recipe makes a good amount, so be prepared. The smells are wonderful as it cooks and usually it is hard to let it cool before tasting it. My first attempts at this spread were good, but I know that iron needs a little vitamin c to help it open the receptor sites in the body, so I chose to use orange juice instead of water.
7 ounces dried figs
5 ounces dried apricots
12 ounces orange juice
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
splash of vanilla extract
Cut the dried fruit up into little bits. Place in a small saucepan. Add orange juice, sugar and cinnamon. Bring to a boil and then let simmer on low until the liquid thickens and absorbs into the fruit. If you prefer a very thick spread, wait for a good amount of liquid to cook off, if you prefer a little more slide in your fruit spread, definitely leave a little fluid in the bottom.
Allow the mixture to cool and put it into a food processor (I use my processing stick and do it in the pan to make it easier and to lose less of the spread to the cleaning process). At this point, you add the vanilla and the lemon juice. Blend until smooth. If the spread is too thick and paste like for your taste, add a little more orange juice (or honestly a little dinner port added is quite lovely) and blend it in.
Place it in a plastic container, or if you have them, mason jars. I have yet to have it go bad, but I try to consume it within a two or three week period.
Apricots have a higher concentration than the figs – so when I want more iron I increase the amount of apricots as I have in this recipe. My favorite is 8oz figs to 4 ounces apricots. It has a slightly sweeter taste without adding any more sugar. The orange juice is optional, but if you really need to get that iron in, the vitamin C definitely gets the body to accept the iron more readily.
I consider this one of my iron super foods, I use it in my cream of wheat, I spread it on my chicken liver pate, and I love it alone. I make a killer boursin cheese that is is wonderful on, and never forget the beauty of a clean goat cheese with this spread. I will eventually get daring and create a wonderful fig newton from it, but for today, I will enjoy my heavenly fruit spread with a little cream cheese.
If you are looking for a little more information and recipes for apricots, try 14 Health Benefits of Apricots