What's In Season: June

How to select: Delicate, aromatic apricots—Latin for “precious”—should be plump and fairly firm (not hard), with downy, orange-yellow skin. Avoid green-tinged fruits. Because they ripen quickly, store away from sunlight and heat. Enjoy as soon as possible.

Preparation tips: There’s no need to peel apricots’ velvety skin. Slice into cobblers, tarts, and salsas; broil or sauté apricot halves as a sweet accompaniment to poultry or pork. For a refreshing sorbet, purée pitted apricots with a drop of almond extract and freeze. The blended pulp also makes a good fat substitute in baked goods; try two parts purée to one part oil or butter in recipes.

Health benefits: A premium source of beta-carotene, fiber, potassium, and vitamin C.

—Elisa Bosley

Apricot-Ginger Muffins (Makes 12)

3/4 cup (6 ounces) vanilla or plain nonfat yogurt
1/3 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup diced fresh apricots (or one 8.5-ounce can unsweetened apricot halves, drained and diced)

1. Preheat oven to 400º. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper baking cups or spray lightly with cooking spray.

2. Beat together yogurt, oil, ginger, and eggs in large bowl. In a separate medium bowl, mix together flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda. Add flour mixture to yogurt mixture and stir until just moistened. Fold in diced apricots.

3. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Bake about 18 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 5 minutes, then remove from pan to a wire rack.

Nutrition Facts Per Muffin: Calories: 182 calories % fat calories: 35 Fat: 7g Saturated Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 36mg Carbohydrate: 26g Protein: 4g Fiber: 2g Sodium: 144mg This recipe is provided by James Rouse, ND, the creator of Optimum Wellness and The Fit Kitchen, seen weekly on NBC’s KUSA television news.