Bacon and Apricot Bites

Dried apricots moistened with freshly squeezed orange juice, then wrapped in bacon slices and grilled until hot make a tasty

Dried apricots moistened with freshly squeezed orange juice, then wrapped in bacon slices and grilled until hot make a tasty snack to pass round with drinks.

Preparation time 10 minutes
Cooking time 5 minutes

Makes 24

24 Turkish dried apricots
Juice of 1 orange
2 tsp marmalade
2 tsp wholegrain mustard
6 × 97% fat-free bacon slices (about 150 g in total)
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley to garnish (optional)

1. Put the apricots in a small bowl, sprinkle the orange juice over them and toss so that they are moistened all over (this will prevent them from burning under the grill).

2. Mix the marmalade with the mustard. Spread each bacon rasher with a little of the mustard mixture, then, using kitchen scissors, cut each in half lengthways. Cut each piece in half again, this time across the middle, to make a total of 24 strips.

3. Preheat the grill to moderate. Drain the apricots. Wrap a strip of bacon around each apricot and secure it with a wooden cocktail stick.

4. Arrange the bacon bites on the grill tray, then brush each with a little of the oil. Grill for 1 minute on each side or until the bacon is just cooked.

5. Pile the bites in a small shallow bowl and sprinkle with chopped parsley, if you like. Serve hot.

Some more ideas…
Turkish dried apricots are whole apricots that have been dried and had the stones removed. Grown in Turkey, they are slightly juicier, sweeter and fatter than other types of dried apricots.

Instead of the mustard and marmalade mixture, spread the bacon slices with a little pesto.

Bacon and Banana Chutney Bites:
Cut 3 medium-sized bananas into chunky pieces (8 pieces each) and toss in a little lemon or lime juice to prevent them from discoloring. Wrap each piece in a strip of bacon that has been spread with a little mango chutney, then grill for 1 minute on each side. Serve hot.

Health points
Dried apricots are one of the richest fruit sources of iron and a useful source of calcium.

Today, it is possible to buy 97% fat-free bacon slices. These offer an excellent lower-fat alternative to normal bacon: 3 ½ ounces of 97% fat-free bacon contains 3 g fat and 102 calories, whereas the same weight of regular bacon contains 22.5 g fat and 320 calories.

Each bite provides
Key nutrients: 24 calories, 2 g protein, 0.5 g fat (of which 0.1 g is saturated fat), 4 g carbohydrate (of which 4 g are sugars), 1 g fiber, 114 mg sodium. GI estimate not able to be calculated because the carbohydrate content is minimal.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest