Food for astronauts. Apricots originated in Asia, and have been cultivated for more than 4000 years. They belong to the same botanical group as peaches, plums and cherries. One apricot has only 17 calories, about 100 mg potassium and 3.5 mg vitamin C, and apricot juice is chock full of calcium and iron. Apricot can also boast of its high beta-carotene content, which gives it its lovely orange colour. Turkey is the world's largest producer of apricots. They are one of the first summer fruits, with a peak season from June to August. Dried apricots can be enjoyed year round. They are so nutritious that in the 1960s and 70s, astronauts consumed them on the Apollo space missions.