• Gluten free
• New Zealand Apricots
• Made in New Zealand
• No added preservatives
• No added colours and flavours
• Vegan friendly
Refrigerate after opening. Use within 7 days of opening.
Please take care: because we de-stone and pulp local apricots, on the rare occasion you may find a stone fragment.
Barker's New Zealand Apricot with Chickpea meal sauce is wholesome and mildly spiced - an an easy solution for enjoyable dinners. A perfect sauce for apricot chicken bake, apricot lamb or a vegetarian tagine.
These new ready meal sauces from Barkers are incredible and have been such a time saver for me getting dinner ready for the hungry family in a rush at the end of the day. They are packed full of flavour with great natural ingredients and the whole range is very family friendly. The apricot and chickpea was one I was very excited about as I love spicy apricots, theres something delicious about combining sweet tastes with savoury spices that makes for a very comforting evening meal. I love that this adds chickpeas, they are something I would often add to meals to bulk them out and add extra protein to a meal. I do have one vegan in my household and one coeliac so sauces that are not only gluten free but vegan friendly are well appreciated.
I made a delicious vegetable bake with this sauce, roasting a selection of pumpkin, kumara, potato, carrot, and capsicums and then adding the sauce to my glass baking dish with some extra chickpeas and cooking slowly in the oven until everything was nicely caramelised and cooked through. The aroma when cooking was very pleasant it was sweet but you noticed the beautiful scent of the spices straight away. On tasting the apricot isnt very strong which I was surprised about often apricot can come through strongly and overpower other flavours but this was nicely balanced.
I think using natural apricot pulp rather than artificial flavourings is really key in achieving this balance in this sauce, the spices came through and it just had a nice sweetness to it that wasn't overpowering, it paired perfectly with vegetables but could just as easily work with chicken or other meat dishes. The jar is a great size for family sized meals so if you were cooking smaller portions you could easly just use half the jar but for our family of five it works out well as everyone likes having extra sauce to clear up after finishing the vegetables.
This sauce is lovely and thick too, it has a great consistency to it, I love how you can see through the jar to know what it is inside and the jars are clearly labelled. We will definitely buy this sauce again as the whole family enjoyed it and it is mild enough that even the young ones loved it.
This was another lovely sounding jar. I liked the clear plain packaging and kept the jar as it was a good size. I love apricot and use chickpea a lot in my cooking so had high expectations of this jar. I chose to add this to chicken which may not have been the best mix. I also stretched the meal to serve 5 which also may have made it a little less powerful overall.
I had no issues opening the jar which can sometimes be a bit of a downer to start with. The packaging was clear and the only unexpected bit was the "dots". I found them a bit unexpected - yes I know they are visible in the jar but somehow they looked more obvious when cooked. I presume they were a herb of some sort but a bit unexpected. Also with this being a barkers product I probably expected to see a bit more sign of the actual apricotness. The smell indicated there was apricot and was lovely but it wasn't strong to me
You can see from the photo it came out a beautiful colour which made it quite appealing to look at before we tried it, and it smelt fantastic. In general, the texture in the jar was what you would expect from a throw-it-in sauce. Maybe not as chunky as I would have liked but it stretched further that way I guess. The chickpea element is still a bit of a mystery to me and will need further investigation as it seemed absent in some ways but that may have been why the fruitiness was less than I expected.
The taste was not as fruity as I was expecting - having tried a number of sweetened apricot sauces I think that may have been my issue. It was filling, full of flavour but not as sweet as I would have predicted from looking at the jar. A good hearty winter meal though and in conclusion, it was a hit that I will try again for a quick and easy tasty meal but not expect to be knocked by a strong apricot taste. Everyone said they would have it again.
I love easy and quick meal sauces with add lots of flavour to a simple dish. We tried the Apricot with Chickpea sauce with chicken, mixed vegetables and served it on plain couscous. It is easy to open the jar and use the sauce which helps when in a rush after work to get tea on for the hungry family. I added the onion, chicken and oil and fried it off for a little bit then added the sauce and frozen mixed vegetables. I allow the chicken to cook and poach away in the sauce as it boils away.
The sauce was a nice thick texture and smelt really good. Once served with the couscous I notice the sauce ratio is a little less then I would have liked. The flavour to me didn't scream apricot but it was nice how ever and the family enjoyed it and also thought the couscous was a great touch rather then rice. My partner enjoyed it the most out of the 5 of us eating it. My toddler was not interested in it much.
I always enjoy these products, great labels, great that it is New Zealand products and also fabulous how they suggest a couple recipes to use with the sauce. The price is a little higher then what I would normally pay for a sauce but that is fine. I find these would be good to have on hand in the cupboard and a easy go to meal. I would suggest to families to try a few different flavours and see what ones they like the most as every body would be different with their choices. Maybe wait till the supermarket has specials on if your family is on a budget.
When it comes to making dinner, I have to say I do miss lock down! Having all day to prepare the meal, no rush, no after school activities - just plenty of time and you could invest as much or as little as you wanted. It was great. But then reality came crashing back in and you have work, school, homework, school talk and after school activities and the chaos is back on.
That is why I absolutely adore items like this. Dinner can be on the table in less than half an hour, the food is yummy and everyone enjoys. It is so simple to create and you can add what you want to the dish - it is completely in your hands. The jar does have a couple of ideas on the jar and includes ingredients required it also has a website www.barkers.co.nz for full cooking instructions.
But in my case I had a long day and throw in being a glorified taxi driver I just wanted dinner over with so I threw some rice in the slow cooker. Diced some onion and cut up some chicken and fried it all up and covered with the sauce for about 10 minutes just in time for the rice to be done and dinner was basically served. Beyond simple!
Everyone adored the dinner and all four of us agreed that we would love to have again. It is really easy that my daughters could now make on their own and really I could be sitting on the couch with my feet up relaxing. It was not as sweet as I was expecting but the sauce was a little harder but it worked and my youngest said that this was up there with pork buns and that is a huge compliment.
Another winner for the family and one that I will be stocking in the pantry for those crazy times when dinner is the last thing you want to think about. The price is a little high but when you add the fact you only need rice, chicken or whatever meat and onions and then whatever else you have in the fridge it works out to be okay because it is keeping some sanity to the day. I do love simplicity!
We like vegetarian food and thought a good way to try apricot and chickpea sauce would be with tofu and vegetables. However, we did not have quite enough tofu for two people, so we added some chilli haloumi to make it go further. I cooked the tofu in the sauce but fried the haloumi separately because I thought it would crisp better that way. Once both dishes were cooked, we added some silver beet and avocado, and spooned some extra heated sauce on the haloumi.
However, the chilli haloumi was a real surprise. I was not sure whether or not the flavours would work, but the chilli version had been the only one available when I shopped last. I thought the sauce and the chilli might clash and was prepared to be disappointed - but it was quite the opposite. The chilli and apricot were an amazing combination; this sauce is not too highly spiced so the chilli just added another element without impacting on the sweet spiciness of the apricots.
Because there were only two of us testing out the sauce, we had used only half the contents for our vegetarian meal. A couple of days later, we used the other half in a vegetable casserole. This time our meal was fully vegan; the addition of the haloumi to the first dish did not comply with strict vegan cuisine (although I understand you can get vegan haloumi if you shop around). The vegetable casserole consisted of whatever we could find in the cupboard: pumpkin, kumara, carrots, onions, and garlic. We mixed in the sauce and baked it until the vegetables were cooked but still firm. It was an interesting dish because we had used vegetables that are naturally sweet, so the final taste was almost like a sweet-and-sour medley.
I like the generous helpings in this range of sauces. This is the fourth I have tried, and because there are often just two of us for dinner, being able to keep the rest of the sauce in the fridge is a bonus. It also means we can try it in more than one recipe. This sauce is particularly mild; it almost reminded me of a curry. Although there were no children around on the occasions we tried it, I think it would appeal to young taste buds. The spices used are kid-friendly and the fruity aftertaste would be acceptable to most. The ingredients are wholesome and free of preservatives; that is always something we as a family look for in a food because we like to eat as healthy as we can.
I would like to try it with some plain home-made baked beans, the sort you soak and cook yourself without the addition of ersatz tomato sauce. I think the beans would soak up the apricot flavour nicely and make a hearty meal for a cold evening. At some stage I will get another jar and try it that way.
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