An Apple a Day Keeps Who Away?

While an apple a day is not a sure strategy for keeping the doctor away, eating the apple skin does boost the healthfulness of this favorite fall fruit.

Apples are incredibly good for you, as they are rich in soluble fiber (helps lower blood cholesterol) and a good source of vitamin C (antioxidant) and polyphenols (healthy plant chemicals).  Apples help you stay hydrated; the content of the fruit is about 85% water.  Most of the fiber-which makes you feel full for a longer period of time-is in the skin.  Apples are naturally free of fat and sodium.

The first step in selecting a “perfect” apple is knowing what flavor fits your fancy.  Do you prefer something sweet? Tart?  The next step is to decide whether it will be used in baking or not.

On the sweet side: Honeycrisp, Fuji, Gala and Golden Delicious. Sweeter apples have more naturally occurring sugar. They make for great quick snacks and pair well with savory and salty foods (i.e. nut butters and cheese).

On the tart side: Granny Smith, Pink Lady, Braeburn, McIntosh, Jonathan, Cortland and Empire. Tart apples have more acid, resist browning and are perfect as a salad ingredient.

Go-to apples for baking include Granny Smith, Jonathan, Golden Delicious, Rome and Honeycrisp.  Baking apples tend to beautifully keep their shape + not get mealy when baked.

Handling tips:

  • Store unwashed in the coldest part of the refrigerator to keep the longest.
  • Separate bruised or damaged apples; it only takes one bad apple to spoil all of them.
  • Keep away from strong-smelling foods (i.e. garlic, onion).
  • Rub with a produce brush or a dish scrubbie under running water prior to eating.
  • Brush fresh slices with OJ or store in cold water in the refrigerator to keep from browning when eating later.

Fun facts:  

  • Apples ripening is due to a harmless, colorless, odorless gas called ethylene. Cold temperatures slow its release.  
  • Boulder County has a popular u-pick-it orchard, Ya Ya Farm & Orchard in Longmont.  

Broccoli Apple Salad

Salad Dressing

4 c. small diced broccoli florets

3/4 c. plain Greek yogurt

2 small sweet apples, cored and diced

1/3 c. mayonnaise

1 c. chopped walnuts

1-1/2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

1 c. matchstick carrots, roughly chopped

3 Tbsp. honey

1/2 c. golden raisins or dried cranberries

1/4 c. chopped red onion

For the dressing: Whisk together the dressing ingredients.  Season with salt to taste.

For the salad: Toss together the salad ingredients. Pour in the dressing and toss until evenly coated.

Servings: 8 Source: Cookingclassy.com

Note: Recipe can be cut in 1/2 for smaller salad.

Cinnamon Apple Chips

Ingredients

4 cored and sliced apples (1/8 to 1/4 inch thick)

2 t. ground cinnamon

1 t. sugar 

Cooking spray

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. 

2. Mix the cinnamon and sugar.

3. Add sliced apples to large bowl; coat the apples with the cinnamon/sugar mixture.

4. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray or line with parchment paper.  Lay the apples flat on the pan.  (May need 2 pans so they don’t overlap.)

5. Bake 2-3 hours until chips are dry, yet a bit soft.  Allow to cool completely before placing in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Source: Carriesexperimentalkitchen.com

Note: Recipe can be cut in half.




About Mary Lynne Hixson, MA, RD:

Mary Lynne, a registered dietitian, helps others enhance their health through the advocacy of nutrient-rich food choices and safe food-handling practices. Her expertise also includes counseling patients who have Type 2 diabetes and advising those who are in medically-managed weight loss programs. After her 35+ year career, she retired and became involved with the launch of Harvest of Hope Pantry in 2012 as a Board of Directors member. Mary Lynne is a weekly volunteer with Cultivate’s Carry-Out Caravan program, shopping and delivering groceries to seniors in the Boulder area, and also a frequent volunteer with Harvest of Hope.