It is that time of the year when the apples start falling! Our area has
wonderful apple picking opportunities, making a healthy, fun day for
family and friends! (Most places even have homemade apple wine,
but I digress!) Does an apple a day keep the doctor away? Let’s review
the facts about apples.
Apples have a nutrition super power by having the best of both
worlds when it comes to fiber. They contain soluble fiber: soluble
fiber dissolves in water and forms a gel like substance. This slows
down the digestive system and prevents diarrhea. It also has
insoluble fiber: insoluble fiber bulks up your stool and helps food pass
quickly, preventing constipation. The two fibers help keep your body
Apples aid in helping your digestive system function properly. Don’t
forget to wash and eat the skin of the apple. This is where the
insoluble fiber is. Apples are diabetic friendly as well! The soluble
fiber can slow down the absorption of sugar into the blood stream
and may improve blood sugar levels. The soluble fiber also helps
prevent the buildup of cholesterol!
And we can not forget the vitamin C boost apples contain. This helps
up our immune system, getting us strong for the winter colds, and
viruses that start to show their ugly selves.
Apples help in weight loss (the fiber) and, if eaten regularly, they can
help reduce the risk of colorectal cancer, oral cancer, esophageal
cancer and breast cancer.
As you know there are so many different apples to choose from. This
might help make the right choices:
Tart, mildly sweet apples, that hold their crunch in high temperatures
(good for baking) are Jonagold, Granny Smith, Honey Crisp, Melrose,
Cortland and Braeburn.
Juicy and sweet eating apples (although all kinds are great to eat) are
Gala, Red and Golden Delicious, Fuji and McIntosh.
To keep your apples fresh and crispy, store them in the crisper drawer
in the fridge. It can keep them crisp for 2 months! Apples tend to
keep ripening after being picked so the cool temperatures slow down
this process. Yes, an apple day really can keep the doctor away!
Try an apple sandwich for an on-the-go lunch:
• slice to thick pieces from your apple, spread peanut butter and
sprinkle shelled, salted pumpkin seeds on it and top it with the
other slice of apple.
• Slice up your favorite apple and top with thin slices of cheddar
• Try an apple, fennel, and endive salad – thinly slice 2 apples, 1
bulb of fennel and 3 small endives. Squeeze a lemon, 1
tablespoon of white balsamic vinegar and 2 tablespoons of olive
oil in a separate bowl. Pour over your salad and mix. Top with
roasted pecans for a crunch!
For dinner try Apple Pork Chops:
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
3 apples, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons of honey
6 pork chops (1/2 an inch thick) or (you can use chicken breasts)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Layer onions and apples in the bottom
of a shallow baking dish. Drizzle honey on top of the apples and
onions. Take the pork chops or chicken and sprinkle with garlic salt
and pepper to taste and spread a layer of mustard on them. Cover
and bake for 1 hour.