‘A’ is for Apples
Inspired by the arrival of Colorado organic Honey Crisp Apples to my grocery market…
If you’ve ever had a Honey Crisp apple you know they are delectably juicy and crisp with just the right amount of sweetness, making them a perfect snack. Explains the temptation succumbed to in the Garden of Eden!
The US Apple Association offers an enlightening accounting of the history of the evolution of the apple’s presence and popularity as a food crop. The tale of the history of apples and how they made their way to the colonization of America is endearing. Once not even grown in American soils, they are now aligned with our very culture as described with the phrase ‘as American as apple pie’.
The US Apple Association offers a guide to many cultivars and their best uses.
Tam’s Five Favorite Ways To Enjoy Apples:
1. Caramel Apples! By far one of my favorite things which brings up memories of junior high school. I was somewhat of a ‘proficianado’ at the dipping of apples on a stick in vats of caramel. Then came the wrappers which are surely loaded with all kinds of nutritional mischief. Considering how to bring the caramel apple back to my life in a reasonably healthful manner I found this recipe from The Harvest Kitchen and I love it! Let me know if you do too!
2. Hand to mouth! Pick up an apple and take a bite of this quintessential snack! Notice the taste of different cultivars. Green apples are a bit less sweet and their thicker skin offers a little more fiber than their red cousins. Red apples offer more beta carotene according to Tufts University. Overall there isn’t a huge difference in nutritional value.
4. Baked Apples Serve with ice cream or yogurt (follow me to know how to choose the most healthful ice cream and yogurt)… You got it if you already know to avoid sugar and extra/non food ingredients and flavorings.
4. Apple cobbler: My very own free of gluten berry cobbler recipe with apples swapped in place of the berries! Ditto above #3 and serve with ice cream or yogurt if dairy doesn’t bother you.
‘A’ Is For Apple Nutrition
I don’t know about eating an apple every day, but there is good reason to enjoy the bright crisp flavor and nutrition apples offer on a regular basis, especially seasonally. Leaning to locally grown seasonal organic apples is a sure way to satisfy more of your body, mind and spirit with nutrient dense real food.
Harvard Medical School / Harvard Health Publishing’s article contributes a wide variety of professional opinion about the saying ‘An Apple A Day Keeps the Doctor Away’. The concluding agreement seems to be that an apple a day may or may not keep the doctor away, but indeed apples are a very nourishing food. In the article, Kathy McManus, director of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital said “I strongly suggest you eat the whole apple. Juice does not have the fiber a whole apple does, and a good part of the beneficial nutrients are in the skin. Apple juice is not equal to a real apple.”
According to this article in Nutrition Journal, “Evidence suggests that a diet high in fruits and vegetables may decrease the risk of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and cancer, and phytochemicals including phenolics, flavonoids and carotenoids from fruits and vegetables may play a key role in reducing chronic disease risk. Apples are a widely consumed, rich source of phytochemicals, and epidemiological studies have linked the consumption of apples with reduced risk of some cancers, cardiovascular disease, asthma, and diabetes. In the laboratory, apples have been found to have very strong antioxidant activity, inhibit cancer cell proliferation, decrease lipid oxidation, and lower cholesterol. Apples contain a variety of phytochemicals, including quercetin, catechin, phloridzin and chlorogenic acid, all of which are strong antioxidants.”
Apples are a source of fiber, natural sugar (for glucose your brain thrives on), vitamins C, K, B6, and manganese.