Apples can be a healthy and tasty way to add nutrition to your diet.
Tis the season to eat apples! Apples can be a healthy and tasty way to add nutrition to your diet whether you’re slicing them over oatmeal, chopping them over salads, baking them for dessert, ordering them as a side or just grabbing one for a quick and healthy snack. The good news is that apple season is in full swing, giving you the perfect opportunity to try every variety in every possible way. Next time you eat out at a restaurant, look for Healthy Dining choices featuring apples like those below. Cuisinicity founder Catherine Katz has plenty of tips, ideas and recipes for using this seasonal fruit at home, too. Check out her favorites in this recent post:
Apples are so sweet in all the ways that warm the heart! Apples feel like home to me! They conjure up autumn days and memories of our family’s apple picking tradition at our local orchard every year. I remember the kids (and David!) triumphantly dragging back their bags filled to the rim with apples (with David always winning the DUAP prize, otherwise known as the Katz Dysfunctional, Unrestrained Apple Picking prize!). It never fails–in the fall, our house gets filled with a “ton” of apples from every variety! That is one of the reasons I have found so many ways to create recipes around them over the years!
Of course, that’s not the only reason I have incorporated apples in my recipes. On the culinary side, I love apples in my cooking and baking because their sweet tartness can add as much to a savory dish as to a sweet dessert. On the nutrition side, apples, like all fruit, are so good for one’s health. Here are some of the healthy benefits of eating apples:
- They are a good source of fiber, especially pectin, a soluble fiber with beneficial effects on blood cholesterol, blood sugar, and insulin levels.
- They are an amazing source of an array of polyphenols, which function as antioxidants, associated with cardiovascular benefits.
- Apples are a good source of vitamin C.
- Eating apples raw with the skin on can significantly lower many of our blood fats, so, as much as you’ll love my apple recipes, remember to also munch on one in its plain wholesome simple state! You know what they say… “An apple a day keeps the doctor away!”
My Apple Butternut Squash Soup is a lovely blend of apples, butternut squash and curry and is perfect for a cozy Autumn night. My Apple Prune Chicken, ahhhhh, what can I say? I just love it! In this dish, apples simmer together with prunes and apple cider in the oven and coat the chicken with a richness that is finger-licking delicious! Then, of course, during the apple-picking season, as I am trying to dwindle down the riches of the DUAP prize, I love to make my Harvest Apple Cake which is filled with apples (it uses 5 cups chopped apples-WOW!)– No matter which variety of apples I mix together–macouns, golden delicious, gala, McIntosh, you name it…it doesn’t seem to matter…it always comes out just right: rich and moist and just delicious! Oh, and one more thing I love about this cake: The sweet apple cinnamon scent that fills my kitchen when it’s baking in the oven– it just warms my heart! I could say the same for my Apple Almond Cobbler (that one uses 6-7 apples to make!) and my daintier French Apple Tart, with its sweet crust and sliced apples nestled in an almond base applesauce which is not too sweet and is rich-tasting and moist – just delightful!! For a more rustic “rough around the edges” sweet galette, I also love my Apple Cranberry Galette.
Then, when I have run out of things to make with all those apples we picked, and before my apples start to fade on my kitchen counter, I make Simply Cinnamon Apples, which is so versatile because you can eat it plain, or if you make it with the firmer apples, you can use it as a topping over wholegrain pancakes, oatmeal or just even plain yogurt. They are also wonderful in my Apple Cinnamon Smoothie and in my Apple Honey Panini, so you can bet I always have some handy in my fridge. The one thing is that I can’t always keep track of which variety of apples I use (sometimes I do and I will then specify for that particular recipe), mainly because all our apple picking bags get mixed up. So you’ll note that if I can’t say exactly which type of apple is best for what, I found it really didn’t matter for that recipe. My thought on this: just use apples–any apples–you really can’t go wrong! However, if you prefer a more “rigorous” approach to help you decide which ones to use, I am including here a great chart along with a nice visual guide.