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Food of the Month: Apples

It’s officially fall!  The kids went back to school today and the house is once again quiet (at least until 2:30).  While it doesn’t feel like fall today since we are reaching 93 degrees in Virginia, I know cooler weather will be here soon and with the cooler weather will come an abundance of apples.  You know the old adage “an apple a day will keep the doctor away”?  Well it true!  Apples are a fabulous food and so versatile.  Here are a few facts that you may or may not know about apples!

What are they?

They are a fruit that found it’s origins in Kazakhstan in Central Asia.  Traders carried the seeds along the Silk Road and hybridized the seeds along the way with indigenous apple trees.  European colonists later brought the trees to America where John Chapman aka Johnny Appleseed planted them across the Midwest.

 

Health Benefits

Apples are a major source of flavenoids (plant micronutrients), phenolic acids (a phytonutrient), Vitamin C (10% of your reccomended daily allowance) and pectin (a soluable fiber that slows the absorption of sugar and cholesterol into the blood stream).  Studies have linked apple consumption to decreased risk of lung cancer, heart disease, asthma and type 2 diabetes.

 

Storage

Apples are best stored in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator between 30-35 degrees F.  They are best kept in a humid environment so placing a damp paper towel over them in the crisper will help maintain the humidity.   Make sure to remove any apples with soft spots or those that are rotting since they give off ethylene gas which will cause rotting of the other apples in the drawer.

 

Uses

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  • Pies or Crisps
  • As a snack with a little nut butter
  • Added to a sandwhich for a crisp and sweet note
  • Baked in the oven- Core the apple and sprinkle a little cinnamon and brown sugar in the center.   Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes and enjoy!

 

Featured Recipe:  Apple Crisp by the Minimalist Baker http://minimalistbaker.com/gluten-free-vegan-apple-crisp/.  If you would like the recipe to be even healthier try cutting the sugars in half or replace the brown sugar with coconut sugar.  Top with a non-dairy ice cream or eat it plain.  Enjoy!

 

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