The Apple…One of America’s Favorite Fruits!

3 10 2014

apple picture

I know that I sound like a broken record sometimes (with good reason!), hitting home the idea that the intake of fruits and vegetables is one of the true cornerstones of health and weight management. These nutrient rich foods, meaning they provide exceptional sources of important nutrients for very few calories, are not only delicious, but versatile. Their textures and high fiber content can help us slow our eating pace. Their sweet and savory flavors can curb cravings with fewer calories and help us feel full. They can enhance the flavor of any dish. Adding vegetables to sauces, casseroles, and soups, or adding fruits to salads, stir fries, and meat toppings, can provide a richness or burst of flavor that will knock your socks off!

I always shudder a little when people tell me “I don’t like vegetables” or “I don’t like fruit”. When I hear flat statements like that I assume one of two things, that they haven’t really tried them because they don’t want to, or that they haven’t tried them prepared in a tasty way.

So today I am picking on a fruit that most of the American population can agree is a delicious addition to anyone’s day, the apple. Second only to bananas, apples are one of the most popular fruits in America. October happens to be National Apple Month, and I am here to celebrate! Let’s talk apples:
Apples have a host of health benefits. They contain ~4 grams of soluble fiber for only about 80-90 calories in a medium apple. The soluble fiber in apples (pectin) helps prevent the buildup of cholesterol in the linings of artery walls, thus decreasing risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease. Antioxidant compounds found in apples can help prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol and inhibit inflammation. They are good sources of Vitamin C, providing ~14% of our daily value. They have been noted to help keep teeth clean and white. According to Washington State University, tart Granny Smiths have also been noted to benefit the growth of friendly bacteria in the gut due to their high content of non-digestible compounds and low content of available carbohydrates (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140929181156.htm).

Apples are a sweet and filling snack. They are portable and easy- just wash and eat! So, go out and grab a granny today….a Granny Smith, that is!

Some apple tips from http://www.virginiaapples.org :

Select firm apples, free from bruises and handle carefully
Smaller apples will keep fresh longer
Freckles on golden delicious apples indicate ripeness
Apples ripen 8-10 times faster at room temperature

Helpful measurement tips:

3 medium apples = 1lb, 3c diced apples, 2 3/4c sliced apples
1lb = 2 large apples, 3 med apples, 4 small apples, 1 1/2c applesauce
2lb of apples makes 3c of applesauce
1 bushel of apples makes 16-20 quarts of applesauce

Recipes to try today:

Slow cooker Apple Cinnamon Steel Cut Oats: http://www.theyummylife.com/Slow_Cooker_Apple_Cinnamon_Oatmeal#EmbedRecipe_105

Baked Apple Chips: http://www.aspicyperspective.com/2014/09/baked-apple-chips.html

Apple “Cookies”: http://rachelschultz.com/2014/04/09/apple-cookies/

Apple Topped Pork Chops:Apple Topped Pork Chops

Cathy head shotCathy Shaw, RD, LD

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