Apples For All
Fall may be prime apple season, but thanks to sophisticated storage methods, these tasty fruits are available all year round. That’s good, since apples are among the healthiest of fruits. Unfortunately, for those with health concerns, cool-weather apple dishes, such as apple pie, are often loaded with fat and sugar. Here are some healthy apple recipes for fall, or anytime you want an apple-based treat.
An apple a day really may keep the doctor away. Apples contain phenolics, powerful antioxidants that ward off cancer, flaviniods, which are good for the heart, and quercetin, which fights infections and helps maintain proper lung function (Yeager, 2006). A single medium apple also provides 12 percent of the RDA of fiber and 10 percent of the RDA of vitamin C (Self). Be aware that almost all the apple’s nutrition is in the skin, so wash your apples, but don’t peel them.
Baked Apples with Raisins and Cinnamon
Baked apples are naturally low in fat, and if you don’t go overboard on the sugar, they are low in calories too. Use Golden Delicious, Cortland, or Baldwin apples, as Granny Smith are too tart and Red Delicious will turn mushy.
- 4 large apples
- ½ cup dark raisins
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 and ½ cups apple cider (store-bought is fine)
- 2 cinnamon sticks
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Using a melon baller, hollow out the apples, starting at the stem end and working toward the blossom end. Make sure not to pierce the bottom of the apples, or the raisins will fall out.
Put the apples in an 8 X 8-inch baking dish, and put a tablespoon of raisins in each apple cavity. Mix the sugar and ground cinnamon together, and then sprinkle over the apples. Pour the cider around the apples, add the cinnamon sticks to the cider, and stick the pan in the oven. Bake until the apples are soft (they should be tender when pierced with a paring knife), about 45 minutes. Be careful not to over bake; you don’t want the skins to split.
Using tongs, move the apples to a serving tray. Pour the cider into a saucepan, place over medium heat, and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the cider has reduced by half; this is your sauce. Remove the cinnamon sticks, spoon a tablespoon of sauce over each apple, and serve. Each diner can add more sauce if he or she wants to.
Nutrition Facts: Calories: 200, Fat: 0g, Sat Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Carb: 53g, Fiber: 3g; Protein: 0g; Sodium: 10mg.
Apple Pie in a Glass
If you want a refreshing apple drink, you can make apples into a smoothie. For this recipe, use a red delicious apple.
- 1 apple
- ½ cup apple cider
- ½ tsp apple pie spice
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
- 2 teaspoons honey
Cut your apple in fourths and remove the core, but don’t peel it, then cut into inch-size chunks. If your blender is a bit on the wimpy side, place your apple in a microwave-safe bowl, add a tablespoon of water, cover with plastic wrap and zap for one to minutes, or until soft. You can use a veggie steamer bag to do this, or if you have a powerful-blender, you can use a raw apple.
Put the cider, applesauce, spice, sweetener and apple chunks in a blender and process until smooth. If it’s warm outside, you can chill your smoothie, but this smoothie also tastes good hot. Two minutes in the microwave at high power, or five minutes on the top of the stove over medium-high heat, will warm the mixture to drinking temperature without burning the apple. Just make sure to stir often if you’re using the stove.
Nutrition Facts : Calories: 189, Total Fat: .5g, Sat Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Total Carbs: 49.1g, Fiber: 4g. Sugars: 42.5g, Sodium 7mg.
Want more information? Check out these great recipes, available right here on Bright Hub!
The Many Health Benefits of Apples
Self Magazine. (n.d.). Apples, Raw, With Skin. Self NutritionData. Accessed 18 September, 2010 from https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1809/2
Yeager, S. (2006). The Doctor’s Book of Food Remedies. New York, NY: Rodale.
Baked Apples Recipe adapted from Baked Apples with Dried Cranberries, from the Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook “The Best Light Recipe.”