By Renel Cronk UI dietetics student and SeAnne Safaaii Ph.D.,RD,LD
The apple has been a huge symbol in our life for centuries. It was known as the forbidden fruit from the Garden of Eden, the logo for the company Apple, the gift you gave to your teacher on the first day of school, and the food that poisoned Snow White. There is much more to the apple then what it symbolizes.
In grocery store you will see about five varieties of apples, but there are actually more than 7,500, each tasting a little different and used for different things.
The Washington Apple Commission provides a great chart on what varieties are the best for different recipes. Check out their link at http://www.bestapples.com/varieties/varieties_usage_chart.aspx
. Right now we are in the peak of the apple harvesting season. This means that it is the best and most affordable time to buy apples. Besides being cheap right now, apples are delicious, easy to carry for snacking, low in calories and a natural mouth freshener.
Apples are a source of both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber such as pectin actually helps to prevent cholesterol buildup in the lining of the blood vessel walls. The insoluble fiber in apples provides bulk in the intestinal tract, holding water to cleanse and move food quickly through the digestive system. Apples are a source of both soluble and insoluble fiber.
Apples contain Vitamin C, which helps to strengthen your immune system ans is a good source of other vitamins such as riboflavin, thiamin, and pyridoxine, which help aid in metabolism support. In addition to being a well-known symbol and having many health benefits, the apple can be used as an ingredient in many dishes like salads, pies/cobblers, pancakes, turnovers, pork chops, and much more. Apple sauce can be used as a fat substitute in many bakes products using a 1 to 1 ratio. If the recipe calls for 1 cup of oil you can cut it back to 1/2 cup and substitute 1/2 cup of applesauce. Here is a great recipe for fiber packed applesauce cookies.
3 ripe bananas
2 cups rolled oats
1/3 cup applesauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp ground flax
1/2 cup dried cherries
Preheat oven to 350o
. Using a fork , mash the bananas in a bowl. Stir in oats, applesauce, dried cherries, flax, and vanilla extract. Mix batter well. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto a lined cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes.