For most of us, fall is upon us. Some of my favorite things about fall is the cooler weather, decorating pumpkins, the coming of the holidays, and apples. Yes, crunchy, juicy apples. I could eat an apple a day. Has anyone ever heard anything about eating an apple a day…
Keeps the doctor away?
Maybe just a funny little thing our parents told us to eat more fruit, but there is some truth behind it. Apples, along with any fresh fruit, do many things for our body besides just taste good.
- Calories An average sized apple has approximately 95 calories.
- Fiber Just over 4 grams of dietary fiber can be found in one apple. Fiber helps prevent constipation and is vital in digestion. It can also help lower cholesterol levels. Soluble fiber, found in apples, helps slow the absorption of sugar, thus improve blood sugar levels.
- Potassium 195 milligrams of potassium which can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
- Vitamin A Like peaches apples are high in Vitamin A which can help ward off illness and aid in vision.
Not only are apples a great source of vitamins and minerals, but they are one of the most convenient snacks we can keep on hand. Keep them in a bowl right on the countertop for constant viewing and easy grabbing. Apples are convenient that’s for sure, but should we be buying conventionally grown or organic apples?
Why Buy Organic
It is true that not all fruits and veggies are created equal when it comes to the pesticides and chemicals used to grow them. The Environmental Working Group comes out with lists each year letting us know which produce is safe to eat when conventionally grown, and which ones we should buy organic whenever possible.
2012 is not the first year that apples have been crowned the most pesticide and chemical ridden product out there. Based on the amount of pesticide residue found on apples, it has been concluded once again that these juicy treats should be bought organic above all others.
Whether you buy your apples organic or not, you may still want to clean them yourself. Check out this post on how to easily make your own produce spray.
Apples are great for grab and go snacks, but with a little bit of work, the possibilities are endless. Apples can be chopped up and put in oatmeal. They can be sliced and smothered with peanut butter. They can be grated to sweeten cupcakes. I could go on for days.
If you’re looking for some apples recipes to start your day, then you’re in the right place. Good luck trying to decide which muffins you will make this weekend.
Lori’s Date Filled Apple Muffins
Laura’s Carrot-Apple Walnut Muffins
Katie’s Soaked Apple Cinnamon Muffins
Yum and yum.
Moving beyond breakfast, apples are probably most commonly found in desserts. Apple pie. Apple crisp. Apple turnovers. Apple cake. Apple strudel. Sorry about that, I got all Forrest Gump on ya’ll.
Lori shares two very different, but equally tasty ways to make apple crisp. First, a Cranberry Apple Crisp which is created in an alternative manner, but keeps with tradition by baking. Next, if you’re a little more crunched for time, try her Raw Apple Crisp for a delicious treat.
Have a birthday coming up that you need to make cupcakes for? What about a nutritious dessert for upcoming holidays? Try these Applesauce Cupcakes with Homemade Maple Buttercream Frosting. Yes, please.
If you can find a good deal on organic apples at your farmer’s market (or grocery store), why not stock up? You can make a small batch of applesauce right in your crock pot.
This recipe, which calls for 3 pounds of apples, will make about 3 pints of applesauce.
With no add sugar, this applesauce is sweetened by the apples themselves and the hint of cinnamon. Perfect for snacking, or add to your cookies or other baked goods in place of sugar. More on natural sweeteners here.
- 3 pounds apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Once you have prepped the apples by peeling, coring, and slicing, place them in the crock pot and turn on high.
- Add cinnamon and lemon juice. Mix well.
- Cook on high for 3 hours, stirring occasionally.
- If after 3 hours the apples are not cooked enough to reach the desired consistency of applesauce, cook a little longer. Use a potato masher to mash the apples.
- Place in jars and keep in the refrigerator and/or freezer.
If you are interested in canning applesauce, see this post. When canning applesauce, you will need several pounds of apples, the linked recipe calls for 21 pounds. One way to get that many apples for a reasonable price is to pick your own. Find a You-Pick farm in your area here, and have a fun-filled fall day with your entire family.
Do you have a favorite type of apple to crunch on? What’s your favorite way to enjoy apples?
**This post has been entered into Fat Tuesday, Allergy Free Wednesdays, Frugal Days Sustainable Ways #44, Fresh Foods Blog Hop #11, Real Food Wednesday.**
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