Fall is the time to start enjoying those nice crisp apples. Did you know apples may help promote weight loss, protect against certain types of cancer, heart disease and memory loss, as well as enhance lung function? According to Barb Fuller, Nutrition and Health Program Specialist with ISU Extension, there is more to this fruit than its juicy, delicious crunch. Apples are among the highest antioxidant containing foods.
A medium apple is less than 100 Calories; it is fat free, sodium free, cholesterol free and an excellent source of fiber. The natural sugar in an apple is slowly released, keeping blood sugar levels steady.
There are over 100 varieties of apples available in a range of colors, freckled and even striped. Some are sweet, some are tart, some are better for baking and some for snacking. All have excellent nutritional benefit.
Select apples that are shiny, firm to the touch, have a good aroma a free of skin tears and breaks. Handle them gently to avoid bruising.
Apples ripen six to ten times faster at room temperature so keep them stored in the refrigerator for long life. The will stay crisp for four to six weeks. Store them away from strong smelling foods. More information can be found in PM 1078 “Harvesting and Storing Apples” and PM 1863 “Iowa Grown Apples” contact your county Extension office for copies.
Apple serving suggestions
- Mix ½ cup shredded apples and a dash of cinnamon into pancake batter
- Layer sandwiches with apple slices
- Toss diced apples with mixed greens, blue cheese, and walnuts
- Add chopped apples to chicken or tuna salad
Golden Apple Oatmeal
½ diced medium apple
1/3 cup apple juice
1/3 cup water
Dash of cinnamon
1/3 cup quick cooking oatmeal, uncooked
Combine apples, juice, water and cinnamon. Bring to a boil
Stir in oatmeal, cook one minute. Cover and let stand before serving.
Makes 1 one cup serving
Apple and Cheese Pizza
1 pizza dough (your choice) about 14 inches
3 large apples, thinly sliced
1 cup apple juice
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 Tablespoon honey
¼ cup chopped toasted pecans
1 cup grated low-fat mozzarella cheese
Press dough into a lightly greased 14 inch pizza pan. Cook apples in juice until tender. Drain off juice and save. Place apple slices on dough. Dissolve cornstarch in apple juice, cinnamon, and honey. Cook and stir over medium heat until clear. Spread sauce over apples. Sprinkle on pecans and cheese. Bake 425F for 15 minutes. Serves 10.
Recipes from usapple.org
Barb Fuller, MA, RD, LD
ISU Extension Nutrition and Health Program Specialist