An apple a day

The apple has come a long way since that smut filled scene in the Garden of Eden, Newton’s little gravity experiment and the unforgettable poisoning incident with Snow White.

The Beatles had Apple Records, Steve Jobs had Apple Computers, and ‘We the people’ have Apple Fruit. ‘We the people’ are in good company.

It’s some kind of a coinkydink that I live in the Big Apple, and grew up in the land of Johnny Appleseed. In grade school we were told endless stories about Johnny Appleseed. He was this guy who wore a pot for a hat, and brought apples to the Great Lakes region. Today “Old Pot Hat” would’ve been taken to Bellevue, but things were different back then, thus he became an apple hero. Although I frequently confused Johnny Appleseed with Davy Crockett and Paul Bunyan; the five-year-old-me was convinced apples were only grown in the Midwest. Boy, was I mistaken. Turns out the biggest exporter of apples is (wait for it)… China.

It is one of the most famous, symbolic, and historical fruits – right up there with the grape. (BTW Grapple is a grape flavored apple. Cool, but sort of hybrid-scary.)

For centuries, the world has been aware of the health benefits of apples. Forbidden fruit? I think not! They are full of antioxidants, vitamin C and fiber. They are also scientifically proven to help lower cholesterol and glucose levels, reduce the risk of disease and cancer, and assist in maintaining healthy teeth and bones. “An apple a day, keeps the doctor away” ain’t no lie. In the popular game of comparing apples and oranges – no need to mull it over (cue rim shot), apples win…and they make a super delish pie too.

Check out these links to some seeds of wisdom: The Apple Studies.

Basic Health Benefits of Apples and their Phytochemicals

Apples and Pears Protect Against Risk of Stroke

Apples and Cancer Prevention

More juicy details on apples

– 25% air, they float!

– contain no sodium, cholesterol or fat

– good source of fiber, mostly in the form of pectin

– one medium apple contains 5g fiber and only 80 calories

– ripen ten times faster at room temperature than when refrigerated

– the skin contains most of the antioxidants and fiber. So don’t peel it!

– the seeds contain cyanide….just sayin’

– the inside of an apple turns brown when its natural phenols are exposed to air, a spritz of lemon juice will prevent browning

– they’re a member of the rose family

– originated in Central Asia, but as American as apple pie

– the saying “an apple a day, keeps the doctor away” is a variation on the 19th century English proverb “eat an apple on going to bed, and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread”. But perhaps Sir Winston Churchill said it best, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away… especially if you aim carefully.”

– Granny Smith was an Australian woman named Maria Ann Smith. She planted the first seeds for her apple in 1868 in Sydney, at the age of 71. FYI Granny Smith apples are rumored to possess more antioxidants than any other type of apple – thanks Maria!….Did I mention Granny Smiths come from Sydney?

Granny Smith

Loving Apples; a Bushel & a Peck

There are so many amazingly creative ways to use apples. The many varieties offer countless cooking options, both sweet and savory. Here are just a few of my favorite apple tricks.

All American Apple Face

Peel and core an apple then shred it. Apply to face for 10minutes. Rinse.

Natural anti-inflammatories like pectin reduce inflammation and fine lines.

Pumpkin Maple Puree In My Macoun

½ C organic pumpkin puree

½ C fat free ricotta cheese

1 t maple syrup

½ t ground cinnamon

2 Macoun apples, halved and cored (or any apple you prefer)

~ Add all ingredients to bowl and mix together

~ Fill apple halves with puree. Serves 4

…tastes like fall.

Apple Crisp for Dummies, Like Me

1 apple peeled and thinly sliced (Granny Smith works great, or even use a pear)

2 T brown sugar

2 T quick oats

1 T flour

1/8 t ground cinnamon

1 T butter

~ Arrange apple slices in small baking dish or large ramekin

~ Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl and pour over fruit

~ bake at 375 for 25 minutes OR microwave for 2½ minutes, until apple forks tender

What if Eve bit a peach, Newton got clobbered by a pear, and Snow nibbled on a banana? Would the apple still be what it is today? Yes. Yes it would. C’mon – it’s an apple!

Pomme. Mayy. Manzana. Apfel. Mela. No matter how you say it, apples deliver the goods. Fall is a time to harvest these orbs of healthful riches, but ‘we the people’ enjoy the bounty year round. No wonder they are the most famous fruit of all time – they are delectable, cheap and easily accessible: It’s almost as if they grow on trees….