- Food and Cooking
The Beautiful Apple
The Beautiful Apple
Apples are delectable, desirable and down right delicious! They are, quite possibly, my favorite fruit and can be used so many ways -- and they're healthy! Flavors abound in so many different ways - Granny Smith apples lean to the tart side and Winesaps are sweeties. There are so many varieties and so many ways to enjoy this lovely fruit. A multitude of salad recipes are just waiting to be "zinged" up with some crispy apple bites thrown in. Then there are pies, cobblers, soups (yes, soup!), jellies and butters, apple relish, fruit salsa with apples added - great with tortilla chips... Ole' !
This yummy fruit is celebrated and eaten year-round! If you don't have an orchard handy, check out the offerings at your local grocery store and Farmer's Markets. They come in from all parts of our great nation to our store shelves, just waiting to be taken home and made into something yummy. Whatever you make from your apples will be wonderful and something everyone can enjoy. Apples can also be eaten all by themselves for a sweet treat that won't load your body with junk. Definitely a keeper.
(all photos taken by the author)
An Apple by Any Other Name
Apple varieties are plentiful. From Aceymac to Zuccalmaglio Reinette, they are available just about any time of year. Granny Smith is usually my variety of choice. They're tart and tasty, and lend themselves well to baked pies and fried pies, cobblers and when you just want a bowl of plain old cooked apples. Add a little organic brown sugar and cinnamon and you've got a meal.
I've used a few other types, like Fuji and Winesap. Red Delicious and Golden Delicious, i was very surprised to learn, don't have a lot of Vitamin C content. They're still good, nonetheless, and have other health benefits that save them in my book.
There are so many out there to enjoy! Since my knowledge of apples is fairly limited, I decided to investigate a little to find out more so I could share it here. My love affair with the apple has me checking them out everywhere I go.
If you're looking for something with a little kick, try a Virginia Winesap or Granny Smith. Both are a little tart, so they will add some zing to your favorite apple dish. A sweeter variety would be the Fuji apple. It's a good all-purpose apple that lends itself to anything. Try pairing the sweet and tart apples, throw in some blueberries and sliced seedless grapes, then toss with a little cinnamon and nutmeg and you've got a quick fruit salad!
Handy Gadgets and Kitchen Helpers
Everyone likes to have neat gadgets and cool kitchen tools to use, It makes spending time in the kitchen even more enjoyable! Browse listings here -- you're sure to find something you can't cook without.
This handy peeler makes life in the kitchen so much easier. Pick one up today!
May I have that Recipe, Please?
My apple concoctions are many times the product of my own ingenuity. Plain old cooked apples, for example, are never the same every time. I'll experiment by putting in more cinnamon or using an apple pie spice blend from the local Amish store. I recently got a nutmeg grater, so I like to put in some fresh nutmeg to give it a little something extra. Yes, even in summer! Spices and foods that are normally reserved for colder weather can be found simmering away on my stove top. I love the warm taste and smell of those two spices anytime of year. I think it's because they make me feel cozy -- and take me back to my aunt's kitchen. She would make cinnamon-sugar toast for my cousins and I. Her kitchen also smelled of butternut flavoring, but I'll reserve that story for another lens.
Since I've talked so much about cooked apples, I'll share that recipe. Nothing is in exact measurements, but that's the fun of cooking -- tasting and figuring it out as you go!
Connie's Cooked Apples
3-4 apples, peeled and cut into chunks (I use Granny Smith apples)
ground cinnamon (get out the whole tub so you can taste-test as you go)
ground nutmeg (optional)
butter or butter substitute (I use a healthier brand like SmartBalance most of the time. Real butter is good too.)
Brown sugar (regular and organic work well)
water (about a cup will do. but you can add a little more if needed to keep apples from burning)
Put cut up apples and water in a medium-sized pot, turn on medium heat and let it cook a minute or two. Then add the cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar and butter. When the apples start boiling and begin to get bubbly, reduce heat a little and simmer until apples are tender. I gauge cooking time by how tender I want my apples to be.
Note -- you can also spread all the ingredients in a baking pan and put in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes. Again, bake longer for apples that are more tender.
Easy does it -- to make apple dumplings, simply add canned biscuits to the dish of apples and bake until brown.
Another idea -- Stir up oatmeal, butter, brown sugar and cinnamon -- add to the apples and bake for a quick breakfast that will fill up empty tummies. Let your imagination be your guide -- how about adding the cooked apples to a bowl of cooked oatmeal. Just stir it up together and eat! It's simple to make and will stick with you all morning.
The Healthy Side
Apples have long been celebrated for their health benefits. We've all heard the addage, "an apple a day keeps the doctor away"! What does that mean, though?
A quick look around the web will turn up several results on the beautiful, healthy apple. According to the magazine "Best Health", apples are full of flavenol, which reportedly helps fight cancer. Flavenoids are high in antioxidants and help fight off many diseases. This and other information about flavonoids is outlined on Mother Nature Network.
Apples also help provide roughage, which keeps your digestive system happy.
If you have the wonderful privilege of picking apples off your own trees, you already know how good these little stemmed treasures are. If not, there are plenty of Farmer's Markets and grocery stores where you can get apples and products made with apples. Across our great nation, Apple Festival's draw people in from near and far to sample apple delights and celebrate.
So celebrate the apple in your own way! Make them part of your healthy diet and find out the benefits of "an apple a day".
Apples are seen everywhere, from being described as the fruit Eve used to tempt Adam, to holding the potion that led to the demise of many a young fairy tale princess.
We know that apples can be used as part of a healthy diet! So with that, we reveal how these tasty creations bring happiness and joy!
Without further ado, list your ideas, suggestions, recipes and anything else you want to say about apples.