Authors: Registered Dietitians
(HealthCastle.com) Gala, Fuji, Braeburn, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, and my favourite, MacIntosh - it’s September and that means it’s apple season! Symbolizing health and learning, apples are a versatile and [mostly] durable fruit. Biting into a ripe apple results in a notorious crunch and apple juices dribbling down your chin.
Eating apples is associated with a reduced risk of some cancers, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. An apple a day might keep the doctor away. Nutritionally speaking, apples are a source of potassium, Vitamin C, and fibre, including soluble fibre, known to help lower cholesterol. Apples have antioxidants, which help prevent damage to our body’s cells and tissues. Depending on its size, apples can range from 70-130 calories, and are free of fat, sodium and cholesterol. Apples are 85% water, and therefore contribute to hydration and our sense of fullness.
Did you know that there are over 7000 varieties of apples grown in the world? In Canada, many apple varieties are grown in BC and in Ontario eastward. You will find different varieties sold at the many Calgary’s Farmers Markets.
Apples differ in shape, color, flavor, texture, and use. Their flesh can vary in its firmness, crispness, acidity, juiciness and sweetness. Their diverse qualities make apples versatile and a relatively inexpensive addition to your fall grocery list.
1) Oatmeal - Add natural sweetness to your oatmeal by adding in shredded or small chunks of apple to your bowl of oatmeal.
2) Pancakes - Make your own apple compote and use in place of syrup on your pancakes.
- Heat 1 cup of water with ¼ cup of sugar in a small saucepan. Let boil for 2 minutes.
- Peel and slice 3 apples and add to the saucepan. Cover with a lid.
- Cook until soft (~10 minutes).
3) Baking - Cut up apples into small chunks (leave the skin on) and add to the batter of your bran muffins, banana, lemon or pumpkin loaves, or oatmeal cookies.
4) Sandwich - Add thinly slices apples to your grilled cheese sandwich, chicken salad sandwich, and Quesadillas.
5) Salsa – Make your own apple salsa, and enjoy as an appetizer or as a condiment for fish, chicken, turkey or pork.
- 2 Apples, diced (cut up into small ¼ inch squares)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/4 red onion, diced
- 1/2 green pepper, diced
- 1 celery stalk, diced
- 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
6) Salads – To your salad greens, add chopped apple, along with nuts (pine nuts, pecans, walnuts), celery, and dried fruit. Top with vinaigrette dressing.
7) Meatloaf – Add a shredded or cubed apple to your meatloaf or meatballs for sweetness and moisture.
8) Soups – Enjoy apples in a pumpkin soup or butternut squash soup.
9) Dried into apple chips – Slice up apples, sprinkle with sugar + cinnamon. Cook at 180 degrees F for ~2-3 hours. Apple chips are a great side dish with the soup above.
10) Baked – There are many variations of baked apples. Here is a savoury baked apple idea. Core an apple. To the core, add in cubes of camembert cheese and ham. Cover and bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.
11) As the ultimate grab-and-go, mess-free, fast food - If you don’t like biting into apples, pack along a utility knife in your lunch bag. Or, try this great trick I learned from The Kitchn blog. Cut up your apple into wedges, and secure with an elastic band until ready to eat.
Apples are delicious and nutritious. What kind will you bite into?