This past weekend we were blessed with some much needed sun and crisp temperatures here in the northeast. We spent our family Sunday visiting a local apple orchard. What better way to spend the last days of fall foliage than picking some fresh juicy apples! Here are some of the many health benefits of apples, as well as a few fun, easy recipes to make with the kids.
Doctor always said, “an apple a day”. Here’s why! Apples are abundant in the fall, they contain nutritious properties that have the ability to cool the body after a long, hot summer, while also cleansing the body in preparation for a cold winter, when we have a tendency to eat more food. Apples are high in calcium, vitamins A and C, quercertin ( a natural anti-inflammatory and allergy reliever), and can eleviate an upset stomach (rich in fiber). It’s the perfect snack food for young children. My son likes to eat the apple whole without cutting it up. It’s healthy for him and amusing- for both of us.
It is important to know that apples are part of the “dirty dozen”, meaning they are on the top 12 list of produce that is heavily sprayed with pesticides and chemicals. It’s best to choose organic whenever possible. Quick tip: If a sign in your grocer doesn’t say whether it’s organic, simply look at the sticker on the fruit or vegetable. If the code on the label starts with the number “9”, then it’s organic.
Keep your apples stored in your refrigerator crisper for up to 2 months.
Who has time to make apple pie? My mother-in-law recently shared this very easy and delicous apple compote recipe. I used my tart Rome and Ida Red apples from our peck of apples, but you can used any tart apple, like granny smith. My son loves this with his morning vanilla or plain yogurt. Add to your morning grain or oatmeal. If you are an icecream lover, you’re in for a real treat. Apples a la mode!
- 6 cups of diced and peeled apples
- 1/4 brown sugar (you can omit this altogether if you are watching your blood sugar or use a few teaspoons of maple syrup or agave for some added sweetness)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
- dash of salt
- 1/4 cup of water
Simmer in a medium pot for about 1/2 hour. Serve as you wish or savor alone.
APPLE QUESADELLAS (serves 2)- Your kids will love these!
- 2- 8” whole grain or whole wheat flour tortillas
- 1/2 apple cored and peeled- diced
- 1/2 cup of organic shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cooked piece of boneless chicken thinly sliced and cut into small pieces (bake in the oven on 350 degrees for 1/2 hour) *
- 1 avocado (optional)
*For vegetarian quesadellas, omit chicken and add rinsed, canned black beans instead for added protein.
Lay your tortillas out on a flat surface. Evenly divide your apples, cheese, chicken and sliced avocado onto your tortillas. Fold in half to create a moon shape.
Heat a frying pan on medium-high heat. One at a time, place your tortilla on the hot pan, cook for about 1 1/2 minutes, pressing down on the tortilla with a spatula. Flip and do the same on the other side about 1 minute. Remove from heat, allow to cool for 5 minutes, then cut into triangles- perfect for little hands.
To find an apple picking farm in your area visit PickYourOwn.org!
In good health,
- sundaypicnic posted this