Making the Perfect Apple Bread

To freeze...Wrap in plastic and aluminum foil..can be frozen for up to three months.

Making the Perfect Baked Apples

The perfect baked apples are an apple lover’s dream…and a chef’s pleasure to make whenever they are too lazy, like me, or don’t want to take the time to make an actual apple pie.

 

 

 

The perfect baked apple pie is a sweet, warm, and delicious apple….topped with delicious spices like cinnamon, fresh ginger, and nutmeg…and finally served with a generous portion of vanilla ice cream or homemade caramel sauce (see recipe below)…

 

 

 

The perfect baked apple a a simple, old-fashioned dessert that has all the deliciousness of the filling of an apple pie…yet takes a whopping five minutes to make.

 

 

 

Not only are baked apples definitely a treat to eat, but they also fill your home with a great aroma.

 

 

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Gather Your Ingredients

1/4C brown sugar

1tsp spices—such as cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg

2Tbsp butter

3/4C boiling water or apple cider

7 apples

2Tbsp lemon juice

Optional Ingredients…1/4C chopped walnuts or pecans, chopped raisin, dried cranberries

Choose the Right Apples

In order to make baked apples, guess what you must first have…

 

Apples…duh(?!)

 

But how do you decide which apples to choose?!

 

You want to make sure that you don’t choose an apple that will turn to mush so fast they explode out of their skins…but you also want to choose an apples that stays too firm.

 

Instead the apple that you choose to make your baked apples should be able to become nice and soft inside, but still maintain its shape.

 

Typically the best apples to choose are firm, crisp and tart apples—such as Gala apples, Fuji apples, and Granny Smith apples.

 

You’ll need one apple per person….which means that you can cook anywhere from one to one hundred…if you have a baking dish that will actually hold one hundred apples.

 

 

 

 

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Hollow Out Your Apples

Peel and core apples.

 

 

First use a paring knife or apple corer to carefully remove the core of the apple…and then to thinly slice the apple lengthwise.

 

 

Be sure not to slice all the way through the apple…if you do, you will have sliced apples…not an apple that you can actually stuff with sugar and spice and everything nice…instead leave about 1/2″ of the apple intact at the bottom.

 

 

Remove the core and seeds. You can do this with either the sharp edges of a 1/2tsp measuring spoon or a small melon baller.

 

 

Place apples in big enough dish that will hold all of your apples without the apples touching each other.

 

 

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Fill Your Apples

Now for the sugar and spice and everything nice…

 

I guess you could really fill each apples with whatever you want…whatever spices, butter, sugar, currants, chopped raisins, chopped pecans, dried cranberries, walnuts

 

Stir these together in a large bowl andf then add a pinch or two to each apple.

 

Top each stuffed apple with 1/2 Tbsp butter,

 

 

 

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Bake Your Apples

Pour about 1″ of liquid around the apples. This not only will keep the apple from charring and sticking to the baking dish as it bakes, but will also help make your apples turn out softer—such as water, apple cider, a splash of bourbon or brandy.

 

Bake the apples at 350°F oven for about 40 to 45 minutes, until they are soft, but not mushy. Test them by piercing them with a fork.

 

 

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Serve Your Apples

Once your apples have finished baking, take them out of the oven and let them sit for five to ten minutes.

 

 

Baste the apples with the juices from the pan.

 

 

Then serve with something cold and creamy—such as heavy cream, ice cream, or yogurt.

 

 

Baked apples are best when served fresh, but leftovers can last in the refrigerator for up to four days or in the freezer up to a month.

 

 

To reheat your baked apples, either cook them  in the microwave or bake at 350 until warmed through.

 

 

Making the Perfect Apple Butter

Apple Pickin’ Time

 

 

 

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There’s an App(le) for That

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    • How Apples Can Differ

      • Color…Although you typically think of apples as being either red or Granny Smith green, you  can also find yellow, pink, gold, pink, scarlet extremely dark crimson/ purple, and white.
      • Size…Commercial growers typically try to grow apples that are anywhere from 2″ to 314″ in diameter.
      • Taste… sweet or sour…“bold” versus “hints” of tartness…such as tart and astringent cider apples
      • Use…Some apples are made for cooking…while other are best for either making cider or eating fresh.

     

     

     

     

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    Where Apples are Grown

    Apples are grown in all 50 states….but the state of Washington reigns as the leader of the pack…growing about half the apples grown in the United States.

    As far as countries other than the United State, the top producers are China, Turkey, and Poland.

     

     

     

     

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    Where to Store Apples

    • The expression that “one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch” is true.
    • Apples that are bruised or damaged release ethylene gas, which speeds up the ripening of nearby apples that have not been damaged…meaning that the entire group of apples ripens too quickly. So it is important that you remove any damaged apples from the group.
    • The one thing that I have learned that I have been doing wrong for decades is not storing my apples in the fridge…more specifically store them in the fridge at temperatures of about 35°–40°F.
    • If you store apples in the fridge, your apples will last for a couple of weeks.
    • Add a damp cheesecloth to the crisper bin of your fridge. This will help maintain moisture and keep your produce fresher longer.

One Apple Up on Top

Okay, so now we know the nutritional value of apples, let’s talk about the different things that eating apples and these nutrients can help prevent or make better, for lack of a better word.

In other words, how apples can keep you on top of your game.

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Cancer

Apples are a good source of antioxidants…which may help lower your risk of getting cancer….as well as prevent new cancer cells from forming and keep existing cancer cells from forming.

 

 

In fact eating apples can lower your risk of getting colorectal and breast cancers by about twenty perfect.

 

 

Adding more apples to your diet may help prevent the oxidative stress that causes cell damage and leads to the development of certain cancers—including lung cancerbreast cancer, colorectal cancer, and cancer of the digestive tract.

Perhaps If Eve Had Read the Nutrition Label of Apples to Adam, They Would Have Dared to Eat Two of Them

apple on a tree

  • We’ve all heard that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” but do you know where this expression came from..what nutrients this nutritional powerhouse contains that are so good for you, what ailments this “miracle food” can help either prevent or help manage.

 

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  • An Apple a Day
  • This expression supposedly originated in 19th-century Wales, where the original phrase was “Eat an apple on going to bed, and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread….then changed to “an apple a day, no doctor to pay”…”an apple a day sends the doctor away”;
  • Funny how certain words can mean different things during different timeframes…kinda like the word “gay” meaning joyful and glad back in the Roaring Twenties to what the word means today, right?!
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    Nutrition

     
    Calories 100
    25 grams
    Sugars 10.39
    Dietary Fiber 4 grams
    0.17 g
    0.26 g
    Vitamins Quantity%DV
    Vitamin A equiv.

    0%

    3 μg

    0%

    27 μg

    29 μg
    Thiamine (B1)
    1%

    0.017 mg

    Riboflavin (B2)
    2%

    0.026 mg

    Niacin (B3)
    1%

    0.091 mg

    Pantothenic acid (B5)
    1%

    0.061 mg

    Vitamin B6
    3%

    0.041 mg

    Folate (B9)
    1%

    3 μg

    Vitamin C
    6%

    4.6 mg

    Vitamin E
    1%

    0.18 mg

    Vitamin K
    2%

    2.2 μg

    Minerals Quantity%DV
    Calcium
    1%

    6 mg

    Iron
    1%

    0.12 mg

    Magnesium
    1%

    5 mg

    Manganese
    2%

    0.035 mg

    Phosphorus
    2%

    11 mg

    Potassium
    2%

    107 mg

    Sodium
    0%

    1 mg

    Zinc
    0%

    0.04 mg

    Other constituents Quantity
    Water 85.56 g

    Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.

     

     

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    Fiber

    Apples are high in fiber—both insoluble and soluble. A single medium-sized apple contains about four grams of fiber…17%DV.

     

     

     

    Fiber helps manage blood pressure, reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, helps you stay “full” and as a result helping you lose weight, lowering blood sugar levels and boosting digestive function.

     

     

     

    Insoluble fiber provides bulk in the intestinal tract and helps food move quickly through the digestive system…soluble fiber helps prevent cholesterol from building up in the lining of blood vessels, meaning that it can help prevent atherosclerosis and heart disease.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    Vitamins and Minerals

    The two key vitamins and minerals in apples are vitamin C and potassium.

     

     

     

    Vitamin C, which as we already know, can really boost the immune system and help defend the body from infections and diseases…as well as protect the health of your heart.

     

     

     

    Potassium, which may benefit heart health when consumed in high amounts.

     

     

     

    Apples also provide 2–4% of the RDI for other vitamins and minerals—including manganese, iron, copper, and the vitamins A, E, B1, B2, and B6.

    Antioxidants

    Apples contain many different antioxidants, including…

     

     

     

    Catechin…a natural antioxidant also found in green tea that has been shown to improve brain and muscle function.

     

     

     

    Chlorogenic acid…another natural antioxidant also found in coffee that has been found to lower blood sugar and cause weight loss.

     

     

     

    Quercetin…an antioxidant also found in many other plant foods that has anti-inflammatory, antiviral, anticancer, and antidepressant effects.

 

An Apple a Day

Okay, so getting back to the Raw Foods Pyramid and more specifically  the lessons that ROYGBIV taught us about nutrition, we’re gonna start looking at these foods by color…starting with red…and working through the alphabet because I’m obsessive-compulsive like that.

 

 

 

We all know what an apple is…(even though many of us are confused by the enormous variety of apples lurking in your local grocery store’s produce aisle since they can be found in different shape, color, and texture….(more of apples to actually buy for cooking what later)…

 

 

 

We’ve all heard the story of Adam and Eve in the garden eating the “forbidden fruit,”…perhaps an apple…

 

 

 

And apples have religious and mythological significance in many cultures, including NorseGreek and European Christian tradition….

 

 

 

And we probably have all seen Renaissance paintings with apples…

 

 

 

But do you know the history of apples in America?

 

 

 

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As American as Apple Pie

Apples were introduced to North America by colonists in the 17th century,

 

 

 

Before Christopher Columbus and all of the other Europeans started invading America, the only apples native to North America were what we know as crab apples…(pretty crappy…would probably make me crabby…how about you?!)

 

 

 

As Europeans began moving into America, they brought apples and apple seeds with them….and began planting them in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

 

 

 

 

 

The first apple orchard in the United State was planted in Boston by Reverend William Blaxton in 1625.

 

 

 

Today apple farming is a multibillion-dollar industry.

 

 

 

 

Apples are crunchy, bright-colored, and one of the most popular fruits in the United States.

ROYGBIV Taught Us How to Live

So now that we know what beta-carotene is and why we need it, we get to the fun part…learning which fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices have the most beta-carotene.

 

Actually the best way to make sure that you are getting the most nutrients in your diet…and the easiest way to shop for these foods…is to “eat the rainbow.”

 

Red/Purple fruits and vegetabls include…

  • beets
  • black olives
  • blackberries
  • blueberries
  • cranberries
  • currants

  • dark cherries

  • dates

  • eggplant
  • passionfruit
  • prunes
  • plums
  • purple carrots
  • purple figs
  • purple grapes and grape juice
  • raisins
  • raspberries
  • red (purple) cabbage

 

Beta-Carotene…The Why

 

 

 

 

Age-related macular degeneration, also known as AMD, an eye disease that leads to vision loss in older adults…There has been much debate as to whether or not adding beta-carotene to your diet will help prevent vision loss and lessen the effects of AMD. Some researchers believe that  taking high doses of beta carotene…in addition to other nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, and copper…may reduce the risk of advanced AMD by twenty-five percent.

Cancer...According to the National Cancer Institute, the antioxidants found in beta carotene may help lower the risk of breast and ovarian cancer in post-menopaulsal women.
Cognitive functionBeta carotene also may slow down cognitive decline. Studies have shown that those who have been taking beta carotene supplements regularly, for at least fifteen years, are much less likely to experience cognitive decline.
Lungs…High levels of beta-carotene can also help precent damage to the lungs because of its antioxidant content. Research has shown that those with higher beta carotene blood levels help reduce the decline of FEV1, a measurement how much air you can breathe out at one time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Skin…Beta carotene has been shown to help prevent skin damage and contribute to maintenance of skin health and appearance because of its antioxidant properties.