Core Fact about Apples
By:Anne Zander, Family & Consumer Science Extension Agent, Boulder County
You’ve heard, “An apple a day will keep the doctor away.” While it will certainly take more than a daily apple to keep you healthy, it is a step in the right direction. Apples are delicious, easy to carry for snacking, low in calories, a natural mouth freshener, and they are available at markets, grocery stores, and orchards!
Apples are a source of both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber helps to prevent the buildup of cholesterol and reduces the risk of heart disease. The insoluble fiber in apples helps food move quickly through the digestive system, reducing the risk of some types of cancers and improving diges-tive health.
It is a good idea to eat washed apples with their skin. Almost half of the vitamin C content is just underneath the skin. Eating the skin also increases insoluble fiber content.
There are hundreds of varieties of apples, although most people have only tasted one or two of the most popular types. Apples can be sweet, tart, soft and smooth or crisp and crunchy, depending on the one you choose.
TOP 8 REASONS TO ENJOY AN APPLE
- Contains natural sugars called fructose
- Only 80 calories
- No artificial colors or flavors
- Excellent source of fiber
- Convenient, satisfying snack
Tips for Success: Storing apples
Apples keep best when refrigerated. Store them in a plastic bag or the drawer to keep them fresh. Check them often. Remove any decayed apples. One rotten ap-ple can indeed spoil the whole barrel!
Why do apples turn brown after they have been cut?
When an apple is cut, compounds found in the apple, are released from the cell and cause a browning reaction on the fruit when exposed to oxygen. The more Vit-amin C the apple contains, the less the browning may occur. Dipping apple slices in a solution of 50% water and 50% ascorbic acid (vitamin C) or full strength lemon juice will help prevent browning.
Apples are one of nature’s best snack foods that can help reduce childhood obesity. They are firm, sweet, tart, portable, packed with vitamins and fiber and water. How do we encourage kids to eat more apples? Turns out the answer may be simple: Slice them up!
Researchers from Cornell University discovered elementary students will eat significantly more apples if they are served in ready-to-eat pieces. For the study, school cafeterias were asked to cut apples into six pieces. Apple sales in those schools jumped an aver-age of 61%. More importantly, the number of students who ate more than half of their apple jumped 73% when the fruit was cut up.
Recipes for Health
Peanut Butter Apple Dip
- 1 package (8 ounces) low-fat cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup crunchy peanut butter
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar or honey or applesauce
- ¼ cup low-fat milk, if needed to thin the dip
- Apples, cored and sliced
- In a mixing bowl, combine the first 4 ingredients
- Mix well.
- Serve with sliced apples. Store leftover dip in refrigerator.
Adapted from Washington Apple Commission
Gluten-Free Apple Crisp
- ½ cup quick-cooking oats (gluten-free)
- ¼ cup rice flour
- ¼ cup tapioca flour
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ¾ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/3 cup butter
- 4 medium-sized gala apples or your favorite variety
- *Optional: add some raisins or cranraisins
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- For the topping, mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Cut butter into the dry mixture.
- Peel the apples, and cut them into ¼” slices. Spread the sliced apples in a buttered 9”x9” baking dish. Sprinkle the topping on the sliced apples. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes (or until apple slices are tender and the toppings are golden brown).
- Serve warm or cold.
Adapted from Kendall Anderson Nutrition Center