The old saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” may have more validity than we think an old wives’ tale might merit. In fact, there is actually a scientific basis for heeding that advice! Eating apples can help improve bowel function, because of the fiber and phytonutrients present in apples. For the same reason, a diet that includes apples may help reduce the risk of Type II diabetes, stroke, asthma and even prostate cancer.
Pectin, which is a soluble fiber in apples, helps lower cholesterol levels. Antioxidants found in apples may improve lung function and reduce the risk of such respiratory diseases as chronic obstruction pulmonary disease. Believe it or not, apples have also been found to play a role in preventing wrinkles and promoting hair growth die to one of the compounds present in apples.
The Apple – Perfect Breakfast Food
For a yummy and nutritious breakfast, grate an apple into pancake batter and mix in some cinnamon for delicious, sweet tasting pancakes that you won’t even need to add syrup to. Of course, you could use apple butter instead of syrup on your pancakes, or even top pancakes or waffles with fried apples. Chop up an apple and mix it in your oatmeal for a healthy, slightly sweet breakfast that will keep you going all morning.
The Apple – Perfect Lunch Food
An apple can be part of a healthy and nutritious lunch whether you’re eating on the run, sitting at your desk, or taking a break from housework in the middle of the day. Apple slices with cheese cubes and few crackers make a great lunch that will fill you up and satisfy your sweet tooth. An even more convenient grab-and-go lunch: wash one apple; dry and eat!
The Apple – Perfect Dinner Food
Wash, peel and core apples. Slice the apples and drop in a saucepan with some water and a bit of brown sugar. Add cinnamon if you like, or even pumpkin pie spice. Voila! Applesauce you can serve warm or cold as a side dish at dinner. Core and chop apples, mix with chopped celery, walnuts, mayonnaise and honey to make a Waldorf salad.
The Apple – Perfect Dessert Food
Of course, everyone loves apple pie! There a so many variations possible that you could have apple pie often and never get tired of it! French apple pie has two crusts, with vanilla icing on the top. Dutch apple pie includes a single crust with sweetened crumb topping. Apple pie is also wonderful with a slice of cheddar cheese melted on top. The best way to eat a slice of apple pie, though, is heated with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Another great dessert to make with apples is Apple Crisp. Slice up apples, add brown sugar, flower, brown sugar, cinnamon (and even uncooked oatmeal) to the top and bake. For the true apple lover, and an inexpensive, yet elegant dessert is to core 1 apple per person, place in baking dish, stuff the centers with cinnamon, raisins (and nuts-optional), top with a syrup of honey, brown sugar and apple juice and bake about 40 minutes at 350 degrees.
The Apple – Perfect Snack Food
I’ve already mentioned the grab-and-go method: eat an apple on the run. The cheese cubes and apple slices would also be a great snack in smaller portions than for lunch. I personally love apple slices dipped in caramel dip or a dip made from equal parts softened cream cheese and marshmallow cream.
An extra special treat that is delicious and a State Fair standard is a caramel dipped apple. These are guaranteed to pull out any dental work, but boy are they worth it!
So apples are juicy and sweet and great eaten alone or prepared for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. They also offer tremendous health benefits. So, be sure to eat an apple a day to maintain your health, or maybe even two or more!