KIMBERLY YOUNG: Apples, apples, and more apples

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Fall is here — one my favorite times of the year. Actually, I like all seasons for their unique offerings. Aside from pumpkins, stews, crockpot recipes, and the turning of the leaves’ colors, apples play a big role in reminding us of fall.

Does an apple a day really keep the doctor away? Well, we know they are good for you, as Natalie stated last week, due to the presence of quercetin. This plant compound, found mainly in the skin of apples, can help prevent chronic diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s.

I don’t know about you, but just about every time I’m in the produce section at the grocery store, I see apples I’ve never heard of before. There are more than 100 varieties of apples according to the U.S. Apple Association. There are so many types of apples and ways to prepare them, you could never get bored: apple cider, caramel apples, apple strudel, apple crisp, salads tossed with apples, stuffed apples … you get the picture, and just a plain ole apple is yummy on any day. Listed below are types most known and available in our region. For more information on varieties of apples, visit the U.S. Apple Association or Washington Apple Commission.

Red Delicious: Great for snacking, this apple is crunchy and sweet, and works great in salads.

Gala: Very sweet, crisp, and versatile — good in pies, salads, for sauce, and baking.

Honeycrisp: My favorite type of apple by far! Good thing because this crisp, sweet, but slightly tart is an excellent choice for any preparation, and on its own.

Fuji: Very sweet and crunchy — can be prepared in many ways, but best for salads and snacking.

Granny Smith: Crunchy and tart, this apple is as versatile as the Honeycrisp, and most commonly used in pies. Did you know its place of origin is Australia and named after its cultivator, Australian grandmother Maria Ann Smith?

Golden Delicious: Same versatility as the Granny Smith, but considered crisp and sweet.

Opal: A newer apple, to me anyway, that is crisp and juicy with a sweet flavor and can be used as a snacking apple, in salads, pies, as a sauce, and baking.

Apple picking can be a fun activity to do as a family. Not only are you engaging in family time, but also getting some physical activity as you pick your favorite apple variety. Apples are delicious on their own, but they can also be incorporated into many recipes to please any palate. Try this recipe found on usapple.org (U.S. Apple Association, 2017).

Brainy apple avocado

breakfast salad

(usapple.org)

Ingredients

1 avocado

1 apple

1 Tbsp raisins

1 Tbsp Walnuts

1/2 Tbsp honey

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp cinnamon

Directions

Peel and chop apple. Place in bowl with a drop of water. Microwave on high for 1 minute.

Stir, microwave for 30 seconds longer.

Cool apples! This step is to make them the same texture (soft) as the avocado.

While your apples are cooling, mix together honey, vanilla, and cinnamon, until well combined.

Drain any water from your bowl of apples.

Chop your avocado and add it to the apples.

Pour honey sauce over avocados and apples.

Add raisins and walnuts, and stir gently.

Add a hard-boiled egg and some whole wheat toast strips to make this a balanced breakfast, or serve as a side dish any time of day!

Like Natalie said, we can’t tag apples as the miracle or super food, but including them in your diet as part of daily consumption of fruits and vegetables can make a positive difference in your health. It can’t be too difficult with these endless possibilities!

• • •

Kimberly Young, MS, RDN, LD, is the WIC Coordinator at Panhandle Health District and a graduate of the University of Idaho Dietetic program.

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