The apple holds a special place in many historical and mythical realms, beginning with the biblical story of Adam and Eve. In Norse mythology, apples were believed to keep people young forever. The apple has been used as a symbol in many classic stories.
Apples are an excellent source of Vitamin C, pectin, and other fibers and are also a good source of potassium. Most of the apple’s important nutrients are contained in its skin, and raw apples are higher in many nutrients and phytochemicals as well.
The old saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” appears to be true. In more than eighty-five studies, apple consumption was shown to be consistently associated with a reduced risk of heart disease, cancel, asthma, and type 2 diabetes compared to other fruits and vegetables. Apples’ insoluble fiber and pectin both help promote bowel regularity, relieving both constipation and diarrhea.
How to Select:
There are more than twenty-five varieties of apples available in the United States. When it comes to selection, it depends on your palate whether you prefer a sweeter or more tart apple and whether you like to have your apple baked or raw. Red and Golden Delicious apples are among the sweetest, while the Braeburn and Fuji are only slightly tart. The tartest apples are the Gravenstein, Pippin, and Granny Smith. These apples retain their texture best during cooking. Apple season begins at the end of summer and runs until early winter. Apples that you see available at other times of the year have been in cold storage or imported from different parts of the world.
Quick Serving Ideas:
- Add diced apples to fruit or green salads.
- Lightly sauté slices from one apple with one diced potato and onion.
- Lightly sauté slices from one apple with a few raisins, sprinkle with ground cinnamon, cloves, or ginger, add a few chopped walnuts, then use as a filling for a nutritious omelet.
- For an unusual dessert, skewer apple chunks on cinnamon sticks and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes
- Sliced apples and cheese are a favorite European dessert.
Source: Murray, M. (2006) The Condensed Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. New York, Pocket Books.