Apples are considered one of nature’s miracle foods - here’s why
Take a bite out of this versatile prebiotic fruit and enjoy its many benefits.
Apples! The apple tree is a deciduous tree in the rose family. Its fruit, the apple, is considered one of nature’s miracle foods and here’s why. Apples are high in vitamin C and fiber, as well as, polyphenols which function as antioxidants for your immune system. They are low in calories, have only a trace of sodium, and have no fat or cholesterol. Apples contain insoluble fiber, which provides bulk in the intestinal tract. This bulk holds water that cleanses and moves food quickly through the digestive system. In addition, apples contain soluble fiber, such as pectin, making this fruit a top prebiotic food choice. Pectin helps prevent cholesterol from building up in the lining of blood vessels, which in turn helps prevent atherosclerosis and heart disease. The antioxidant, quercetin, in apples specifically aids in respiratory issues and decreases the risk of colds and flu’s especially during change of seasons. An apple a day boosts immune system, digestive and gastrointestinal protection, respiratory and pulmonary function, and cardiovascular health, and it tastes good too!
This recipe combines apples with apple cider vinegar and cabbage, all great prebiotics, along with broccoli, a cruciferous veggie that offers its own list of benefits and celery seed, a high anti-inflammatory spice. These ingredients all work together to adjust and protect your body during the change of fall and into winter season. Try this as a non-traditional Thanksgiving side dish or an after-the-day side with the traditional turkey sandwich.
- 1 Head White Cabbage
- 1 Head Red Cabbage
- 4 Broccoli Flowerets
- 4 Carrots
- 2 Apples
- 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
- 4 Tablespoons Mayonnaise
- Pinch of Celery Seed
- Salt & Pepper to Taste
Wash and shred cabbage and broccoli and place in a colander. Add vinegar and shake through. Place in a large bowl. Wash, peel, and shred or thinly slice carrots and apples; place in bowl with cabbage. Add Dijon, mayonnaise, celery seed, salt, and pepper; mix well until all ingredients are blended.
If you still have more apples left over from apple picking season, why not treat yourself to a healthy dessert that’s easy to make.
Here, the dried fruit and spices bring it home, enhancing the apples with flavor. And, with cinnamon as a natural glucose regulator and ginger a natural digestive aid, this dessert is a guilt-free treat, you may even replace the pies.
- 4 Large Crisp Apples-Jonagold, Honeycrisp, Braeburn, Pink lady are all good choices
- 1/4 Cup Dried Fruit-raisins, cranberries, or figs
- 1/3 Cup Brown Sugar
- 1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1/4 Teaspoon Ginger
- 2 Tablespoons Butter, softened
- 1/4 Cup Apple Juice
Use a paring knife to cut a deep hole into each apple, removing the cores; this is where the filling will go. Put the apples in a shallow baking dish. Mix dried fruit, sugar, and spices and fill each apple with mixture; top each with butter. Pour apple juice into the baking dish (not on top of apples). Cover with aluminum foil and bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for about 30-35 minutes or until tender. Spoon some of the apple juice from the bottom of the pan over the apples for added flavor and top with slivered almonds or walnut pieces for added protein if desired. Makes 4 servings.
Try this quick microwavable option for one if you are in a rush or just plain hungry.
Microwave Baked Apple
- 1 Large Crisp Apple
- 1 Tablespoon Dried Fruit
- 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
- 2 Teaspoons Butter, softened
- Pinch each of Cinnamon & Ginger
Cut apple in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, remove and discard core, making at least a 1-inch indentation in apple half. On a microwavable plate, arrange apple halves, cut sides facing up; cut thin slice off bottoms to keep halves from tipping. Fill apple half evenly with dried fruit, brown sugar, & spices; top with butter. Cover with microwavable plastic wrap, folding back one edge 1/4 inch to vent steam (or use a microwave cover). Microwave on high for about 3-4 minutes or until apple is tender. Top with granola as an added crunch if desired. Makes 1 serving.