First, a moment of silence to honor Steve Jobs, the co-founder, visionary and technological whiz that created Apple Computer, who died yesterday.
Like many people, Apple products fill our house. I’m typing this on a MacBook Pro. I have Apple TV, an iPhone, iPod and all my kids have an iTouch. We are such fans of all-things-Apple that we have numerous older versions of iPods scattered around the house like dirty socks, stuffed in drawers, old gym bags and in between the cushions of the sofa. I love the products he created, I admire his vision and passion and am deeply saddened by his passing.
As a small tribute, I dedicate this blog to him. The topic of course, is the apple.
The end of summer marks the end of berry season—a sad moment indeed. But luckily, apple season is in full swing.
Apples have been around since, well, since Adam and Eve. Maybe it’s because of this history, this ancient reputation and familiarity that they fell out of favor. The media, always looking for splashy new headlines, has recently been espousing the attributes of more exotic fruits like pomegranate, acai berry and goji berry.
Sometimes old stuff is really just that, old and tired, like my stirrup pants and big hair. Those relics belong in the past never to be seen again. But sometimes, old stuff is a classic, like the little black dress and Chanel No. 5. The apple might not be fancy, but it’s a classic. One that has a plethora of health benefits deserving of its adage at keeping the doctor away.
A recent study found that eating apples lowers cholesterol levels, plaque and inflammation in artery walls. Another study published by Dianne A. Hyson, PhD, RD, a nutritionist and researcher at the University of California at Davis, states that “in addition to their cardiovascular benefits, there’s some evidence that apples help regulate blood sugar and control appetite, protect against cancer and safeguard the lungs.”
And they’re full of fiber, Vitamin C, potassium, calcium, iron, Vitamin A, thiamin, magnesium and phosphorus.
Huh. And here I thought they were just a simple, easy snack to throw in my kid’s lunchbox.
Since we’re in the heart of apple season might I suggest an outing this weekend? Apple picking. We love Carter Mountain Orchard outside Charlottesville. On a sunny day it’s absolutely beautiful and there’s something about gathering your own food, seeing how it’s grown and enjoying the outdoors that make this a fun, family activity.
Carter Mountain is Open Daily from 9:00 am — 6:00 pm. (Extended hours on Saturday and Sunday, 8:00 am – 7:00 pm). Click here for directions.
Golden Delicious, Jonagold, Fuji, Granny Smith, Stayman, York and Winesap varieties are ready now. (My favs are Golden Delicious, Jonagold and Fuji).
If you’re not quite sure what to do with all those apples, try making homemade applesauce. It’s really easy and if you select sweeter varieties you don’t need to add sugar. E.g., sweet apples are Red Delicious, Gala, Fuji, Winesap, McIntosh, Golden Delicious, Honeycrisp and Pink Lady. Use a mix of apple varieties for a really flavorful dish.
Here’s a quick and easy applesauce recipe.
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• 4 apples, cored, peeled and chopped
• ½ teaspoon nutmeg
• 2 tablespoons water
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until apples become very tender, about 30 minutes. Puree in a food processor or mash with a potato masher.