Saving the Best for Last
It is so hard to believe that this is the last week! Time sure does fly! And yet I have saved the best (or at least my favorite) fruit to talk about last, but certainly not least. Apples!
I love apples! I may have mentioned in another post how much I love apples and winter squash. Well apples are by far my favorite! Probably because I grew up surrounded by apple orchards and worked at an orchard during high school. And there are so many different varieties to try! We are fortunate that we live in a state where a University is continuously breeding the next best apple. Some of my favorites are Fireside and Regents (not sure if either are from the UofM or not). Definitely my favorites from the UofM are the Zestar and the Sweet Tango.
Apples are nutritious in that they provide us with many common nutrients found in a lot of other fruits and vegetables: Vitamin C. Vitamin C is a good antioxidant, helping to keep us healthy and free of inflammation. Apples are also a good source of fiber, the average medium size apple contains approximately 4 grams dietary fiber per day. Fiber is important for maintaining good gut health. It can help move foods through the colon more quickly and efficiently by bulking stools. It can also contribute to good heart health by helping maintain cholesterol levels.
Apples can help make baked goods slightly healthier too. Pureed apple (or applesauce) can be used in baking recipes to replace a portion of the fat. For example I will sometimes substitute ½ the butter or oil a recipe calls for with applesauce. As far as good baking varieties, I honestly use whatever I have on hand. I like to mix it up too with the tart apples and the sweet. It provides a good medley of textures in the baked goods.
Of course they are great eaten on their own, but you can include a smear of peanut butter to make a balanced more filling snack with carbohydrate, protein and some fat.