It’s that time of year to throw on your favorite sweatshirt and jeans and head out to the local apple orchard with your family and friends! Enjoy some quality time in the great outdoors while picking (and eating) some delicious apples!
Apples are naturally low in calories (about 80 calories for one medium apple) but high in flavor! They are also a good source of both soluble and insoluble fiber. While soluble fiber helps to prevent/lower cholesterol, insoluble fiber (found in the skin) provides bulk in the intestinal tract which helps move food more efficiently through the digestive system.There are hundreds of varieties of apples sold in the U.S. How many have you tried? This time of year provides a great opportunity to taste test new varieties because they are at the peak of freshness! Depending on the type of apple you choose, you may get very different tastes and textures. Some are sweet while others are tart, some are crisp while others are softer to the bite.
Instead of reaching for the same old packaged snack food this fall, try to incorporate an apple into your daily routine. They are extremely portable because they come in their own “natural package” and they are filling because of the fiber content. Pick some up at your local apple orchard, farmers market or grocery store today!
Recipe: Homemade Unsweetened Applesauce
5-6 whole apples, chopped in fourths (you can core them if desired)
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon lemon juice
*Add chopped apples and water to a saucepan. Bring the water to a boil and let the apples boil for about 10 minutes.
*Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, and lemon juice. Stir.
*Turn the heat down to low, leave the top off the pan, and simmer/low-boil for another 30 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.
*Remove from heat. Let the apples cool.
*Puree the apple pieces + leftover water (there shouldn’t be that much) in a food processor. They should blend easily into your finished product.
*Serve warm or chilled and enjoy!Tip: When making unsweetened applesauce, select a naturally sweet variety such as Golden Delicious, Red Delicious or Gala.
Allison Walker RD, LDN, is the Clinical Nutrition Manager at Noble Hospital. If you would like to schedule a nutrition counseling session with a registered dietitian at Noble Hospital, please call 413-568-2811 extension 5671 for more information.