Side Dish: An Apple a day… (February 14, 2011)

An Apple a day…

I thought it would be fun for the next couple of weeks to take a food-related expression and blog about it. So let’s start things off with one we all grew up with:

An Apple A Day Keeps the Doctor Away

Now I don’t know how true this is literally, but I think everyone can agree that apples are not only tasty, but good for you (especially if you eat the skin where all the fiber is!). My mom used to have an expression to steer me away from unhealthy snacks: “If you’re not hungry enough to eat an apple, you’re not hungry!”

At about 15 calories an ounce and loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber, an apple is a convenient and portable snack. Looking for ways to sneak more apples into your life? Try some of these tips:

  • Using an apple slicer is an easy way to simultaneously core an apple and cut it into 8 equal slices. Maybe it’s just me but I am more likely to eat an apple that is sliced than an apple that is whole!
  • To keep sliced apples from turning brown, toss them with some lemon juice. If that is too tart, you can substitute orange juice or even a lemon-lime soda (i.e. Sprite of 7-UP).
  • Apples pair well with cheese for a simple snack. Try string cheese for the kids and something more refined for yourself. A sliced Honeycrisp apple, some cubed cheddar and a handful of walnuts or almonds? A great snack! (Keep the portion of cheese and nuts small to limit the calories…)
  • Chopped tart apples like Granny Smiths can be put into things like chicken salad, egg salad or other mayonnaise or mustard based “salads.”
  • Make a large batch of homemade applesauce easily in a crock pot. Just chop apples (skin and all!) into bite-size pieces and cook in a crock pot for 3-4 hours. About 30 minutes before you finish, add ½ tablespoon of light brown sugar for every apple used. Stir and continue cooking.
  • When done, mash it with a fork or throw it in a food processor. You can even freeze any extra in ziplock bags until it’s ready to be eaten.