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Does an apple-a-day really keep the doctor away?

Food and Health Communications

As more is learned about nutrition, it seems there may be a lot of truth in this old saying. An apple is a good source of fiber, and provides a valuable source of vitamin C, several B vitamins, as well as potassium, iron, magnesium and phosphorous.

Here are some fun nutrition facts about apples:

  1. An apple provides about 5 grams of fiber. Peeling the apple removes half of the fiber.

  2. Most of the fiber in an apple is soluble fiber, which may help lower blood cholesterol levels.

  3. An apple provides one sixth of the RDA for vitamin C.

  4. An apple is an important source of potassium and magnesium, minerals that may help control high blood pressure.

  5. A medium apple contains only about 80 calories- not bad for all those nutrients.

Which apple should I buy?

While the Red Delicious is the most familiar apple, there are many other varieties of apples available. Here is a look at some new and different varieties of apples. Availability varies around the country.

  • If you want an apple that works well as a snack, along with cooking and baking, try the fruity Gala.

  • Looking for a deliciously sweet all-purpose apple? The Fuji apple is just that. It’s excellent sweet flavor, makes a tasty snack when eaten raw, and it adds flavor when chopped up in salads. It’s also ideal for baking and cooking, and is a favorite for making applesauce.

  • The Braeburn is also dual purpose. It holds its shape during cooking and baking; additionally it is very tasty raw. For the most perfect cooking apple, try the Granny Smith. It is the apple of choice for recipes specifying firm and tart.

  • For salads and fruit trays, choose the Cortland, a crisp, tart apple that resists browning when cut.

  • When 24 international apple researchers were polled as to what they considered the 10 best apple varieties in the world, the Jonagold apple was rated number one. It’s firm juicy flesh makes Jonagold a good all-purpose apple; its taste ranges from sweet to tart.

  • Add an interesting twist to your next apple cobbler or salad by combining several apple varieties. The blend of different flavors and textures makes an exciting taste adventure.

10 ways to enjoy apples:

  1. Slice an apple very thin and use in place of jelly on a peanut butter sandwich.

  2. Chop an apple and add it to pancake or waffle batter.

  3. Grate apples into coleslaw.

  4. Dip apple wedges in low fat vanilla yogurt.

  5. Add shredded apple to a grilled cheese sandwich.

  6. Make Waldorf salad with apples, low-fat vanilla yogurt and walnuts.

  7. Add chopped apples to chicken or tuna salad.

  8. Add grated apples to meat loaf.

  9. Sprinkle chopped apples over low-fat vanilla ice cream and top with cinnamon.

  10. Add grated apples to macaroni and cheese before baking.

Apple Salad 3 cups diced apples 1/3 cup nonfat Greek yogurt 1/3 cup dark seedless raisins 1/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans 1 Tbsp lemon juice

Toss diced apples in lemon juice. Combine remaining ingredients and chill for 2 hours before serving. Garnish with a little ground cinnamon.

Apple Pilaf 2 Fuji apples, diced, unpeeled 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms 1/2 cup onion 1/4 cup celery 1 tsp poultry seasoning 1/4 tsp thyme 1/4 tsp pepper 3 cups cooked brown rice

Lightly spray a nonstick skillet with cooking oil and heat over medium heat. Saute diced apples, mushrooms, onion and celery for about one minute. Add poultry seasoning, thyme and pepper. Stir in rice and heat through. Makes 6 servings.

Project to enjoy with children:

Apple Dip Ingredients:

2 apples, cored and cut in wedges

1 cup nonfat, light vanilla yogurt

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Equipment: Mixing bowl

Kitchen spoon

Serrated kitchen knife

Cutting board

Plates and napkins for serving

Directions: 1. Have everyone wash his or her hands. 2. Mix yogurt and cinnamon. 3. Serve apple wedges with cinnamon yogurt and enjoy

Options: You can serve other fruits besides the apples.

Lessons: This is a great way to use fresh fruits and makes a great snack for kids.

Learn more about health eating - call our Health & Wellness Team at 724-841-0980 x 110. Our classes are free and centered on your needs. Call us today to become a healthier You!

Copyright, reprinted with permission

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