Wednesday, March 5, 2014

An Apple a Day, ...

You know the rest.  But here goes - "keeps the doctor away."  And recent studies have shown that to be true.  So let's go over just a few of the benefits of eating apples.

Apples contain:

Pectin - soluble fiber that lowers both blood pressure and glucose levels.  It can also lower the levels of LDL, or "bad" cholesterol in the body.

Boron - supports strong bones and a healthy brain.

Quercetin - This nutrient shows promise for reducing the risk of various cancers, including cancers in the lungs and breast. It may also reduce free radical damage.

Vitamin C - Vitamin C boosts immunity, which helps maintain overall health.

Phytonutrients - Apples are rich in a variety of phytonutrients, including vitamins A and E and beta carotene. These compounds fight damage from free radicals and can have a profound affect on health, including reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes and asthma.

Apples also act as a toothbrush, cleaning teeth and killing bacteria in the mouth, which may reduce the risk of tooth decay. They're also low in calories.

(All of the above taken from www.howstuffworks.com.)

So with this knowledge and a basket full of apples, I decided to get busy preparing the apples for snacks rather than letting them go bad.  Here is what I did.


Unfortunately, we had to throw out a couple of the apples due to soft spots which had formed over time. But the majority of them were good.  So we washed them and set about preparing them for snacks.


First thing was to find the apple corer.  I got this not long ago and it is a wonderful invention.  Ergonomically designed to fit in your hand well and good, clean, simple design.


One clean swipe through each apple and the seed core was removed.


We continued through the batch, coring each apple and moving swiftly.  The necessity for moving swiftly is that apples are one of the fruits whose flesh turns brown very quickly after exposure to air.  This is a natural reaction by the fruit once it is damaged by being cut.  Some apples brown faster than others.


These gala apples are one of the varieties which brown very quickly after being sliced.  You can retard this browning by sprinkling them with sugar or introducing a light, simple syrup.  But I didn't want to do that. Being diabetic, I try to keep sugar at a minimum.


So I used a lemon.  It works just as well as the sugar or syrup.


I placed the apple slices in a bowl and squeezed a half of a very ripe lemon over them.  The riper the lemon, the more juice.  I actually wanted to add a little more lemon but did not have any more fresh lemons, so I used a little lemon concentrate from the refrigerator.  The lemon juice enhances the natural flavor of the apple.  This is a delicious way to prepare your apples.


Gave them a good toss and them placed them in a Ziploc bag with the juice from the bowl.  Sealed the bag and shook it around to make sure they were all covered and placed the bag into the refrigerator.

So there you have it.  This is how you store your apple slices.

NOTE:  I found a recipe at Ginny's (www.ginnys.com) called Apple Cream Cake which sounds positively delicious.  We will be making that recipe with these apple slices in the next few days.  So tune in for how it turns out and for the recipe.  We need to add Ginny's as one of our favorite retail shops!!!  We LOVE Ginny's!!
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