An Apple a Day in Two Different Ways
Every week I am excited to see more heirloom apple varieties popping up at farmers markets and in my Full Circle Farm-to-Table order. I love the possibility that an abundance of apples creates: applesauce, apple butter, apple chips, baked apples, waldorf salad, beet and apple soup, apple relish, or just plain old apple slices smeared with peanut butter.
It is disappointing that apples often get overlooked; sitting on grocery store shelves year-round, embodying the nothing special attitude we take towards foods that have been stripped of their seasonal uniqueness. They no longer announce the presence of fall, or are treasured for their fresh crisp flavor at a time when most fruits are going out of season.
However, for me, and hopefully for increasingly more of you, there is still excitement in the acquisition of the season’s first apple harvest. Not only do I relish the astounding variety of flavors and varieties, I know that apples are an easy, great-tasting and versatile food that pack a healthy punch for their size (see Monday’s post for more information on the health benefits of apples).
To prove it to you, and help you enjoy the versatility of this fine fruit, here are some of my favorite recipes that use apples in unexpected ways that are fun for the whole family to enjoy.
Recipe adapted from an original I came across on eatingrules.com
- 1 cup whole, steel cut oats
- 4 cups water
- 1 large apple, diced (variety of your choice)
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- ½ tsp ground dried ginger
- 2 tbsp flax seeds
- ½ cup raisins, dried cherries, date pieces or dried cranberries
- ½ cup toasted walnuts, almonds or the nut of your choice
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Combine all ingredients in a large oven-proof baking dish. Place in the oven and bake for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let rest for a few minutes before serving. Sprinkle the nuts on top and stir in a bit of raw honey, coconut sugar or maple syrup if you like and enjoy!
- *This recipe is great for kids, as well as adults and contains a great balance of whole grains, protein and natural sugars. It will start your day off on the right foot, get your metabolism running efficiently and keep you satiated longer than processed cereals will.
Recipe adapted from original in Tamara Murphy’s cookbook, Tender
- 3 large apples, diced (I like to use Gingergolds for this)
- 1 large bell pepper, diced (any color will work)
- ½ cup golden raisins
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- ½ tsp hot smoked paprika
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- Combine all ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl. Let sit for at least 20 minutes before using so the flavors have time to marinate.
- *This relish is amazing on top of crusty bread smeared with soft cheese or served with pork chops, chicken or white fish. I like to use the relish on sandwiches and in wraps and salads as well.