Cooking with Apples

With a little imagination a fresh juicy apple can be incorporated into any recipe to add a touch of sweetness, tartness or crunch. Of course this wonderfully healthy fruit is great just as it is, but when tossed into a salad, baked with sweet potatoes or simmered in soup this versatile fruit adds a fabulous surprise of flavor. 

It’s no secret that apples contain many beneficial nutrients such as polyphenols and pectin that have proved to help lower cholesterol levels in the bloodstream. These plant sterols and stanols also help to keep blood sugar in check since they are metabolized slowly in the digestive system, reducing blood sugar spikes and maintaining a steady level of energy. So adding a little apple to any meal is one great way to make a dish healthier and with so many different apples to choose from (7000 varieties) there should be an apple for every recipe.

Apples such as Granny Smith and Pippins are slightly tart which makes them pair perfectly with a sweet vegetable like yams, sweet potatoes or butternut squash. Sweet apples like Red Delicious are great in salads. This recipe is very easy o make and goes well with any meat dish or light creamy pasta.

♥ Crispy apple and sweet potato bake

Ingredients for 4 servings

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees

3 large sweet potatoes or yams, (preferably organic) cleaned and cut into 1 inch pieces with the skin intact.

4 large tart apples cleaned but not skinned, then cut into 2 inch pieces (discard the core).

1/4 cup of canola oil

1 TBS butter

1/2 TBS cinnamon

1/2 TBS brown sugar

Pinch of salt and pepper

In a large enough bowl add the potatoes and the apples, then the remaining ingredients.

Mix all of the ingredients well until everything is coated.

Pour into a shallow baking dish and bake uncovered for the first 10 minutes, then cover for 20 minutes.

When the sweet potatoes are soft uncover again to get them a bit crispy on top, the apples will become very soft and sweet.

Toss together before serving

Talk about flavor surprises, this dish will have everyone asking for the recipe!

♥ Sweet apple, French lentil-brown and red rice simmer

Ingredients for 4 servings

4 and 1/4 cups salted water

1 and 1/4 cups short grain brown rice

1/2 cup Bhutanese red rice

2 tablespoons dry French lentils

1 sweet apple skinned and cut into very small pieces

1 and 1/2 TBS butter

Bring the water to a boil

Add the butter and stir slowly

Add the brown and red rice, then the lentils and reduce the heat to a high simmer

Stir in the apple, then cover the pot and cook for approximately 30 minutes or until the water has been absorbed. Do not overcook, the rice should be fluffy when ready.

Serve warm topped with a drizzle of walnut or grape seed oil if desired.

These two apple recipes are full of flavor as well as nutrients and they satisfy the taste buds since they add a little sweetness to the meal. This can prevent people from craving a sweet dessert. Fresh sliced apples can keep their clean white color when a tablespoon of lemon is sprinkled on them, so keep them ready for snacks or toss them into a garden salad for a crunchy juicy burst of flavor.