Apples are often referred to as the forbidden fruit but these days, with a range of new and heavily publicised superfoods, the humble apple has much been forgotten.
In an attempt to revive the wholesome goodness of apples, Washington Apple Commission together with consultant dietician Indra Balaratnam and local celebrity Sazzy Falak, spent an afternoon at the “Apple of my Eye” event, discussing the benefits of apples along with a series of recipe tutorials that were both healthy and easy to make.
Most of us find that time is an issue when it comes to eating healthy, especially modern women who juggle both career and family. Plus, it’s often said that it’s expensive to eat healthy. “We need to be constantly reminded that good nutrition starts with the basics. For women constantly on the move and in search of nutritional balance in their day, apples have key nutrients that can positively contribute to their health and wellbeing,” says Indra who runs The Food Expert Clinic.
Sazzy being a busy mother of twins tries to find balance in her busy work schedule but is a huge believer in instilling healthy eating habits in her kids. “I am fortunate my twins love apples. For parents whose children might be picky eaters, I’d suggest for them to mask the apples in their food. You can puree, or dice the apples and mix them with other foods they might enjoy. Apple makes [a] great addition to healthier meals. For instance, I always add apple juice instead of sugar to my cooking, or substitute sliced apples for chips when I snack.” The petite actress also lets out a secret of hers – she dips sliced apples in peanut butter as a snack for both her kids and herself.
So how much can you get out of an apple? Did you know that one apple contains the following nutrients?
- Full of antioxidants
- 130 calories
- No fats and trans fat
- No cholesterol
- No sodium
- 2% calcium
- 5 grams fiber
- 260mg potassium
- 1 gram protein
- 2% Vitamin A
- 2% Vitamin C
- 2% iron
If you still need a reason to munch on an apple, we’ll give you three! Here are the recipes we learned to make at the super fun and enlightening session!
1. Apple Salad Waist Whittler
Great for those who are salad fans! Did you know that women who ate 3 apples a day lost more weight on a low-calorie diet compared to women who did not eat fruit? (Nutrition, 2003). This simple salad debunks the myth that eating healthy will break the bank!
For the salad:
- 1 bag assorted salad leafy greens
- 1 red & 1 green apple
- 1 cup yellow capsicum
- 1/2 cup shredded carrots
- 1 Japanese cucumber, sliced
- 1 cup chick peas
- 1 boiled egg, chopped
- Sliced almonds and raisins
For the vinaigrette:
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons mustard
- 1 clove garlic, crushed or minced
- Touch of honey to taste
- Black pepper for seasoning
Mix the vinaigrette in a jar and set aside. Assemble the ingredients for the salad and toss with dressing before serving. It’s that simple and it tastes awesome!
2. Fruit and Nut Nibblers
If you’re looking for a snack that isn’t packed with artificial flavours and sodium, give this easy peasy heart healthy recipe a try. Those who consume more apples have a higher chance of preventing death caused by coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease! (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2007)
- 2 red apples
- 1 cup seedless grapes
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup cranberries (dried or fresh)
- 100 grams walnuts
- Cinnamon sugar
Place ingredients in a bowl and sprinkle liberally with cinnamon sugar. Toss to combine. This recipe is so versatile you can replace any ingredients that you don’t have in your fridge or pantry. Alternatively, top up this sweet snack with Greek yogurt.
3. Apple Raisin Smoothie Cleanse
The third and final recipe we learned is a wonderful smoothie that does wonders for your digestive health and whether you’re having it for breakfast or after your workout session, your body will thank you. “The pectin fiber in apples becomes prebiotic material which good bacteria feed on to allow them to replicate and thrive in the intestines” (BMC Microbiology, 2010).
- 1 cup fat free yogurt
- 1 cup 100% sugar free apple juice (more if needed)
- 1 apple
- 2 tablespoons oat bran powder
- 2 tablespoons raisins
Place all ingredients in a blender and blitz away! Pour into a tall glass and enjoy.
Washington apples are available in a range of varieties such as Red Delicious, Granny Smith, Cameo, Fuji, Braeburn, Jonagold, Golden Delicious and Cripps Pink. Get to know more about apples at www.bestapples.com.