Apples: No Longer Just for Doctor-Phobes

Honeycrunch apple from Tiny's Organic

I think I've mentioned here that my ten-year-old son has not willingly or knowingly eaten a vegetable since he was eighteen months old. Somehow he lives on and even grows occasionally. He has, however, added fruits to his repertoire at the dizzying rate of one per year. This summer it was blueberries. Last summer, watermelon. The year before that, canteloupe. One fruit that has always passed as non-objectionable, I'm happy to report, is the humble apple, which is awfully good news because apples come in in the fall, just as all his other acceptable fruits leave town for Mexico and Chile.

And if you're going to fall for a fruit, you could do worse than apples. The American Heart Association reports a recent Dutch study found that one apple per day reduced the risk of stroke in their control group by a whopping 52%! Green, leafy vegetables and fruits of other flesh-hues, for all their benefits, did not have any impact on stroke frequency. For each 25 grams of apple (or pear) eaten daily, the stroke risk decreased 9%, and the average apple is 120 grams. On top of that, "Apples and pears are high in dietary fiber and a flavonoid called quercetin" (whatever the heck that is).

The Bellevue Farmers Market features an apple bonanza from our farmers: Fujis, Honeycrisp, Gala, as well as lesser-known varieties. All crisp and delicious. If you pack slices for lunch and don't like to drizzle them with lemon juice, go for the tarter varieties--they don't oxidize as fast. I stocked up Saturday on Honeycrisps, and my husband turned them into apple pie. The Galas became applesauce. Deborah Madison's recipe could not be easier to make if you have a food mill. Cooked apple slices also make a delicious addition to roasted vegetables or as an accompaniment to chicken or pork. Mmmm...

Deborah Madison's Applesauce (from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone)
3 lbs. apples, quartered
Honey (I use Daniel's  or Cascade Honey)
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Put the apples in a pot with 1/3 cup water. Cover and cook over medium until apples are falling apart, about 20 minutes. (Some varieties take longer. I just fish out the cooked ones and keep simmering the others.) Pass the cooked fruit through the food mill into a clean pot. Add honey to taste, a tablespoon at a time. Add spices. Serve warm or chilled.

Apple Side Dish
After you've pan-fried a meat like chicken or pork chops, remove the meat and keep warm. Add to the pan:
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup apple cider or juice
1 clove minced garlic
Bring to a boil and cook ten minutes until thick and syrupy, stirring occasionally. Add 1 tbsp honey and 2 medium apples, peeled and cut in thin wedges. Cook five more minutes or until apples are tender. Serve over meat.