Why You Should Like Them Apples

Why You Should Like Them Apples

Whether eaten raw or cooked, naturally healthful apples really may keep the doctor away!

Once again, your mother was right! Modern research supports the old adage about an apple a day keeping the doctor away (see sidebar). Not only are apples a healthful menu option but they are a versatile ingredient choice–there are more than 2,000 varieties grown in the United States including regional and heirloom species.

For operators, apples are a year round low cost menu value whether they are offered fresh, used as a fresh ingredient in cooking or purchased in a processed state (think apple cider, vinegar, juice, sauce, pie filling, dried apples, slices and specialty frozen slices).

And their mild yet distinctive flavor profile makes them a great choice for both sweet and savory menu applications.

APPLE FACTS

Americans eat some 19.6 pounds of fresh apples annually (about one per week), but our European counterparts are even more health savvy–consuming an average 46 pounds annually. Here are some facts about the health benefits of this popular fruit.

• The antioxidants extracted from apples and apple juice help to significantly reduce oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad") cholesterol, and thus may protect against heart disease.

• A diet rich in pectin, found in apples and most fruits and vegetables, helps reduce blood cholesterol levels.

• One medium apple has only 80 calories. It contains 20 grams of complex carbohydrates, the chief source of energy for all body functions, is virtually fat-free with only .49 grams of fat and provides 13% of the daily adult requirement of vitamin C based on a 2,000 calorie per day diet. Apples are also sodium and cholesterol free.

• A 2001 Mayo Clinic study indicated that quercetin, a flavonoid abundant in apples, helps prevent the growth of prostrate cancer cells. And a Cornell University study indicated phytochemicals in the skin of the apple inhibited the reproduction of colon cancer cells by 43%.

• Eating apples may help improve lung health (based on a Welsh study of men who ate at least five per week.)

• Apples are a good source of dietary fiber–a medium apple contains about five grams of fiber, more than a bowl of many cereals.

• Apples may promote good dental health. Condensed tannins found in apple juice have anti-adhesion properties that may help prevent periodontal or gum disease because they inhibit some bacteria from binding together and producing dental plaque.

• Fructose, or fruit sugar, in an apple is one of the sweetest carbohydrates on earth–almost twice as sweet as table sugar. But fructose won’t wreak havoc with your blood sugar. That’s because it triggers a slower rise in your blood sugar level. And when blood sugar goes up slowly, it stays up longer so all that energy sticks with you longer.

ROASTED APPLE CHUTNEY FOR PORK

Yield: 16, 3 oz. servings

6 oz. brown sugar

6 oz. rice vinegar

1 oz. fresh ginger, grated

1 Tbsp. garlic, crushed

1 tsp. allspice

1 Tbsp. yellow mustard seeds, whole

20 oz. Simplot roasted apples, small dice

6 oz. golden raisins

12 oz. Roma Tomatoes, seeded, diced

2 Tbsps. fresh mint, chopped

1. In a heavy skillet heat the sugar and vinegar over medium high heat.

2. Add the ginger, garlic, allspice and mustard seeds; continue cooking until the mixture becomes syrupy.

3. Increase the heat, add the roasted apples and raisins and cook until tender, stirring frequently about 10 minutes. Remove from heat; cool to room temperature.

4. Before service, stir in tomato and mint. Serve with grilled pork loin.

Recipe from Simplot

Calories 115 (4% from fat); Fat .50g (sat. .07g); Protein .96g; Carbohydrates 29g; Chol. 0mg (cholesterol per day 0%); Sodium 25mg (sodium per day 1%); Fiber 2g (fiber per day 10%)