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For Better Living

Sandra Cain

     

An Apple A Day

     
Apples have been around a long time—at least 5,000 years. With literally thousands of varieties to choose from, it’s certainly not hard to keep the doctor away, as the saying goes.
Selecting Apples

  
Look for firm, crisp, well-colored fruit. Avoid those with shriveled skins, bruises, worm holes, and decayed spots. Although apples are fairly durable fruits, take care to avoid bruising them.

  
Apples with a dark green background color may have been picked before they were fully ripe. Although they may last longer in storage, they will not be as flavorful. Yellow apples have no red pigment covering their background color, so maturity is easier to judge.

 
Storing Apples
Apple storage life is primarily influenced by temperature and humidity. Apples will last the longest in storage, and retain best quality, when kept close to 32ºF. Although garages and basements may provide adequate storage conditions, the best place to store apples is usually in a refrigerator. Warmer temperatures always shorten the storage life of apples. Apples stored near 32ºF will last about 8 to 10 times longer than apples stored at room temperature.

  
Humidity helps reduce the shriveling of apples in storage. If the storage environment is low in humidity, as most refrigerators are, the fruit should be stored in a perforated plastic bag or a covered container.

  
Although apples may be displayed in a fruit bowl at room temperature for a short period, such conditions will dramatically reduce their usable life.

  
Nutritive Value of Apples
An average apple contains about 90 calories, and small amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, thiamine, riboflavin, calcium, phosphorus, and potassium. They are also a good source of fiber and anti-oxidants.

  
Apples are thirst quenching because they contain about 85% water. They are a perfect snack food because their natural sugars provide quick energy, while the pulp  provides a feeling of fullness.
 
Sources:  Minnesota Cooperative Extension
Kentucky Cooperative Extension
 
 
Cranberry Apple Crunch
 
1 cup whole cranberry sauce
1 cup apples, cored and chopped
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
3 Tablespoons flour (try whole-wheat flour!)
3 Tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
 
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Spray an 8-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
3. In a mixing bowl, combine cranberry sauce and apples.
4. Spread mixture in baking pan.
5. In a mixing bowl, combine rolled oats, brown sugar, and flour.
6. Add melted butter or margarine to oat mixture and mix until crumbly.
7. Sprinkle over fruit.
8. Bake for 1 hour.
 
Three-grain Apple Muffins
Makes 12 muffins
 
1 cup bran flake cereal
1 cup rolled oats (uncooked oatmeal)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup skim milk
2 eggs
3 Tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon oil
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 1/2 cups chopped apple
 
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Oil muffin tins or line them with paper.
3. Combine cereal, oatmeal, flour, baking powder, and spices in a large bowl.
4. Mix remaining ingredients in separate bowl and add to cereal mixture; stir just until moist.
5. Divide batter evenly among muffin tins.
6. Bake 20 to 25 minutes (until lightly browned).

 
   

   
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