An apple a day keeps the doctor away
This little rhyme is one of the first things kids learn about healthy eating. One of baby’s first solid foods is apple sauce. And as kids grow, they often choose apples as a favorite snack. But are apples really so good for us?
The answer is YES! At the very least, you can expect fewer visits to the heart doctor later in life. The apple’s soluble fiber slows the release of sugar into our blood and controls insulin levels. Pectin in apples also lowers insulin levels. The effect is lower cholesterol in our blood and lower risk of heart problems.
But it’s not just the heart that benefits from apples. Its fiber also cleans intestines. It sops up toxic heavy metals that interfere with our health. Plus, it makes us regular. In this way, apple’s fiber reduces risk of cancer.
Our lungs, too, are happier when we eat apples. Two studies show two apples a week lower risk of asthma.
Time-honored studies also confirm that apples benefit our bodies. According to ancient Chinese medicine, apples strengthen the heart, quench thirst, lubricate the lungs, decrease mucous and increase body fluids. Vitamin C and some healthy minerals also help. All good.
Even better, an apple contains only 50-80 calories.
Sliced… and politely waiting for lunch time
Here’s a trick for packing a sliced apple in your child’s lunch box. Make four slices, one on each side of the core. It won’t go brown if you fit it all back together again like a jig-saw puzzle. Hold it together until meal time with a rubber band.
Apples can help you lose weight. According to one study, women who ate an apple before meals lost more weight than women who didn’t. Apple’s fiber is playing a role here, again. It fills you up and controls your sugar load. A lower body weight, of course, also helps your heart’s health. It’s all related.
Apple sandwich, without bread
Use apple slices like pieces of bread and make a sandwich! Fill your sandwich with peanut butter or homemade nutella sweetened with stevia. Then dot the spread with dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, or almond slices.
Baking with apples
Apple desserts with added white sugar are probably not doing us any favors, though. That’s why Vinny is pleased to present his Mom’s misty-moisty recipe for apple cake. He’s changed it up a bit, to ditch most of the sugar. Vinny’s cake is sweetened with stevia. And he’s used unsweetened applesauce, to add back the bulk lost by leaving out the sugar.
Vinny’s Momma’s Misty-Moisty Apple Cake
- 1/4 cup butter or margarine, cubed, at room temperature
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup unsweetened apple sauce
- 1/4 cup (30 grams) Stevia Sugar and 1/4 cup coconut sugar (to replace 3/4 cup granulated white sugar)*
- 1 cup all-purpose or whole-wheat pastry flour (125 grams )
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups chopped peeled apples
- Preheat oven to 350 F (180C).
- Grease a 9-inch cake pan (2 1/2 liters).
- In a small bowl beat the stevia into the egg until the egg turns pale yellow.
- In a large bowl cream the butter and beat in the apple sauce until blended. The butter doesn’t incorporate as smoothly without the sugar. Don’t worry. Add the beaten egg and blend again until well mixed.
- In a small bowl, stir dry ingredients together.
- Add dry mix into the butter and eggs and mix just until blended.
- Add apple pieces.
- Pour batter into prepared cake pan.
- Bake for 25-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
- This cake is moist enough to eat right out of the oven.
- Or you can serve it warm with ice cream, cheddar cheese, or whipped cream (sweetened with a teaspoon of stevia).
- OR.. you can make stirred custard (sweetened with stevia) to float your slice of cake in. All delicious.
* Read the label on your stevia package to make sure you are using the amount recommended to replace 1/2 cup of white sugar. The coconut sugar gives your cake more rise and a caramel color.
Remember: A is for Apples… and apples earn their A effortlessly. Enjoy an apple every day – just for the health of it!