How You Like Them Apples?
Fall’s favorite fruit keeps on giving during the holidays
At last, the holiday season is here, and apple spice is in the air. Since moving to the Midwest, visiting apple orchards has been a must for our family, along with pumpkin picking and Christmas tree hunting. This newfound family tradition keeps heaps of apples on our counter well past the first snowfall. Nothing compares to biting into an apple just picked off the tree, but there’s so much more to apples.
As the saying goes, an apple a day keeps the doctor away, and there is good reason doctors encourage you to eat them. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, apples are a superfood packing a powerful nutritional punch. They are a good source of vitamin C and are high in fiber. In addition, studies have shown that women who ate apples every day had a 23% decrease in LDL cholesterol and levels of good HDL cholesterol increased by 4%. Polyphenols and antioxidants decreased oxidation, which resulted in a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, making apples part of Mayo Clinic Health System’s heart-health and healthy-living diet guidelines. Along with their beneficial nutritional attributes, apples can serve as a healthy alternative or companion when you’re reaching for the sweet treats this holiday season.
I can’t go a whole holiday season without making apple pie. However, after awhile everyone gets tired of pie and caramel apples. Coming up with ideas on what to do with all those apples has become a fun challenge each year. We have gone through numerous ways of using up those red, crisp, juicy apples taking over our counter and have found some quick, easy, and – most importantly – tasty, dishes to share.
Here are some ideas straight from our kitchen to yours that might just inspire you to keep apples high up on your list of must haves this holiday season:
Sprinkle apple slices with ground cinnamon or pair with cheese or peanut butter for an easy nutritious snack.
Grilled Cheese with Apples
Thick crusty bread holding together two different cheeses, shaved turkey, and sliced apples. This kid-approved sandwich will work with any low-in-fat melty cheese, deli meat, and apple of your choosing.
Creamy Apple Cranberry Slaw
Pairs great with grilled cheese sandwiches.
Apple Pancakes with a Spiced Apple Topping
Cooking peeled apple slices with a little bit of cinnamon, butter, and maple syrup on a skillet makes a fast, easy topping for those morning flapjacks.
Coring apples and stuffing them with a filling made of brown sugar, buttered breadcrumbs, cinnamon, dried cherries, and toasted walnuts is a great warm treat for these chilly evenings. Hint: Bake in a baking dish with a little apple cider.
Mix plain Greek yogurt and finely diced apples with chopped chives. Spread on warm toasted baguette slices and top with smoked salmon.
The key to making applesauce is time, which makes it perfect for the slow cooker. Spice it up, pair it with pork chops or vanilla ice cream.
Nutty brown butter makes quick bread extra special. If you happen to have leftovers, use the bread to make a delicious French toast, with a spiced apple topping, for breakfast on those cold weekend mornings at home.
With dried cranberries and a vinaigrette. This makes a nice adaptable salad. Toss the kale with apples, dried fruit, and any hard cheese that you like. Pancetta crisps up nicely, but we also like this with bacon or prosciutto.
Rustic Apple Galette
A galette is a free-form tart with a thin and crispy crust and an even layer of lightly spiced and sweetened fruit. It’s less demanding than a pie crust but tastes like the product of far more work than it is and shines at the holiday dinner table. Dried cranberries, cherries, and/or pears are a great addition.
Danirabe Lowry is a dietetics major at UW-Stout in Menomonie.