Apples really roll into stores from March to May. This month, crunch into Royal Gala, Jonathon and Granny Smith.
An apple a day keeps the… well, you know!
A good source of vitamin C and potassium, apples are also full of soluble fibre, which can lower ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol. Both red and green varieties contain the powerful antioxidant quercetin, which boasts immunity-boosting and heart-protective properties. Eat the skin, and you’ll consume two to six times the antioxidants of apple flesh!
Research show that apples have the potential to slash the risk of cancer in the breasts, lungs and colon. And the CSIRO associates regular consumption of apples (one to three a day) with lower risks of asthma and type 2 diabetes.
Apples’ low glycaemic index (GI) makes them a lasting energy source, too. Healthy, convenient and easy to pack, a crunchy apple is the perfect snack!
Pick the best
Look for firm fruit with smooth, brightly coloured unblemished skin. Large Granny Smiths are best for cooking, as they’re more acidic. Apples love the cold. For a crisp, clean bite, refrigerate them in the crisper for up to a month. Brush cut apple with lemon juice to stop it from browning.
Three fast ways with apples
Waldorf salad: Chop up 4 apples and 3 celery stalks; add to a bowl with a handful of walnuts. Dress salad with a mixture of 1/2 cup low-fat natural yoghurt, 2 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise and parsley. Serve salad on a bed of lettuce leaves.
Apple sauce: Peel, core and chop 2 apples (Granny Smiths are ideal). Place apple in a saucepan with 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon or nutmeg, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1/4 cup cold water. Bring mixture to the boil, and then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes, or until apple is tender. Transfer mixture to a blender; whiz until smooth. Spoon sauce onto porridge or serve with roast pork or duck.
Apple crumble: Peel, core and slice 6 to 8 apples. Put slices in a baking dish with 1/4 cup sugar and a generous sprinkling of cinnamon; top with toasted muesli and bake until apples are tender.
Did you know? One rotten apple spoils the whole barrel: It releases ethylene, a gas that speeds ripening.