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An apple a day

October 3, 2017 - 12:05am

We all know the old saying about an apple a day keeping the doctor away. Indeed, apples provide several health benefits: vitamins A and C, and fiber. The easiest way to add an apple to your diet each day is to eat one raw, out of hand or sliced. You can be walking, driving, sitting at a desk, watching TV or reading the paper; apples are very portable. You can incorporate them into breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and snacks. They can be eaten raw, cooked or dehydrated. And since October is National Apple Month, it’s a perfect time to try an apple a day. Your doctor will miss you.

A pound is from 2-4 apples, depending on size and type. Store them in a cool, dark place. If stored in the refrigerator, put them into a plastic bag.

Fennel, Apple and Almond Soup

For a chilly morning, soothing lunch, or dinner course, this creamy soup will satisfy. It can be prepared a day ahead; cover tightly and refrigerate. Recipe from Bon Appetit magazine; makes about 5 1/2 cups.

2 tablespoons walnut oil or olive oil

8-ounce fennel bulb, sliced (reserve fennel fronds for garnish)

1 small onion, chopped

8-ounce tart green apple, peeled, cored and chopped

6-ounc celery root, peeled and chopped

2 1/2 cups chicken broth

1/2 cup whipping cream

2 tablespoons ground toasted almonds

Pinch of ground nutmeg

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add fennel and onion; saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Mix in apple, celery root and broth; bring to simmer. Cover and cook until vegetables are soft, about 30 minutes. Working in batches, transfer mixture to blender; puree until smooth. Add whipping cream, ground almonds and nutmeg. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and top with sliced almonds and fennel fronds, if desired.

Apple-wheat Bread

This makes a very hearty loaf. Serve with soup, use for a sandwich, toast for breakfast or enjoy as an anytime snack. Makes one loaf.

1/2 cup butter, melted

1 1/2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed

2 eggs

2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1/2 cup each: nonfat dry milk, rolled oats, wheat germ

1 cup chopped nuts

1 cup chopped dates or raisins

1 1/2 cups apple, unpeeled, cored and chopped

1 3/4 cups milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a large loaf pan. In a large bowl, mix melted butter and brown sugar; beat in the eggs. In another bowl, sift all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt; stir in whole wheat flour, dry milk, oats and wheat germ. Add nuts, dates or raisins, and apple. Add flour mixture to egg mixture, about a third at a time, alternating with the milk. Stir well after each addition. Batter will be stiff. Fill loaf pan and bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool for 10 minutes, then remove loaf from pan; place on rack to finish cooling.

Onion and Apple Marmalade

Serve this condiment warm, with roast pork, or with a pile of roasted vegetables. I’ve also served it on a cheese platter. Marmalade can be made a few days in advance; just re-warm gently when ready to serve. Recipe from “Chez Panisse Fruit” by Alice Waters; makes enough for 6 servings.

3 medium onions, peeled and sliced

1/2 cup verjus*

3/4 cup white wine or hard cider

Salt and pepper

3 apples

1 cup water

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Put sliced onions into a heavy-bottomed pan; add verjus, wine, and a big pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until liquid has been absorbed, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, peel, core and slice apples. Add them and the water to the onions; cook another 1/2 hour. Stir occasionally so marmalade does not stick and burn. When onions and apples are soft and melted together, marmalade is done. Stir in the honey and butter. Serve warm.

* Verjus is the sour juice of green, unripe grapes. It is often used in recipes as a less-acidic substitute for vinegar or lemon juice. Several brands are sold in gourmet shops or specialty markets. If you cannot find it, you can substitute vinegar (sparingly) although the flavor will change a bit.

Fast, Tangy Apple Upside-down Cake

I’ve had this recipe from “The Yogurt Cookbook” by Olga Smitinoff for a long time. It’s a good one for using up yogurt; why not apples, too?

4 tablespoons butter

1 cup brown sugar

5 apples, peeled and sliced

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 package yellow cake mix (net wt. 9 oz.)

1/2 cup plain yogurt

1 egg

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt butter in 8-inch glass baking dish. Add sugar, blend well. Cover with sliced apples, sprinkle with cinnamon, set aside. Place cake mix in a bowl. In smaller bowl, beat yogurt and egg. Add half the yogurt mixture to the cake mix; beat according to cake package directions. Add remaining yogurt mixture, baking soda and vanilla extract; mix. Bake according to package directions.

When done, cool slightly then invert cake onto a serving platter.

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