Welcome to Food Rx with Jessica DeLuise, PA-C, CCMS, a physician assistant and culinary medicine specialist! This monthly series will focus on the important role food plays in our overall health, plus we’ll be sharing kid-friendly recipes to add more fresh produce to your family’s diet. Today’s Food Rx is brought to you by Autumn Glory Apples.
If you’ve heard the quote, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”, you have probably wondered if there is any truth to it? Can apples really support wellness? The answer is YES.
- Apples are part of the rose family, just like plums and pears. A fun fact in case you are ever on Jeopardy!
- The second most popular fruit in the USA is the apple, behind bananas.
- Apples produce ethylene gas that accelerate ripening of other produce. TIP: Place unripe avocados, tomatoes, and more in a brown paper bag with one apple to ripen faster.
- 10 – 12 billion apples are harvested in Washington State each year.
- Every Autumn Glory Apple, and apple grown in Washington, is picked by hand. This maintains quality and protects apples from bruising.
- If you put all the Washington State apples picked in a year side-by-side, they would circle the earth 29 times.
- Last year, the average U.S. consumer ate 19 pounds of fresh apples.
- The largest agricultural product grown in Washington State is the apple.
Did You Know?
- Want brighter teeth? Apples can help! While not a substitute for toothpaste, the acid in apples actually helps brighten teeth. The crunchy inside can even act like a mini toothbrush scrubbing away stains.
- Apple skin is one of the healthiest parts of the apple! Most of the apple’s flavonoids, polyphenols and antioxidants are found there.
- The USDA suggests washing apples with warm running water.
- Quercetin is an antioxidant found in apples which has been shown to prevent age related neuron loss.
- A study of people consuming apples over 28 years noted those who ate the most apples had lower risk of thrombotic stroke.
- Snacking on raw apples can help lower LDL cholesterol.
- Swapping your fruit juice with whole fruit means a lower risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.
- Antioxidants are plentiful in apples and are known for preventing cancer by reducing oxidative stress.
- Apples contain compounds that promote gut bacteria, which promotes gut health.
Apple Lady Bugs
- 1 Autumn Glory apple sliced in 1/4 inch thick sliced
- 1 tbsp nut or seed butter
- 3 thin celery slices, about 1 inch in length (peppers or carros work too)
- Raisins, pine nuts, or walnuts for the spots
- Cut apple lenghwise to create 1/4 inch thick slices
- Spread the butter into an apple slice
- Add the celery in a ‘y’ shape down the center of the apple. The antenna should hand off the top side of the apple
- Top with raisins or walnuts for the spots
For a “butterfly” version, add a variety of toppings in all shapes!
- 1 Autumn Glory apple cored and sliced width wise
- 1/4 cup yogurt
- Your favorite toppings
- coconut flakes
- Core and cut apple width wise to create 1/4 inch thick slices
- Spread apple donuts with yogurt
- Top with your favorite toppings and finish off with sprinkles
Candied Sweet Potatoes
- 3 Medium Sweet Potatoes – peeled and cubed in 1 inch pieces
- 2 Autumn Glory apples – peeled and cubed in 1 inch pieces
- 2 tbsp avocado oil
- 2 tsp dried sage
- 1/2 tsp pink salt
- Option toppings: 1/2 cup pecans, chopped and 1/4 cup organic raisins
- Preheat oven to 375F
- Wash and chop produce
- Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and toss to coat potatoes and apples with oil and spices
- Add mixture to a 8×8 baking dish that has been covered with 1 tsp avocado oil to prevent sticking
- Add 1/2 cup water to the bottom of the baking dish; this allows potatoes and apples to soften
- Cover baking dish with lid or foil
- Bake for 30-35 minutes
- Uncover and top with pecans and raisins
- Cook for an additional 10-12 minutes until potatoes are fork tender and apples are bubbling.