Though I know it 'signals'winter is just around the corner, autumn is my favorite season.I LOVE the colors, the decorations, the lower temps and I love the foods that come with fall. I've decided to share some info and recipes using apples for your fall enjoyment.
Apples are a great source of dietary fiber and essential vitamins and minerals. A medium apple contains no fat and only 80 calories. Apples are also thought to help reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, type 2 diabetes and asthma. No wonder they say "An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away!".
- Select apples that are firm and bruise free.
- Store in refrigerator to slow ripening and keep flavor; chilled properly, they should last 90 days.
- Slip slices and dices into mixture of 1 part lemon and 3 parts water, or 100% apple juice with added vitamin c, to slow browning.
- One lb. sliced equals about 2-3/4 c; diced,about 3 cups. As a rule, 2 large, 3 medium or 4 small equal 1 pound.
Because of cross-pollination, there are thousands of varieties, but only about 100 are produced for sale.
Here are the qualities of just a few varieties available in our area.
- GALA: (my favorite!)crisp,firm,mild,sweet-best for snacks and salads.
- JONATHAN: firm, spicy, sweet with a crisp snap-best for sauces, snacks, salads, pies and applesauce.
- IDARED: firm,tangy flavor similar to Jonathan-best for snacks, applesauce and baking.
- MCINTOSH: tender, juicy, aromatic and sweet-best for snacks and cooking; if using in pies, add more thickener.
- CORTLAND: sweet with a hint of tart and tangy-best for salads and garnishes as this cut fruit is slow to brown.
- RED DELICIOUS: sweet and juicy-best for snacks and salads-not particularly suitable for cooking or baking.
- EMPIRE: a sweet cross between Red Delicious and McIntosh-best for snacks, baking and cooking.
- FUJI: sweet, juicy and firm; good for all uses.
- GRANNY SMITH: crisp and very tart-good for all uses, especially cakes, pies and applesauce.
- HONEYCRISP: crisp, mild and honeyed flavor-best for snacks, salads and sauces.
This salad is such a yummy treat, and no one will ever guess it's sugar free if you choose to make it that way.
It tastes best if eaten the same day its made.
CARAMEL APPLE SALAD
1 (15 ozs) can crushed pineapple,slightly drained
1 (4-serv) pkg.(sugar free) butterscotch instant pudding mix
1 (8 ozs) tub frozen whipped topping, thawed(fat free)
4 unpeeled, diced apples
1/2 c. dry roasted peanuts, chopped
Place pineapple in medium bowl. Stir in dry pudding mix and blend well. Add whipped topping; stir in apples. (Nuts stay crisper if sprinkled over top).
This is the only recipe I use for apple dumplings.
EASY APPLE DUMPLINGS
4 Granny Smith, or favorite baking apple
2 (8 ozs) pkgs.refrigerated crescent rolls
2 sticks butter
1-1/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 (12 ozs) can Mt. Dew or 7-up(diet is fine)
Preheat oven to 350. Grease 9"X13" baking dish. Peel and quarter apples. Separate crescent rolls; roll apples in rolls from big end to little end. Place in prepared pan. In saucepan, melt butter; add sugar & cinnamon (I mix the two first) Pour over apples, then pour Mt. Dew around sides and middle of dumplings. Bake 45 minutes to 1 hr. Serve warm with ice cream. I cover pan with foil after 30 minutes of baking to prevent overbrowning. May use Splenda instead of sugar,but be aware it bakes faster.
ALL DAY APPLE BUTTER
5-1/2 lbs. apples-peeled, cored and finely chopped
4 c. white sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp.salt, optional
Place the apples in a slow cooker. In a medium bowl, mix the sugar, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Pour the mixture over the apples in the slow cooker and mix well. Cover and cook on high 1 hour. Reduce heat to low and cook 8 to 10 hours, stirring occasionally,until the mixture is thickened and dark brown. Uncover and continue cooking on low 1 hour. Stir with a whisk, if desired, to increase smoothness. Spoon the mixture into sterile containers, cover and refrigerate or freeze.
This is an interesting recipe I recently tried when shared with me by a friend. I'd eaten oriental salad, but never made it before and was very pleased at the addition of apple. It keeps nicely refrigerated for several days.
1/2 med. head of cabbage,chopped
1 pkg. Chicken Ramen noodles, noodles broken; save seasoning packet
4 chopped green onions, with tops
3 chopped apples (I used gala)
1/3 c. slivered or sliced almonds
Toss above ingredients together
In small shaker or jar, place seasoning packet along with
1/2 tsp. each,salt & pepper
3 Tb. sugar
1/2 c. oil
3 Tb. cider vinegar
Mix well; pour over salad. May add nuts to each serving,instead of to salad, if preferred.