While a daily apple isn’t enough to “keep the doctor away”, there’s no denying that the fruit is a solid food choice; apples are low in calories, high in soluble fiber (which helps to prevent high cholesterol levels), insoluble fiber (great for digestion) and vitamin C. Plus, they taste good and come in a number of varieties to suit diverse palates. Check out these suggestions for integrating apples into your daily diet and let us know what some of your fave healthy apple dishes are in the comments section!
1) Instantly Fab Oatmeal: The instant oatmeal folks were on to something with the ‘apples and cinnamon’ variety, but you may be taking in a lot of sugar and preservatives if you let them add the fruit to your breakfast. Instead, add a half of a diced apple and a pinch of both cinnamon and nutmeg to a serving of fresh oatmeal prepared the old-fashioned way OR to a packet of plain instant oatmeal. Sweeten to taste with Stevia, agave nectar or raw honey.
2)Sweeten Up A Salad: Apples are a delish addition to your usual lettuce, tomato and carrots affair! If you are making lunch on the go, add a sliced apple to an arugula or radicchio bagged salad mix, along with a tablespoon of sunflower seeds and one ounce of blue cheese crumbles.
3)Swag Out Your Sandwich: Don’t knock it ’till you try it! Two slices of spelt or whole wheat bread with 1 tablespoon of honey mustard, one slice of cheddar cheese, a serving of your fave lean deli meat or veggie meat substitute and one half of a Granny Smith or Golden Delicious apple sliced thin…heaven! You can also use apple slices in lieu of jelly with your favorite peanut butter sandwich.
4) Baked To Perfection: Baked apples are the most insanely easy dessert for even those folks who don’t know how to make a cake from a box. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees. Spray a pan with non-stick spray. Mix two tablespoons of the following: brown sugar, softened butter and whole wheat flour; add 4 tablespoons of quick oats, plus a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg. Cut two large apples in half, remove the core/seeds and arrange them skin-side down. Top apples with mixture, cover with foil and bake until the apples are almost soft; remove foil and bake for up to 5 minutes uncovered.
5) Late Night Fix: If you must have a midnight snack, swap the Oreos and chips for an apple. Slice it and sprinkle it with a little cinnamon and Stevia if you need something super sweet.