A is for apples

Cox's applesGuest blog by Susan Aldridge, freelance writer and editor based in London, with an interest in medicine, health, science and food/nutrition. 

Apples are at their best in October and fit nicely into my juice + salad + main meal formula. They are high in pectin, which is a soluble fibre known to lower cholesterol levels (though given what I’ve been hearing on that topic recently, I am not sure if this should be the number one health goal – but that’s a story for another day). They also contain polyphenols, which can help regulate your blood glucose levels.

Apples can also be used to replace fat and sugar in cakes – try replacing half the fat with apple puree and see if you can do without the sugar altogether.

And here’s what you can do with one bag of apples (take your pick – Cox, Granny Smith, Bramley, Fuji – local, organic, if you can):

CLASSIC GREEN JUICE (serves one)

Two Granny Smith apples
Bunch or bag of spinach
Three celery stalks
Half (or even whole) cucumber
One lemon or lime (I juice mind unpeeled)
Around an inch of peeled ginger
Juice

ENGLISH CURRY (serves two)

This is a bit retro – it dates back from the 60s/70s, when Italian and Indian food really took off in Britain. Recipes for curry tended to include apple and sultanas, which I don’t think they do in India! So I suppose this is a vegetarian version of chicken tikka masala – said to be the UK’s most popular curry dish but unknown in India. I usually make curries with Quorn chicken, but I tried this one with Quorn mince.

2 white or red onions
2 apples
I pack Quorn mince
I tbsp each of cinnamon, turmeric, curry paste
400 g tomatoes
Fresh chopped herbs to finish (mint, coriander)

Cook the onions and apples with the spices in coconut oil (extra virgin cold-pressed, such as Viridian) till soft (around 5 minutes) and add mince. Fry for another 5 minutes and then add tomatoes. Turn down heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh chopped herbs and serve with mint and onion raita and a salad of tomatoes, onion, peanuts (spicy peanuts are very good in this) and cucumber dressed with a squeeze of lemon or lime.

APPLE COLESLAW

1 small red or white cabbage
2 apples
¾ carrots
25g walnuts or other nuts
25g mixed seeds
For the dressing
1 tbsp low-fat mayonnaise
1 tbsp low-fat yoghurt
1 tsp mustard
I tbsp flax seed oil  (I have a standing order with The Linseed Farm, formerly known as High Barn Oils for extra-virgin, cold-pressed flax seed, aka linseed, oil so there’s always a bottle of it in my fridge).

1 tbsp cider vinegar (an ingredient that is good for many things – I like Aspall’s vinegar but, of course, as with the flax seed oil, others brands are available).

Grate the cabbage, apples and carrots. Add nuts and seeds. Mix the dressing ingredients, whisk, and pour over the cabbage mixture. Toss and finish with fresh herbs. This is nice with baked potatoes/sweet potatoes, with vegetarian sausages or with a contrasting salad (green, maybe).

For more on the health benefits of apples, check out WH Foods.

 

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