There are a myriad of delicious fruits out there but Autumn in New England screams just one--apples. A medium apple (approximately 3' in diameter) has 95 calories and 4 grams of dietary fiber. Make sure you leave the skin on the apple to attain the majority of the fiber. Research has found that fiber can aid in decreasing cholesterol and aids in digestion. Apples are great on their own--but if you are looking for a more fulfilling snack, try it with a tablespoon (or two) or peanut butter, a slice of cheddar cheese, or even with a handful of almonds. The added protein will slow down your digestion and help keep you full longer. Yum!
Apple orchards are all over the place and not only provide a fun outdoor activity for the day (emphasis on activity) but also are a great way to try different varieties of apples at a relatively low cost. Apple season may be coming to an end, but there are still loads of orchards out there with apples to be picked. We went to Honey-Pot Hill Orchards in Stow, MA a few weekends ago--I highly recommend it! Lots of apples, pumpkins and plenty of activities like hay rides and a petting zoo. The Boston Globe recently printed a great article with information on the various orchards around the state. Check them out!
After you have enjoyed your apple picking, be it at an orchard or at the grocery store, there are plenty of ways to enjoy your treat. Cortland apples are the best for baking. My family happens to love apple crisp, so that is usually the first thing we make. Yes, you can eat apple crisp and still consider yourself healthy! I take basic recipes and substitute healthier ingredients to decrease the calorie and/or fat content. Here is a new version of my Mother-in-law's apple crisp recipe--let me know how it goes, and more importantly how it tastes!
2-3 Cortland apples (peeled and sliced)
1-2 tsp each of cinnamon, Splenda and nutmeg (depending on your taste)
1 cup of whole wheat flour
1 cup of Splenda
1 egg beaten
2/3 cup butter ( I like to use Smart Balance Butter Blend sticks)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9 inch pie pan with cooking spray. Cover the bottom of the pan with sliced apples. Sprinkle with 1-2 tsp of cinnamon, Splenda and nutmeg.
In a separate bowl, melt 2/3 cup of butter. Add egg, flour and remaining Splenda. Mix well-it should be paste-like when finished. Spread mixture over apples.
Bake for 45 minutes or until golden. Enjoy!
Servings - 8 ; Calories - 142 cal; Fat - 8 grams; Carbohydrates: 15 grams; Fiber - 2.25 grams
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