An Apple A Day…

by Kari Hartel, RD, LD
Program Coordinator, Cooking Matters, Operation Food Search

You’ve heard the old adage, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” but that familiar phrase may ring truer than you’d think. Apples are not only delicious, versatile, affordable and long-lasting, they’re also very nutrient dense, providing plenty of beneficial nutrients while being low in calories.

Studies have shown that apples can aid in weight loss. Apples are low in calories (about 95 calories in a medium) but contain a lot of pectin, a type of fiber that helps you feel full for longer.

Research proves that apples are good for your ticker. People who eat apples have a lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease. Apple-eaters also have a lower risk of stroke. Researchers believe that the antioxidants in apples help block the oxidation of LDL cholesterol and prevent inflammation. Apples also contain soluble fiber, which can lower your total cholesterol.

Apple consumption may help lower your risk for metabolic syndrome, a collection of symptoms that puts you at a higher risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Apples help you exercise? It’s true! Because it’s rich in the antioxidant quercetin, eating an apple before exercising can help you extend your workout because it increases oxygen availability in your lungs, thus increasing your endurance.

Try the Northwest Apple Salad recipe below. This recipe is a great side dish, afternoon snack, or light dessert. It’s a hit amongst both children and adults. This recipe is courtesy of Cooking Matters.
Northwest Apple Salad
(Serves 4, 1/2 cup per serving)
2 medium Granny Smith apples
2 Tablespoons dried fruit, such as raisins,
dried cranberries, or dried currants
3 Tablespoons plain low-fat yogurt
1 Tablespoon whole, shelled walnuts
Optional Ingredients: 1 Tablespoon honey

  1. Rise and remove cores from apples. Do not peel. Cut into 1-inch pieces. Place in medium bowl.
  2. Add dried fruit and yogurt to bowl. Mix well.
  3. In a small skillet over medium heat, toast nuts until golden brown and fragrant. Watch closely so they do not burn. Remove from pan and let cool.
  4. Chop cooled nuts with a knife. Or, put in a plastic bag and crush with a can.
  5. Add crushed nuts to bowl. If using, add honey. Toss and serve.

Notes: You can use any kind of apple in this recipe, or try a variety of apples together. You can also use any kind of nuts in place of the walnuts. Consider substituting in almonds, pecans or cashews in place of the walnuts.

Sign up for Volleyball Fun with Operation Food Search’s young friends group the Associate Board for its Third Annual Spiking Out Hunger Sand Volleyball Tournament. Enjoy the best sand in the city from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, September 21 at Wave Taco, 1335 Convention Plaza. Teams of 6 to 8 players are forming now! $50 per player includes food, beer and well drinks. To participate, contact Steve.Baer@OperationFoodSearch.org or 314-726-5355 x19.