Photo credit: Skanska Matupplevelser
We’re already a few weeks past the official beginning of fall, which means there are lots of delicious, seasonal fruits and vegetables stocking the shelves at the grocery store and farmer’s market. One of these fall favorites are apples!
There are over 2,500 different varieties of apples grown in the United States, contributing to the average American’s consumption of 50 pounds of apples each year (with about 19 of those pounds coming from fresh, whole apples). Before Pilgrims brought over more varieties in the early 1600s from Europe, the only breed of apple native to North America was the crabapple. By the time the first commercial trade of apples began in the United States in 1741, they had already been an excellent food source for settlers due to their easy storage and long shelf life.
Apples are a great source of soluble and insoluble fiber, Vitamin C, and antioxidants. Unfortunately, they’re also a good source of residual pesticides. If you haven’t heard of the “Dirty Dozen,” it’s a list compiled by the Environmental Working Group showing the fruits and vegetables with the highest levels of pesticide exposure. Of the 700 apple samples tested, 98% were shown to contain pesticides–up to 48 different types! This makes apples number one on the Dirty Dozen list, thus also making them one of the best types of produce to buy organically in order to avoid exposure to pesticides that, in some cases, have been proven to cause health problems in humans.
So what’s a nutritious apple recipe for the whole family to enjoy?
Try Organic Homemade Applesauce!
1. Take a selection of organic apples (feel free to mix different kinds), wash them thoroughly, then peel and core them. Cut into chunks.
2. Put apples in boiling water and let cook for about 10 minutes until tender, being careful not to overcook in order to retain as much of the vitamins as possible.
3. Rinse the apple pieces in cold water before putting into a blender or food processor. Blend until your desired consistency is reached, adding water as needed.
4. Add a little cinnamon (if your baby is not allergic), some other pureed fruit or vegetables (like mango, berries, carrot, or even pumpkin), or just enjoy plain!
Written by: Lauren Mesaros