In the modern-day supermarket, apples are something that never disappears. No matter what time of year it is, there will be apples. But does that mean there is still a season for apples when they’re at their cheapest? There is, and that would be from about August until spring.
Apple season isn’t that difficult to spot. Have you been to the market lately? Apples happen to be a great bargain right now. And variety? For snacking you’ve got your Gala, Fuji and Pink Lady, your Red and Green Delicious to name a few. And don’t forget the more tart Rome and Granny Smith, which are ideal for baking.
When you load up on apples starting around October, which is National Apple Month, you are going to save some dough, and you’re going to save something else, too. Calories! Researchers have compelling proof that three apples a day will get rid of fat. And apple nutrition facts bear that out.
Apple nutrition facts
It’s so simple, they say. Three apples, one 30-minutes before each meal. That’s it. Sound too good to be true? There is a medical explanation for why the most common of all fruits can make such a big impact.
For starters, three apples will add 15 grams of dietary fiber to your diet. Research of apple nutrition facts from Tufts University say that alone will reduce your calorie consumption by ten percent. But wait! There’s more.
Natural appetite depressant
Apples contain something called pectin, which according to the Journal of the American College of Nutrition eliminates the urge to eat for up to four hours. Pectin, the same stuff that makes jelly get thick, swells up in the digestive tract giving a sense of fullness. Pectin also sends a signal to the brain to stop eating and don’t we all need to hear that message from time to time.
Many who have taken the three-apples-a-day challenge report that if they are careful to munch down an apple a full 30-minutes before mealtime, not only are large meals out of the question, it’s difficult to eat more than a small amount of anything. And by the time that sense of fullness starts to wear off (about 4 hours) it’s time to eat another apple.
Cheaper than diet pills
Nutrition expert and Everyday Cheapskate reader, Robyn Flanders, M.S., R.D., says that apples are a lot cheaper than diet pills when taken as a diet supplement, and they are 100-percent safe. As a bonus, making apples part of your regular diet can slash cholesterol, reduce the risk of lung cancer, diabetes, asthma, stroke, and heart disease. Imagine all that for only about 80 calories per apple.
And just because you ate one before dinner, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy another for dessert!
- 4 apples any variety
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 cup brown sugar light or dark
- 1 tspn ground cinnamon more or less to taste
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp chopped nuts (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Cut the top off each apple. Core each one, removing that center part with the seeds.
- In a small bowl mix the dry ingredients together. Add the butter and cut it in until the butter is in small chunks and everything is well combined.
- Place apples standing upright in a small baking dish.
- Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 30 minutes, or until apples are super fork-tender and the filling is bubbling!
- One 9-inch pie pan OR a 10-inch cast iron skillet OR two 6-inch cast iron skillets.
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening NOTE 2
- 1/2 cup butter, salted cold, and cut into small pieces
- 1 tbsp white granulated sugar (omit for a savory crust)
- 1 egg at room temperature
- 1/2 tspn salt
- 1 tbsp vodka NOTE 1
- 1/4 cup cold water
- coarse sugar for top garnish optional
- 6 - 7 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cut up thinly or other tart variety of apples
- 1 cup white granulated sugar
- 1 tspn ground cinnamon
- 2 tbsp butter, cut into slices
- Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl.
- Cut in shortening and butter using a pastry blender or fork, until it looks evenly lumpy, with lumps the size of a small pea.
- In a separate bowl, mix egg, water, and vodka together until combined. Pour into flour all at once and blend with a fork until dough forms a ball.
- Evenly divide into two pieces, form them into disks, wrap and seal in plastic wrap; refrigerate for at least an hour, if not overnight.
- Once dough is chilled, preheat oven to 450F.
- Roll out one disk and press it into a pie pan (traditional glass, ceramic or cast iron skillet(s). Do not prick the bottom with a fork! You do not want to make holes in it. Place it into the 450F oven for just 5 - 7 minutes, or until the bottom just begins to puff up and form "bubbles" and hints at turning brown. Do not take your eyes off of it! This will happen quickly. Remove from oven and fill with apple filling (see below). NOTE 3.
- Roll out the second disk, lay over top of the apples. Cut holes into the top crust to allow steam to escape. Fold edge to fit and press down gently. Don't worry if it does not fully seal, since the bottom crust has been par-baked. It will meld slightly as the pie bakes. Sprinkle the top with sugar, if desired.
- Bake at 450F for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375F and bake for another 35 minutes or until beautifully browned. Remove from oven to cooling rack. Yum!
- Peel, core and cut apples into medium-thin pieces
- Combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl or cup
- Pile prepared apples into par-baked pie shell, distributing evenly.
- Pour the sugar cinnamon mixture evenly over apples.
- Lay butter slices over the top of the apples and sugar mixture.
- Proceed to finish pie with the top crust (see above)