Apples are just such a part of American culture, and so associated with the U.S. that they figure into the phrase "as American as apple pie." There are more than 7,500 varieties of apples worldwide, ranging from the tangy Granny Smith to the mellow Golden Delicious, so they really offer something for everyone. The crunchy, mildly sweet Red Delicious accounts for 48 percent of apples exported outside the U.S.
Apples are a source of insoluble fiber as well as soluble fiber. The insoluble fiber provides bulk in the intestinal tract, which helps the system hold water to aid in cleansing and digesting food. Soluble fiber helps prevent cholesterol buildup in the lining of blood vessels, thus protecting against heart disease. The juicy bites also provide a healthy dose of Vitamin C, with about 50 percent of that being found in the skin of the apple.
Apples have been around since the Iron Age, first being grown in Egypt. The most well-known story of apples, of course, comes from the Bible, when Eve tempts Adam into eating an apple. The scandalous fruit was brought to the United States by the Pilgrims in 1620, with U.S. commercial trade beginning in 1720 in Long Island.
Here's a recipe for apple strudel from Apple Recipes:
1 pound apples, peeled, thinly sliced
2 slices stale bread, crumbled
¼ cup golden raisins
¼ cup dried currants
2 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ (16-ounce) package phyllo dough
¼ cup butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- In a large bowl, combine apples, bread crumbs, raisins, currants, sugar, and cinnamon; stir well.
- Spread several sheets of pastry generously with melted butter; lay one atop the other on a baking sheet. Spread fruit mixture evenly over the top sheet; roll sheets up to form a log shape. Brush with melted butter.
- Bake 30 minutes, until pastry is golden brown and fruit is tender
Clean up mixing bowls afterwards with Seventh Generation Free & Clear Natural Dish Liquid - Hand Care Formula, featuring HerbaVera™ moisture to leave your hands super soft.
Photo: Kristina Walker