In Perfect Bar Unwrapped, we’re sharing exactly what goes into our bars that makes ‘em so darn good for you. That’s why each month we’ll be highlighting one of the 20 powerful superfoods included in the Keith family’s age-old recipe, complete with all of its uses, benefits, and a recipe of your own to try. Because, when we find something amazing, we’re all about sharing the wealth with the people we love.
If that big beautiful image at the top hadn’t already clued you in, this month we are talking about good old fashioned apples. We see this grocery store staple on the reg, so they’re easy to overlook amidst all the trendier superfoods, but don’t underestimate them. You may have renewed respect after reading this post.
With over 7,500 varieties around the world, you’ll never get bored of all the goodness an apple has to offer; we think it’s pretty awesome that you can fuel your body with that many different flavors.
So, how do you pick and store ‘em? Well, generally speaking, you want to pick the ones rich in color and firm in body, but your taste preference will guide your choice regarding variety. Red and Golden Delicious are some of the sweetest apples out there, while Braeburn and Fuji are known for their slightly tart flavors; Pippin, Granny Smith and Gravenstein are definitely the tartest of the bunch, but are best at retaining that apple-like texture we love while cooking.
To make sure they last as long as possible and maintain those sought after nutrients, be sure to store them at low fridge temperatures (35-40°F). If you’re one for having a beautiful fruit bowl on display in your kitchen, you might want to leave the apples out of the bunch next time around.
Apples are a fruit that is too legit to quit. From Red Delicious to Granny Smith, apples come in a range of different shapes, sizes and flavors, but one thing all the varieties have in common is a plethora of health benefits. Nutritionally speaking, these guys are loaded with tons of antioxidants, fiber, flavonoids, pectin, polyphenols, potassium, vitamin C and B-6, which when regularly absorbed by our bodies translates into a whole lot of health.
Some of the noteworthy benefits include:
Pretty impressive list, right? We thought so, too. And, did you know that it’s not the flesh of the apple that contains all the super-ness in this superfood, but actually the skin itself—providing two to six times more antioxidants than the rest of the fruit? (Save that fun fact for trivia night!)
This means you’ll want to reach for the whole apple before the jug of juice if you want to reap all the benefits listed above. Another thing to keep in mind about these guys; while we all have our favorite types, it’s important to eat a wide variety of apples to ensure that a balance of all antioxidant agents is maintained; so get creative and try some of those exotic, hard to find flavors, if you can.
The most obvious way to take advantage of an apple’s benefits is by eating them—which we have absolutely no problem with, especially when there are so many amazing recipes out there.
Add it to a Waldorf Salad for dinner or pair it with some peanut butter before a long workout. When baking, substitute applesauce for processed sugars to get the same sweet taste with much fewer calories. And don’t think that apples are just meant for sweet recipes. They also pair well with salty, rich and even spicy foods. If you’re feeling adventurous, try incorporating an apple into a recipe with bacon, chicken, pork, cheese, caramelized onions, chilies, or hot salsa—all of which are complimentary to the sweet, tart fruit.
Remember, though, that cooking can kill nutrients if you cook apples too long or at temperatures that are too high. For skillet or pan cooking, cook no more than five minutes over a high flame. For baking, limit it to 350°F at 30 minutes and 400°F at 15 minutes to ensure antioxidants stay intact.
The benefits don’t just end in the kitchen, though—it’s totally possible to incorporate apple into your beauty routine as well. The pectin found in apples is said to minimize inflammation and the appearance of fine wrinkles and aging, so lather up! You can find apple properties in a lot of natural beauty lines nowadays, or you can create your own at-home remedies. For a quick DIY skin refresher, grate a peeled and cored apple and apply to skin for 15 minutes. Afterwards, rinse with warm water and notice a brighter complexion. Ooh la la!
With so many different kinds of apples you best believe the recipes abound. You can definitely get creative with ‘em depending on how brave you are in the kitchen, but we decided to put a modern twist on a classic with this recipe for Easy Apple Pie Bites.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
- ⅓ cup organic brown sugar
- 2 tsp organic ground cinnamon
- 3 tbs organic butter or ghee, melted
- ⅓ cup organic chopped walnuts or pecans
- 1 organic Granny Smith apple, cored and sliced into 8 (1/2-inch) slices
- 1 (8-ounce) can organic crescent rolls (Annie’s Homegrown makes a great version of these)
- Heat oven to 375°F. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Unwrap the crescent roll and separate the triangles.
- Combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
- Evenly spread butter or ghee onto each triangle.
- Sprinkle each triangle with a generous amount of sugar and cinnamon mixture, and sprinkle with the pecans or walnuts.
- Wash the apple and cut into 8 equal slices.
- Place a piece of apple on each triangle of dough (on a wider side) and roll it into a croissant shape.
- Arrange newly rolled croissant bites on a cookie sheet.
- Spread the remaining butter or ghee on each croissant bite and sprinkle with additional sugar and cinnamon.
- Bake at375°F for 12-15 minutes, or until golden.
- Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
And there you have it, folks. After all, an apple a day…well, you know the rest. Enjoy!