What’ so Interesting about Apples?

by Astrid on September 10, 2012 5 Comments

 

Apples are among the most sought after fruits of all time. This is not a surprise because apples are one of the earliest natural foods known to man in which he founds pleasure. Apples, with their very long history, have been regarded as a symbol of many things, of love, beauty, health, comfort, pleasure, wisdom, temptation, sensuality, sexuality, and fertility. Written in the Book of Genesis, apples have been part of man’s beginnings and his idea of paradise which focuses on abundance of fruit cultivation and its irresistibility. Apples were even regarded symbolically as the “forbidden fruit” and the source of original sin.

Interestingly, stories regarding apples and their history are not only seen in the Bible but also in Greek mythology and many more. The same creation story about apples is passed through time.

For instance in Greek mythology, Zeus and his bride, Hera were offered by Gaia or Mother Earth a tree that bears golden apples in their wedding day. This tree with golden apples was guarded by the sleepless serpent Ladon in the garden of Hesperides. These golden apples had been involved in many stories about love, pleasure, temptation and bribery. Apples had romantic and sexual implications and this is probably one of the reasons why this fruit usually ends up as a pleasurable dessert at the end of the meal.

Apart from these tales about apples, there are so much more people are not aware of about this fruit. So these are some of the most interesting facts about the apples

  • Apples come in different colors. You can find red, green and yellow apples.
  • One 9-inch sized apple pie is made with two pounds of apples.
  • There are 7,500 commercial varieties of apples planted around the world
  • Apples do not contain fat, sodium and cholesterol
  • One medium-sized apple offers us 5 grams of fiber, particularly pectin.
  • Apple varieties vary in size from a little larger than a cherry to as big as a grapefruit.
  • The pilgrims were the first growers of apple trees in the United States.
  • Pomology is the study of cultivating pome fruits, particularly of apples.
  • An apple tree takes four to five years to bear its first fruit.
  • Most apples are picked manually or by hand in autumn.
  • The origins of the apple tree can be traced back somewhere between Caspian and the Black Sea.
  • Some apple varieties grow as high as 40 feet and live as long as 100 years.
  • Pruning apple trees was one of the hobbies of George Washington
  • Apples will ripen six to ten times faster at room temperature compared to when stored in refrigerator.
  • There were 44,119,244 metric tons of apples commercially produced worldwide in the year 2006/2007.
  • About 67% of fiber and antioxidants in apples lie in their skins, so better not to peel your apples.
  • In United States, the top producers of apples are Washington, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, California and Virginia.

  • Apples comprise 50 % of the world’s total deciduous fruit tree production.

     

     

Diabetics Don't need to Stay Away from Desserts At all Times

by Astrid on March 6, 2012 3 Comments

If you are diabetic, or one of your family members has been diagnosed with this metabolic disease, I’m quite sure you’ve experienced once in a while the dilemma of choosing between the right kind of food (sugar-free) and a sweet delicious treat (sugar-rich). The question “which food should you prepare?” will always be on your mind.  For people with diabetes, planning every meal is crucial especially when it comes to desserts.  They don’t need to stay away from desserts at all times. They simply need to be familiar with the foods that are good for them. There’s always a diabetic version of every dish, I guess. If they just know how to use healthy alternatives to sugar as well as foods that could stimulate insulin production or offset the effects of sugar in the body, there wouldn’t be any problem!.

In this blog, we’re going to talk about how to make a diabetic-friendly dessert, an apple crisp made from low calorie, sugar-free ingredients. But first, let’s get to know a few facts about the disease, diabetes type 2, and some of the health benefits apples could offer to those with diabetes.  

Diabetes, Apples, and Apple Crisp

by Astrid on March 6, 2012 5 Comments

Before we proceed to the most-awaited apple crisp recipe for Diabetics, let’s feed our brain with some healthy facts!

About Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes Mellitus, frequently referred to as “diabetes” is a chronic metabolic disorder characterized by an abnormal increase in blood sugar levels that resulted from insufficient production of insulin or defective insulin action. Diabetes has two types, type 1 and type 2. Diabetes type 1, also known as the insulin-dependent diabetes, is caused by an insufficient insulin production. Diabetes type 2 or the non-insulin dependent, is caused by defective insulin or the body’s inability to use insulin. Diabetes, if not controlled or treated may lead to serious complications which may be lethal. It has been one of the underlying causes of death all over the world.

Apples are Blood-Sugar Regulator fruits!

There are certain phytonutrients and polyphenols in apples that were found to help in regulating blood sugar in several mechanisms. Recent research has revealed that the flavonoid, quercitin found in apples has the ability to inhibit enzymes that play a role in the conversion of complex carbohydrates into simple sugars, leaving our blood with fewer simple sugars. Some polyphenols in apples were also found to reduce the absorption of glucose(sugar) from the small intestines. These polyphenols could also stimulate the secretion of insulin from the pancreas’ beta cells, and improve uptake of glucose from the blood into the cells thru stimulation of insulin receptors.

There’s really a big truth in the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” because consuming apples regularly could offer numerous health benefits not only to those with diabetes but to everyone.

Those with diabetes are also more at risk to cardiovascular problems. However, regular intake of apples could lower these risks. The water-soluble fiber in apples known as pectin, and the unusual combination of apples’ polyphenols could reduce the total cholesterol as well as LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) in the body. Moreover, the strong antioxidants contained in this fruit were found to be cardio-protective, protecting us from possible oxidation of lipids and triglycerides in the bloodstream and in blood vessels.  

The Diabetic-friendly Apple Crisp Recipe

by Astrid on March 6, 2012 2 Comments

This recipe uses a healthy sugar alternative, Splenda brown sugar blend. It yields 9 servings with each containing 310 calories, 38 grams of carbohydrates and 4 grams of protein.  There would be natural sugars from the apples as well as a high carbohydrate count but the oats and nuts neutralize these concentrations, making it wholly a healthy dish. This apple crisp is also a good source of protein. However, Diabetics should still keep in mind not to over indulge. It’s wiser and healthier to eat in moderation. The best thing about this recipe is no one will ever think of it as a diabetic dessert. It tastes as good as other apple crisps!

Ingredients:        

  • 1/2 cup Splenda Brown Sugar Blend
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  •  1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  •  4 cups peeled and thinly sliced apples (Rome recommended)

    CRISP TOPPING:

  • 1 1/4 cups quick cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup Splenda Brown Sugar Blend
  • 3/4 cup chopped nuts
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted

HOW TO MAKE

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat an 8-inch square baking dish with a nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

Make the apple filling by mixing together brown sugar blend, flour, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Stir in apples and toss to coat. Spoon mixture into the prepared baking dish and set aside.

In another bowl, make the crisp topping by combining oats, flour, brown sugar blend and nuts. Add butter and mix until mixture is crumbly. Scoop topping and distribute over the apple mixture.

Bake at preheated oven for 45 minutes or until the apples are tender-crisp, and the topping turns golden brown.

Serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!

Cranberry Apple Crisp Recipe for Diabetics

by Astrid on March 6, 2012 1 Comment

Bonnie Brost, Dietician, shares the good news to all apple crisp lovers and to people with diabetes. A diabetic diet doesn't need to exclude all sweet treats, according to her. One of the seasonal sweet desserts offers a healthy treat not just for diabetics but for everyone of us, one that is low carb, low in sugar but full of flavors. As we have mentioned earlier, one way for diabetics to enjoy desserts is to incorporate healthy ingredients in recipes, such as fruits that will offset the effects of sugar in the body, stimulate insulin production or enhance insulin action. Another way is to replace sugar with a healthier alternative. The recipe uses a sugar substitute and incorporates a cup of cranberries in the apple crisp mixture. The sugar substitute cuts off the high amount of sugar while the cranberries add nutrients that may be beneficial for diabetic.

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