THE SUPERFRUIT THAT’S ALREADY IN YOUR FRIDGE!
Studies show that apples are high in antioxidants and promote weight loss
Kick start the new year by turning over a new leaf – the BC Leaf sticker! Research shows that apples offer a delicious, low-calorie source of dietary fibre and important antioxidants such as catechins and flavonoids. Grabbing an apple or incorporating them into an easy recipe ensures that your family will benefit from the astonishing goodness of apples.
With more fibre per serving than a bowl of oatmeal (4.4gms per medium apple versus 4gms for 1 cup of oatmeal* ), popping an apple in the children’s lunchboxes or grabbing one on the go is a great way to reap the health benefits associated with dietary fibre. The heart-healthy benefits are well known, but research has also shown that eating a fibre-rich apple as a snack helps you feel full for longer, reducing the total number of calories you take in, helping those who want to lose weight.**
Apples have also been shown to be an important source of antioxidants – compounds that are thought to fight free-radicals in the body causing everything from wrinkles and high cholesterol through to cancer. In fact, apples have a higher antioxidant capacity than many well-publicized antioxidant sources including blueberries, goji berry juice and brewed tea!*** Apples are especially high in a flavonoid (a type of antioxidant) called quercetin, which is thought to protect brain health#, and reduce the risk of various types of cancer.## As two-thirds of an apple’s antioxidants are found in the peel, the best way to eat your B.C. Tree Fruits apple is with the skin on.
Make an apple a day more than just an accepted saying – make it a way of life. B.C. Tree Fruits, working with Chef Ned Bell, has created a range of healthy apple recipes perfect for family dinners and brown bag lunches. A spin on the Waldorf salad offers a crunchy lunch that, with the addition of grilled chicken becomes a healthy dinner, while a soup with pumpkin and Ambrosia apples is a terrific way to warm up at the end of the day.
What makes apples bearing the BC Leaf sticker different from other apples in the produce aisle? They have undergone B.C. Tree Fruits’ strict quality control and grading to make sure that they are reliably of the highest standards. It starts out in the Okanagan orchards of the co-operative’s 800 growers, with standards for planting, pruning, fertilizing and picking, and continues through to the packinghouse with Food Safe handling procedures. B.C. Tree Fruits’ apples are the best and most trustworthy local apples that consumers can buy at their neighbourhood supermarket.
About B.C. Tree Fruits
In addition to being one of the largest apple shippers in North America, B.C. Tree Fruits markets many other fresh tree fruits including pears, cherries, apricots, peaches, prune plums and nectarines. The organization also markets and distributes other B.C.-grown fruit including table grapes and blueberries.
B.C. Tree Fruits’ head office is based in Kelowna, British Columbia. The organization also operates with an additional sales office in Toronto, Ontario, and has established international representatives to assist in exporting B.C.’s quality produce to countries around the world.
*United States Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database
** CSIRO Review on Apples, their Antioxidants and Human Health
***United States Department of Agriculture, Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity of Selected Foods
#Journal of Food Science, 2004, 69: S357-S360
##American Journal of Epidemiology, 2007, 8: 924-931; Carcinogenesis, 2001, 22: 409-414
Waldorf Salad with B.C. Tree Fruits Royal Gala Apples
A substantial salad that is perfect for lunch with a soup, or add grilled chicken or shrimp for a healthy dinner.
1 lb peeled, cored and chopped Royal Gala apples
2 heads butter lettuce, washed and picked
4 heads Belgian endive, halved and sliced
Heart of 1 head of celery, sliced and the leaves stemmed
2 tbsp blue cheese per person (goat cheese can be substituted)
½ cup toasted, peeled and crushed hazelnuts
½ cup chopped Italian parsley
For the vinaigrette:
1 ½ cups canola oil
¾ cup apple cider vinegar
½ vanilla bean, split and seeded
2 tbsp Dijon mustard (grainy mustard is a great substitute)
Salt and cracked black pepper to taste
1. Arrange all the lettuces on individual plates or a platter for family style.
2. Toss the apples, celery leaves, celery hearts, Italian parsley, blue cheese and hazelnuts with the apple cider vinaigrette.
3. Place on top of the lettuce and serve.
4. To make the vinaigrette: Put vanilla bean in a pot with the apple cider vinegar. Bring to a boil, remove the bean, and then cool the mixture. Combine everything together with a hand blender. Extra dressing can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
B.C. Tree Fruits Ambrosia Apple and Pumpkin Soup
This naturally delicious dish takes the goodness of apples and turns them into a silky, healthy soup.
2 lbs pumpkin, peeled and seeded, in 1 inch cubes (butternut squash works well also)
1 lb B.C. Tree Fruits Ambrosia apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
1 large stalk of celery, chopped
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup apple juice (or white wine, optional)
2 litres chicken stock (vegetable stock can be substituted and is slightly healthier)
¼ cup light olive oil
1 cup whole milk
Salt and pepper
1. In a large pot over medium heat, sauté the onions and garlic in olive oil for 10 minutes.
2. Add the pumpkin, carrots and the celery. Cook for a further 10 minutes.
These first 2 steps are very important to building flavor by slowly cooking and caramelizing the onions, garlic, carrots and pumpkin.
3. After the pumpkin has started to break down around the edges of the cubes, add the Ambrosia apples, apple juice and then the stock. Cook for 20 minutes.
4. Add the milk and cook for another 5 minutes.
5. Puree in a blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
6. To garnish, chop some fresh herbs, drizzle with more olive oil or freshly grated Ambrosia apples.
7. Serve the soup in individual bowls or family-style in a big soup pot or tureen.
Make sure there is some crusty sourdough or a warm corn bread around!
These recipes were developed by Chef Ned Bell, a strong supporter of B.C. Tree Fruits and its extended family of 800 Okanagan growers. Bell was born in the Okanagan Valley and is co-owner and Corporate Chef of the Kelowna lakeside favourite, Cabana Bar and Grille. Bell is also putting his stamp on Vancouver cuisine, first in re-opening the kitchen at the just launched historic Waldorf Hotel in East Vancouver and soon as the Head Chef at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia set to open next spring.