An apple a day….?
Look at theses beautiful apples growing in my yard. They are part of a very unique variegated tree. Three kinds of apples all on one tree. The beauties shown here are the only real producers this year. They are the Chehalis variety which originates from Washington state and is said to be similar to a Golden Delicious only crisper and with honeyed juicy qualities making them terrific for eating. I can’t wait to see how they taste. We will also have a bounty of cooking apples in the fall from a tree on the property and I’m looking forward to using them in all sorts of ways.
An apple a day? It’s not hard to do if that’s your goal. And why not? We all know that apples are good for us, high in vitamin C, a source of fiber and they provide the body with an excellent source of healthy energy. Apples are also a very versatile fruit and can be added to many styles of cooking both sweet and savory. The entire fruit including skin, and seeds can be eaten which if doing so, greatly increases their nutritional profile.
If possible buy local when available and choose fruit that has not been sprayed or waxed.
You can easily add to your daily fruit and veg intake by adding apples to a variety of your recipes. While of course apples are great in anything baked – from muffins, cakes and pies apples are also a nice addition to cold salads such as grated in a coleslaw or diced or sliced for a green salad. When you pair apples into a dish along with toasted nuts you can really turn it into something special.
Adding apples to a savory dish can add a good balance of sweet and/or acid to the dish depending on the type of apple and how you use it. Below was a spectacular meal featuring pork chops with sautéed apples and onions with just a hint of cinnamon. Served with smashed new potatoes and green beans with lemon zest.
Pork Chops with Apples, Onions and Cinnamon
2 bone pork loin chops
1 medium onion
1 -2 apples
1/4 cup stock, white wine or apple juice
pinches of cinnamon
salt and pepper to taste
Thinly slice apples and onions. Using a small amount of butter, brown onions first until translucent. Add apple slices and turn over gently trying to get a bit of a sear on the apple slices. When sautéed, remove to a plate and keep warm.
Season pork on both sides with salt and pepper. Sear well on all sides, including any exposed bone. Use the same pan used for the apples. A cast iron skillet works great for this.
When chops are almost done, remove from pan and keep warm. Deglaze pan with stock, wine or apple juice (I use chicken stock) and using a wooden spoon, scrape up all browned bits. When liquid has reduced to 1 Tbs, return chops to the pan and top with the apples and onions. Gently sprinkle cinnamon on top, cover and simmer for 5 - 8 min until pork is your desired doneness. Remove chops to a plate to rest keeping apple/onion topping in place. Reduce remaining liquid to a sauce and spoon over chops when serving.