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By Johanne McInnis
Fall abundance indeed! T'is the season to pick apples Here we are already at the beginning of autumn. It can be a little sad for some. After all summer is over and warm and long days are close to gone.
You know, off with the shorts and on with the long pants. However there is something to be said about the smell of the air, the colors that will soon surround us, the long afternoon shadows that are cast by a reddish sun and the abundance of colourful fruit and vegetables that will come from the gardens of New Brunswick. Attend any market this time of year and you will find cucumbers, carrots, corn, squash, pumpkins, and of course apples. Lots and lots of apples!
The varieties are endless: Cortland, Golden Delicious, Jersey Mac, Paula Red and my favourite the McIntosh. Did you know that Canada produces over 500,000 tons of apples each year? Most are grown in the province of British Columbia, whereas the Maritimes kick in with 3 per cent. That's still 15,000 tons of apples. Impressive really! Apples are fat free, sodium free, cholesterol free and an excellent source of fibre. As a matter of fact they have one of the highest fibre contents, and let's face it we all could use a little more of that in our diets.
Apples are also a rich source of phytonutrient (plant-based) antioxidants. Last but not least, the fruit's natural sugars are slowly released into the blood stream, which helps maintain steady blood sugar levels. From a nutritional point of view it's a pretty potent piece of fruit. Some of my best and favourite recipes are made with apples so here are two that I'd love to share:
The first is called Maple Apple Crisp. It has half the calories a piece of apple pie has, but twice the taste. I found the recipe in an old cook book the in-laws have (Thanks Mickie!)
MAPLE APPLE CRISP
- 5 Cortland apples, peeled, cored and sliced
- cup of maple syrup
- cup rolled oats
- cup brown sugar
- cup whole-wheat flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- tsp nutmeg
- tsp ground cloves
- cup cold margarine or butter
*Place apple slices in the bottom of greased 8-inch square baking dish. Pour maple syrup over top of apples.
*Mix all dry ingredients together in mixing bowl. Cut in butter with pastry cutter or two butter knives until it resembles a coarse mixture. Pour over apples and spread evenly. (For added flavour, sprinkle with _ cup of pecans)
*Bake for 25 minutes at 375 degrees or until topp ing is lightly browned and bubbly.
* Makes 9 small servings
This next recipe is great for Thanksgiving and since it is right around the corner why not try something a little different.
APPLE, SAUSAGE & CRANBERRY STUFFING
- 3 cups cubed white bread
- 2 cups cubed whole wheat bread
- lbs. sausage, finely chopped
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 3/4 cup chopped celery
- 2 teaspoons dried sage
- 1 teaspoons dried rosemary
- teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 tart apples, cored and chopped
- cup cranberries, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup minced fresh parsley or two teaspoons of dried
- 3/4 cup turkey stock
- 4 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
* Preheat oven to 350 degree F (175 degree C). Spread the white and whole wheat bread cubes in a single layer on a large baking sheet.
* Bake for 5 to 7 minutes or until evenly toasted. Transfer toasted bread cubes to a large bowl.
* In a large skillet, cook the sausage and onions over medium heat, stirring and breaking up the lumps until evenly browned. Add the celery, sage, rosemary, and thyme; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes to blend flavours.
* Pour sausage mixture over bread in bowl. Mix in chopped apples, cranberries and parsley. Drizzle with turkey stock and melted butter, and mix lightly.
* Spoon into turkey to loosely fill, cook turkey as directed.
* Makes about 8 servings
I do hope you enjoy the recipes. If you would like to ask a food related or cooking question, see an article and/or specific recipes, please feel free to email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time, happy creative cooking!