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Everything you ever wanted to know about… apples

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By Will Godfrey

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In celebration of everyone’s favourite day of the year – Apple Day – we’ve pulled together pretty much everything there is to know about apples. From cyanide pips to pork pairings, get ready to bite into some fruity facts!

When life gives you apples… 7 ways to use apples in your cooking

Apple crisps – Preheat the oven to 100C. Finely slice an apple and arrange on a baking tray. Sprinkle with a little cinnamon. Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes until the apples are dried and the edges start to curl. Leave to cool. You can try making homemade crisps with leftover vegetables too!

Apple tea – Infuse apple peel in boiling water for a few minutes and add a little honey for a delicious tea. There are heaps more homemade tea recipes like this worth trying out!

Apple crumble – Our nutritionist Jessica has come up with a completely delicious gluten-free apple crumble recipe, reinventing this classic British dessert.

gluten-free apple crumble recipe
Apple sorbet
– Peel, core and chop 5 Granny Smiths. Place in a blender with 100ml of honey and the juice of a lime, and puree until smooth. Strain through a sieve, transfer to a container, leave to cool and place in the freezer until frozen for about 3 hours. Once frozen, remove and roughly blend again then return to the freezer until ready to eat.


Apple and pork
– Apples are the perfect accompaniment to pork (especially with fried onions as well, I think!). Gousto have plenty of apple and pork recipes in the online cookbook, including Roast Pork Belly with Apple Mash, Pork & Black Bean Tacos with Apple Slaw and the much loved Paprika Pork Burger with Apple Salad.

roast pork belly with apple mash recipe

Chocolate coated apples – As a healthier alternative to toffee apples, melt 100g of dark chocolate combine with a handful of roughly chopped nuts. Put the apple on a stick and dip into the chocolate several times, leaving it to dry between each layer.

Stewed apples – Peel, core and roughly chop 500g of apples. Add these to a medium-sized pan with 100ml of honey, 4 tbsp water and a teaspoon of cinnamon. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes until they’re soft, but not mushy. Adding some chopped nuts will provide added protein and texture, making this a great snack for maintaining blood sugar levels.

10 amazing apple facts

  1. The famous fruit
    No fruit that has appeared more frequently in Western art, literature and mythology than the apple, beginning with the biblical story of Adam and Eve.In Norse mythology, apples were believed to keep people young forever!One legend based on fact is the story of Johnny Appleseed, a real person called John Chapman who in the 1800s, walked barefoot across 10,000 square miles of America planting apple trees that provided food and a livelihood for generations of settlers.
  2. National apple day
    21st October is Apple Day, which was first launched in 1990 by Common Ground in Covent Garden and is now a nationwide event. It’s a day to recognise the wealth and variety of apples available in the United Kingdom.
  3. Poisonous or not
    Apple pips taste bitter and contain traces of cyanide which is very poisonous! However, there isn’t enough in an apple to be harmful.
  4. They ripen other fruit
    Apples produce ethylene gas which accelerates the ripening of other fruits, including bananas, tomatoes and avocados!
  5. Apple storage
    Storing apples in the fridge can keep them crisp and fresh for up to three to four weeks. But keep them in a plastic bag, otherwise they can cause other vegetables in there to go brown.
  6. How to stop apples going brown
    The flesh inside sliced apples quickly oxidises and goes brown. To stop this happening coat them well with lemon juice.
  7. Apple skin
    The skin of apples is the richest in nutrients, so leave the skin on to benefit from this!
  8. Best apples for cooking
    Tart apples like Granny Smiths and Pippins are the best ones for apple pies, tarts and baked apples, since they retain their texture well during cooking.Cooking apples (Brambley’s Seedling) break down easily, so these are perfect for puréed dishes such as apple sauce, ice cream and mousse.
  9. Apple moisture
    You might be surprised, but using pieces of apple is a perfect way to soften dried brown sugar! It also keeps cakes and bakes moist, just add a slice to your cake storage tin.
  10. Nutritional benefits
    Apples are an excellent source of vitamin CpotassiumB vitamins and important phytochemicals – especially quercetin, which all contribute to immune health and may reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.They’re also low in calories, high in fibre and in pectin, a soluble fibre which is has been associated with helping to lower cholesterol levels. The high fibre and pectin in apples has also been shown to promote digestive health and are good for relieving both diarrhoea and constipation.

Phew! That’s just about everything we know about apples – did we miss something? Leave a comment and let us know.

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