Cuisine: An apple a day …

It’s apple month and a great opportunity to support our local tree fruit industry at the same time as you eat for the health of your heart and cook for the health of your loved ones.

Apples really are a good choice for main meals and snacks. They’re low in calories but a good source of dietary fibre as well as antioxidants such as catechins and flavonoids.

Who knew, eh?

Here I just thought they were the perfect portable snack; delicious and nutritious. Plus, they’re good in far more than just apple pies and apple crisp.

From salads to chutneys; stuffings to muffins, apples are tasty in so many ways it’s hard to keep track of them all.

And, there are many new varieties from which to choose. To learn the characteristics and the best ways of using each of the varieties, go to the B.C. Tree Fruits website at: www.bctree.com and click on products, then apples.

There are also lots of recipes for great recipes using apples, like the two here on this page, as well as health information. And, it’s not just about apples, but about all the tree fruits grown here in the Okanagan.

B.C. Tree Fruits is owned by the 800 B.C. growers who make up the Okanagan Tree Fruit Co-operative, your friends and neighbours.

Be sure to look for the B.C. leaf brand sticker on all the fruit you buy.

If you’ve enjoyed reading this column for the past dozen or so years, you might also enjoy my book, to be published this spring, Jude’s Kitchen. To reserve a copy, go to: www.judiesteeves.com

Apple & Oatmeal Cookies

This recipe was created by Chef Ned Bell of the Cabana Grille in Kelowna for B.C. Tree Fruits and I haven’t tried making it, but it looks good. You could substitute soy milk for the regular whole milk and spelt flour for the white flour. Adding the raisins and walnuts is optional.

3/4 c. (175 ml) butter

1 1/4 c. (300 ml) brown sugar

1 egg

1/4 c. (60 ml) milk

1 1/2 tsp. (8 ml) vanilla

1 c. (250 ml) flour

1/2 tsp. (2 ml) salt

1 1/4 tsp. (6 ml) cinnamon

1/4 tsp. (1 ml) nutmeg

1/4 tsp. (1 ml) baking soda

3 c. (750 ml) quick oats

1 c. (250 ml) apple

3/4 c. (175 ml) raisins

3/4 c. (175 ml) chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Peel and chop apples.

Combine butter, sugar, egg, milk and vanilla in a mixing bowl, and beat at medium speed until well blended.

Combine flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and soda in a separate small bowl and then combine with wet ingredients.

Stir in oats, apples, raisins and nuts.

Drop spoonfuls of cookie dough onto greased baking sheet and bake for 12 to 14 minutes.

Makes 30.

Apple & Corn Bread Muffins

This recipe created by Cabana Grille chef Ned Bell for B.C. Tree Fruits is a tasty, savoury muffin that would pair well with soups, salads and stews. I made them in cupcake papers, but they wouldn’t come off the papers until they were cold, so I don’t recommend that! Often muffin recipes can be too sweet and have too much fat in them, but these are light and good without. I used a large apple.

1 1/4 c. (300 ml) cornmeal (coarse)

1 c. (250 ml) flour

1 1/2 tsp. (7 ml) baking powder

1/2 tsp. (2 ml) baking soda

1/4 tsp. (1 ml) sea salt

2 eggs

1 1/2 c. (375 ml) buttermilk

2 tbsp. (25 ml) butter, melted

1/2 c. (125 ml) grated apples

1/4 c. (50 ml) fresh parsley, chopped

Pre-heat oven to 400 C. Grease muffin tins.

In large bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk and butter.

Pour over dry ingredients.

Add grated apples and parsley to the batter and stir just until moistened.

Spoon into muffin pan.

Bake in the centre of the oven until the tops are firm to the touch, about 25 minutes. Let stand in pan for two minutes before removing. Serve warm or transfer to rack to cool.

Makes 12.

Make-ahead: Store in airtight container for up to 24 hours or wrap individually in plastic wrap and freeze in an airtight container for up to two weeks.