BLOG: One of the most upsetting indications that summer has past is the decreasing number of fresh fruit available at farmers markets and roadside stands. Peaches, plums and berries have made star appearances in the diets of many residents over the previous months.
Fortunately, the Northeast saves the best harvest for last: apple season! September and October are the peak months of apple-picking season in Upstate New York. Regardless of variety, apples are a delicious way to get the nutrients that, until recently, were abundantly found in summer’s fresh fruit.
One of the most important characteristics of an apple is its fiber content; a nutrient lacking in the diet of many Americans. The fiber found in your favorite red, green or yellow apple is considered soluble (versus the insoluble fiber of nuts and seeds). Soluble fiber delays the digestion of food inside your stomach, keeping you full and helping to control weight. Slower digestion also improves blood sugar control and allows the body to get maximum energy from food. And finally, soluble fiber can also help lower cholesterol and improve heart health.
But, how much fiber do you actually need? Guidelines suggest consuming 25-30 grams per day; a goal much higher than the actual 15 grams consumed by most people. So, the 5g of fiber you find in an apple is a great start to meeting your requirement. Nevertheless, including other foods such as oats, beans, flax and other fruits is important. And because the fresh and fibrous fruits are limited, fall becomes a time to get creative.
Time is always a barrier to eating and cooking healthy recipes. For that, I have developed a quick and easy fiber-full recipe for using our favorite fall fruit: apples. Nearly every ingredient is available at your local Stewart’s shop, making shopping fast and affordable. They also carry apples if you are too busy to get out and pick them yourself!
Incorporating other fiber-rich ingredients found at Stewart’s, makes this a healthy spin on a fall classic that is sure to delight all ages, even before they know how healthy it is!
Stewart’s Fast (and Fiber-Full) Fall Apple Crisp
Makes 10 servings
8 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
2 Tbsp sugar
3 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp maple syrup
1 1/2 C rolled oats
1/2 C high fiber cereal
1/4 C all-purpose flour
2 tsp cinnamon
3 Tbsp Stewart’s butter, melted
• Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray a 11x7 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
• Place apple slices evenly along the bottom of the dish. • In a separate bowl combine the remaining ingredients and stir until thoroughly mixed. (Oats may look almost like a wet-granola.)
• Top the apple mixture with the oat mixture and spread evenly.
• Bake for 40 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Nutrition Information per serving (Makes 10 servings): 180 calories, 4g fat, 2g saturated fat, 10mg cholesterol, 37g carbohydrate, 7g fiber, 3g protein, 30mg sodium, 230mg potassium
-Christine Sloat MS, RD, CDN
About Christine: Christine Sloat is a Registered Dietitian and life-long resident of upstate New York. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Dietetics from the University of Delaware, and a Master’s of Science in Applied Nutrition from The Sage Colleges in Troy. She has a nutrition consulting business, Nutritious Notions LLC.