Today is Apple Day, an autumn celebration launched in 1990 by Common Ground which focuses on the ‘richness and diversity of landscape, ecology and culture’ and ‘raising awareness in the provenance and traceability of food’.
Apples have a multitude of uses covering areas of our everyday lives such as nutrition, beauty and even household cleaning! They are an effective energy booster, rich in vitamins A and C and contain natural acids.
The use of apples and apple cider vinegar – the fermented tonic produced from them – dates back far into ancient history and has sustained in modern society as a result of the effectiveness, variety and accessibility of the fruit.
It is hard to dispute the goodness of all things apple, so we have compiled a list of the 7 best ways to get the best out of this versatile fruit so that you can have an apple a day…
1. Baked Apple Crisps
What you will need
- An apple – whatever your favourite variety may be
- A teaspoon of brown sugar
- Half a teaspoon of cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 110 degrees C
- Core the apple and cut it into thin slices before placing on a baking tray
- Combine the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the apple slice
- Bake for around 50 minutes, until the apples dry out
- Leave to cool on a wire rack until crunchy
2. Apple cider vinegar hair rinse
Apple cider vinegar leaves hair shiny and healthy-looking following a rinse using the fermented foodstuff.
For maximum benefit, prepare your vinegar a week before doing your rinse.
What you will need
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar. Ideally organic
- 3 cups warm water
- First, chop the fresh rosemary, which has been said to stimulate the scalp and promote hair growth, and add to a glass jar along with a cup of apple cider vinegar.
- Fill the rest of the jar with water and store in a cool, dry place for one week, shaking the jar every other day to disperse the rosemary.
- After one week (if you can wait that long!), dilute a third of a cup of the mixture with three cups of warm water in an old water bottle and shake well.
- Take the bottle into the shower with you and pour all the rinse over your hair after shampooing.
- Leave in for a few minutes and rinse thoroughly.
Core and slice a sweet apple and spread with no added sugar peanut butter for a quick and nutritious snack which will keep you going for hours, thanks to its slow release energy properties.
4. Apple and oatmeal face mask
The pectin in apples is great for soothing inflammation and combating wrinkles. The AHAs (alpha-hydroxy acids) found in the fruit refresh and tighten skin and are used in high end face scrubs and peels found on the market.
To benefit from the refining properties of apples as well as the moisturising effects of oats, try our natural face mask recipe.
The ideal winter comfort food which can be whipped up from scratch in hardly any time at all. This oat version is low in sugar.
What you will need (for 4-6 servings)
- 100g rolled oats
- 40g unsalted butter
- 60g brown sugar
- 400g apples (whatever variety you prefer), peeled, cored and cut into chunks
- ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 180C, gas mark 4
- Place the apples in a saucepan with half of the sugar, the cinnamon and 2 tablespoons of water
- Stew the apples on a medium heat until they are soft then place them into an ovenproof dish
- Mix together the oats, butter and remaining sugar until well combined
- Spread evenly across the top of the stewed apple
- Bake for 30-40 minutes
- Serve warm with thick custard to take you back to the school dinner hall.
6. Start the day with a cider drink
Apple cider vinegar that is!
Mix a tablespoon of the tonic with a cup of warm water first thing in the morning to aid digestion and balance pH and blood sugar levels.
Apple cider vinegar is a fermented substance and these have been found to balance bacteria in the gut. Studies have also found that it can improve insulin sensitivity, (which helps manage spikes in blood sugar) and restores alkalinity in the body, which has been suggested to boost metabolism and immunity.
Add an apple a day to your diet – add to a smoothie, pop one in your bag or try a new recipe.
With the variety available, you can have a different kind every day of the week, each with their own distinctive flavour.
Head to your local farmer’s market to pick up varieties produced in your own area and fill your fruit bowl with a cocktail of apples.
Share your favourite apple-based recipes and tips with us!