Fall apple season makes snacking healthy!! After picking bushels of apples on my Hudson Valley apple picking adventure, I made a few recipes for Healthy Apple Treats!
Earlier this week I attended a presentation by T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D., a renowned scientist in the field of health and nutrition and professor Emeritus at Cornell University.
Dr. Campbell is author of the “China Study” which takes a comprehensive look at the relationship between the consumption of animal products and chronic illness.
His overall message to the public is to eat a whole foods, plant-based diet. A few of his research results suggest that disease is prevalent past a tipping point within consumption of animal based products. If animal product consumption rose above about 10% of food intake, his results show a significant jump in the level of chronic disease (a side note – his research was conducted on lab rats).
Really the message of eating more fruits and vegetables has always been at the top of nutrition recommendations – it’s nothing new.
Nutrition doesn’t have to be confusing, but the food industry has created a “food politics” that has created a dollar driven vs. health driven economy with consumer advertising at the core. (I’m currently reading a book by Marion Nestle, Ph.D. called “Food Politics”)
Take from this what you will, but this week I’ve really had plant based eating on my mind. My dad had a quadruple bypass surgery about a year and a half ago, so it’s something very real for me. I’ve always leaned towards a diet comprised of less meat and dairy, but I’m really interested to continue to dig into this research.
Dr. Campbell’s newest book “Whole: Rethinking Nutrition” has been added to my “must read” list for the winter. There is also a documentary that came out this past summer – trailer here – which I am really interested in watching. I’m hoping it will be part of a nutrition based film series that I help coordinate each year in my community.
I’m still working on bushels of apples from my apple picking travels (here). So I thought I’d use some to create healthy snacks for the week – starting with simple dried apple rings and apple-ginger spiced snack bites.
Homemade dried apples are easy and pack 10x the flavor as store-bought.
- 4 medium apples cored and sliced into thin rings. 1/4" thick slices will produce a crispier dried apple, 1/2" thick will produce a dried apple with a little more substance and chewiness.
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
- Pinch of ground cloves
Heat oven to 200 F.
Wash, core and slice apples.
In a large bowl, gently toss apples and spices.
Lay each individual ring/piece flat on a rimmed, parchment lined baking sheet.
Baking time will vary depending on thickness and how crisp you want your apple rings.
Take a wooden spoon and use it as a wedge to prop the oven door slightly ajar during the drying process. This allows the moisture to escape the oven.
A general timeline would be 1.5 - 2 hours, flipping the apples halfway through and rotating the cookie sheets. 2 hours will give you crisp apple rings that are more like apple chips.
Apple and Ginger in a healthy snack bite
- 1.5 cups rolled oats lightly toasted
- ½ cup almond butter
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 1/4 cups dried apple finely chopped (recipe above)
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cardamom
- 10 small pieces candied ginger finely diced
- 12 whole raw almonds to top (optional)
Place oats on a rimmed baking sheet and toast at 350 F for 10 min until just lightly browned. (If you're short on time, you can skip toasting the oats. I like them to have a little crunchy texture.)
In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients except whole almonds. Mix throughly.
Scoop out about a tablespoon and then roll between your palms to create the balls. It's helpful to wet the palms of your hand a little bit before rolling to prevent sticking. I wet them a few times during the process.
Place one whole almond on its side on top of each ball. It is helpful to add a little dot of honey on top of the ball to hold the almond in place.
Store in an air tight container or gallon-size bag in the refrigerator or freezer.
adapted from a recipe found @ fitfoodiefinds.com
Get the recipe for my
peanut butter energy bites here.