NDSU Extension Service - Sargent County

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Apple Nachos

Apple Nachos 10/14/16The apple tree in my front yard produced abundantly this year.  From the time they were slightly green and under-ripe in August, all through September and early October, I harvested them for my family to enjoy, and I had lots to share with other people, too. Yum!                                                                                                           

Apples are delightfully versatile.  Perfect as a grab-and-go snack, and fun to bake and cook with, too.  Pies, crisps, turnovers are some popular ways to use apples, as is making fresh, frozen, or canned applesauce, apple butter, and dehydrated apple slices and apple leather.  NDSU Extension Service has a very nice variety of recipes at https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/food.

For good reason, apples are often are the symbol of nutrition and source of folklore.  They are naturally sweet, low in fat, and an excellent source of soluble fiber. Apple pectin is a soluble fiber that can help lower our LDL (bad) blood cholesterol levels.

Apples also are a good source of vitamin C, and the minerals potassium and magnesium. Eating the peeling (skin) is a bonus because it is rich in disease-fighting antioxidant compounds and fiber.

Researchers have linked apples to health benefits, including reducing our risk for stroke, helping with diabetes management and losing weight. Much of the research points to the natural antioxidants and fiber in apples as reasons for the health benefits associated with apples.

Fall seems like a good time to try new recipes, and Apple Nachos from the American Heart Association’s “Simple Cooking with Heart” program might be just what you are looking for.  It is printed below, and can also be found online at http://www.heart.org/simplecooking.

Besides apples, you will notice that the recipe calls for heart-healthy unsalted nuts and seeds and unsweetened dried cranberries. The nuts and seeds provide healthful fats and the dried cranberries contribute additional antioxidant nutrients. It could be fun to experiment a bit with your kitchen creativity by substituting other dried fruit, nuts, pumpkin seeds or unsweetened shredded coconut.

Apple Nachos
1/3 c. dried, unsweetened cranberries or raisins
1/4 c. sliced almonds, unsalted
2 Tbsp. hulled, unsalted sunflower seeds
3 medium apples (red or green), cored and thinly sliced (about 12 pieces per apple)
1 to 2 tsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. hot water
1/4 c. reduced-fat, smooth peanut butter
1 Tbsp. honey

In a small bowl, combine dried cranberries/raisins, almonds and sunflower seeds. Core each apple and thinly slice into about 12 pieces each. Layer half of the apples onto a large plate or platter. If the apple slices will be sitting out for a while, sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent browning. Using a microwave oven or teapot, bring 2 tablespoons of water to a boil. In a small bowl, combine hot water, peanut butter and honey. Use a spoon and stir until mixture is smooth. Use a spoon to drizzle the peanut butter mixture over the plated apple slices; sprinkle with half the cranberry mixture. Layer the remaining apples on top and repeat with remaining peanut butter and cranberry mixture. Serve.

Makes eight servings. Each serving has 167 calories, 7.4 grams (g) fat, 4 g protein, 22 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber and 66 milligrams sodium.

Adapted from:   Prairie Fare, 10/6/16, Julie Garden-Robinson, NDSU Extension Food and Nutrition Specialist

Photo Source:  https://pixabay.com/en/apples-basket-full-set-crop-food-805124/   (downloaded 10/19/16)

                                                                                                                                                 

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