Recipe Repertoire: The Big Apple

Little did I know that October was National Apple Month!  Growing up in Mexico, I was never a huge fan of apples.  For the most part they tasted mealy and not very sweet.  I wasn’t aware then that that had more to do from drinking highly sugared drinks and processed sweets, raising my threshold of sweet to a level that could never be compared by a whole, unprocessed fruit.  Later on, I also learned that apples used to be bred entirely for ease of transport and with little attention to flavor.  Fortunately, these days we have loads of great tasting apples with different textures, degrees of sweetness and eye appeal.  And as soon as I cleaned my diet from processed and junk foods like sodas and sweeteners, my taste buds came back to taste what is actually naturally good!
As I was reading the latest book by Dr. T. Colin Campbell (WHOLE, Rethinking the Science of Nutrition) I came across a study about the nutrition of an apple and focused on Vitamin C.  It turns out that about half a cup of apples have “only” about 5.7 milligrams of the isolated chemical compound that we know as vitamin C.  However, when they analyzed the impact of the same half a cup of apples (NOT the equivalent in milligrams of a vitamin C in pill form), the vitamin C-like activity in the body was equivalent as 263 times the amount of the isolated chemical.  The magic of apples ones again!
Baked, raw, grated, poached, the humble apple offers an incredible source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber and next to the banana, it iss about the easiest healthy snack to carry around.  Honeycrisp, Fuji, Gala, Jazz, Granny Smith, Empire Apples, however you slice them, these are likely to help you on your way to health. Give them a chance!  Check out below my recipe for a cornbread where you can pour the batter over diced apples before baking to make a scrumptious side for your family gathering or great as part of a healthy brunch.
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Whole Wheat Apple Cornbread
Makes about 12 servings
Try this cornbread that has applesauce and pieces of apples for extra sweetness.  I use soy milk and add some chopped nuts for texture and as a healthy fat.
Ingredients
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
2 teaspoons baking powder (aluminum free)
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup unsweetened soymilk
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup honey
1 cup fresh corn kernels or frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 cup chopped nuts, such as pecans or walnuts
2 apples, cored and cut into one inch pieces
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking dish with a non-stick mat and set aside.
Whisk together cornmeal, flour, flaxseed, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the liquid ingredients: soymilk, applesauce and honey. Stir honey mixture into cornmeal mixture. Add corn and nuts and stir until combined.
Spread diced apples on the bottom of the baking dish and add cornbread mixture over the apples.  Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

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