Apples are available almost year round in Ontario and one of the only fruits available in the winter months. Apples are perfect little packages of health, which is how they got their slogan: An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Here are some nutritious facts on apples and a simple recipe to help you incorporate this amazing fruit into your daily life!
1. One of the highest fruits for antioxidant activity! Most of the activity is concentrated in the peel.
2. Great support for brain health. Apples protect against oxidative stress-induced activity towards neuron cells and possibly can prevent or slow the occurrence of Alzheimer’s.
3. Due to their high antioxidant content, apples lower the risk of heart disease and cancers.
4. Preventative measures against diabetes! Eating an apple a day stimulates the beta cells in the pancreas to secrete insulin, keeping it healthy and supporting the organ.
Apple Parsnip Soup
· 1/4 cup olive oil
· 3 leeks, white parts only, sliced
· 4 parsnips, cut into 1/2-in. pieces
· 4 cups vegetable broth
· 2 cups water
· 2 large yellow potatoes, cut into 1/2-in. pieces
· 2 seasonal apples, coarsely chopped
· 1/4 cup chopped parsley
· 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
· 3/8 cup milk
· 1 ½ tablespoon melted butter
Heat oil in a heavy pot over medium. Add leeks and sauté until tender then stir in parsnips and cook. Add broth, water, potatoes, apples, parsley and thyme. Boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender, about 30 min.
Puree soup in batches in a blender. Return soup to pot. Mix together milk and melted butter and add to soup. Season with fresh pepper. Ladle into bowls and garnish with extra parsley leaves.