An Apple a Day...
Apples are a healthy, delicious and convenient snack option. A medium sized apple provides about 100 calories and 4 grams of fiber, half of which can be found in the peel. They are also a good source of antioxidants. Studies have shown that apples may protect against heart and neurodegenerative diseases (such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease), as well as diabetes and certain types of cancer. They may also play a role in helping with weight control.
Reasons to Save the Peel
Although they are a nutritious part of the fruit, the texture and appearance of the skin may not be a favorite food in your household. Do your children insist on removing the peel? Maybe a specific recipe only requires the apple flesh. In an effort to reduce waste and maximize the health benefits of foods, here are some additional ways to utilize the peels.
Apple peels can be left whole, chopped or pureed before adding to different foods. Altering the size of the peel will influence the way it can be used in a dish. Here are a few ideas to use up your apple peels:
- Add to salads
- Dehydrate into chips
- Flavor water or tea
- Make homemade jelly
- Boost your smoothie
- Hide in dips/spreads
- Added flavor to oatmeal
How to Store Leftover Peels
If you are preparing apples in advance, the peels can be removed and saved for later use. Simply place them in a sealed bag or container. Add a little bit of either orange juice or lemon juice (or a mixture of both). Toss together to coat evenly. The vitamin C in the citrus will help prevent browning. The apple peels can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer.
It is also worth mentioning that apples are included in the “Dirty Dozen,” a list of pesticide residue containing produce. Whether you are eating the whole fruit or tossing the peel you might want to purchase organic apples, when possible. Otherwise, remember that the health benefits of eating fruits and vegetables outweigh the potential risks of pesticide exposure. So don’t worry too much about adding that conventionally grown apple to your shopping cart.
Dehydrating fruits can be a fun and easy recipe to make with children. It only requires a few ingredients but be sure to leave plenty of time to dry the peels. Either a dehydrator or a low temperature oven can be used to make this crispy apple snack.
Combine crunchy apple peels, almonds and turmeric with homemade or store-bought cabbage to make this colorful and sweet, golden coleslaw recipe.
Muhammara is a Middle Eastern red pepper and walnut spread. It can be served as a dip alongside vegetables or spread onto sandwiches for additional flavor. Including apple peels in this recipe gives the Muhammara a subtle taste of apple without changing the texture and overall flavor of this popular dip.
MORE: The Healthy Apple
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