Definitely the Year to Keep the Doctor Away

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You may laugh at the old saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”, but much about that is rooted in truth. Apples provide multiple nutrients and compounds that help promote good health and weight management. One apple counts as one cup of fruit, helping you meet the American Heart Association’s recommendation to consume at least 4 ½ cups of fruits and vegetables daily. Apples are available in just about any grocery store and have a long shelf-life, so plan on adding this tasty fruit to your diet.

September and October are prime apple-picking season at North Carolina orchards. The largest North Carolina crops come from Henderson County, just outside of Asheville, and include Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Rome Beauty, and sweet Gala varieties. While COVID-19 may have changed the rules for apple picking, North Carolina still has apples to pick!! At most locations, your family can pick a peck of apples, sip on cider and sample homemade apple butter, apple-cider doughnuts, and apple-cider slushes. If you are looking for a spot to take your family go to Pick Your Own. Be sure to call ahead, apple harvest can also be affected by weather, wind, and rain.

Like apples, Brussels sprouts are super good for you and a great choice for a fall vegetable. This recipe combines the two powerhouse foods and everyone’s favorite, bacon.

Apples, Brussels Sprouts and Bacon

Ingredients

  • 5 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces, (you may substitute turkey bacon here)
  • 2 tablespoons Olive oil
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, cleaned and halved
  • 2 large Honeycrisp apples, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • Small pinch of ground cinnamon
  • Small pinch of ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup dried cranberries (Craisin’s)

Directions

  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine the apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, and water.
  2. In a 12-inch skillet over medium-low heat, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove from the pan and set aside to cool.
  3. Over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil in the bacon skillet. Add the Brussels sprouts to the pan, cut side down, and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until the Brussels sprouts are golden brown, on one side.
  4. Place the chopped apples in the pan on top of the Brussels sprouts, season with the cinnamon and nutmeg, and stir in the together.
  5. Pour the apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, and water mixture into the pan.
  6. Add the dried cranberries and cooked bacon to the pan. Mix continuously and continue to cook for another 2-4 minutes, long enough to soften the apples.

Serve immediately, serves 4-6.

Apple Beet Salad with Apple Vinaigrette Dressing

Ingredients

For the salad

  • 1 tablespoon pecans or walnuts
  • ½ cup grated beets
  • ½ apple
  • 2 handfuls of your favorite mixed greens or spinach

For the vinaigrette

  • ½ cup unsweetened apple juice
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 pinch sea salt

Directions

For the salad

  1. Gently toast the nuts in a dry skillet/frying pan or under a broiler. Keep a very close eye on them so they do not burn and set aside.
  2. Grate the beet and core and slice the apple.
  3. In a bowl place greens, top with the grated beets, apple, and nuts.

For the dressing

  1. Mix all ingredients in a mason jar and mix well. Refrigerate if not serving immediately.

Serves 1.

 

Classic Crock Pot Pork Tenderloin with Apples

(No article is complete without a Crock Pot recipe)

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. pork tenderloin
  • 2 tablespoons Olive oil
  • 2 medium apples, one diced and one sliced
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1 tablespoon local honey
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Directions

  1. Season pork tenderloin with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the pork for 2-3 minutes per side, until browned. (if you are in a rush, this step can be eliminated)
  2. Place diced sweet potato, one diced apple, and diced onion in the bottom of a slow cooker. Season with the remaining salt and pepper. (I always add a little extra pepper).
  3. Make slits in the pork tenderloin and stuff with the sliced apple, about 6 slits depending on the pork loin. Transfer to slow cooker and sprinkle the entire mix with the cinnamon and drizzle with the honey.
  4. Cook on low for 7-8 hours, until the temperature is 145 degrees. Rest for 3-5 minutes before serving.

Serves 4.

 

Fall Vegetable Power Bowl with Peanut Dressing

Ingredients

For the bowl

  • 2/3 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup Brussels sprouts
  • 1 small sweet potato
  • 1 tablespoons oil
  • 1 cup chopped kale
  • 1 small apple,  thinly sliced, use Honeycrisp if available
  • 10 grape tomatoes, halved

 For the dressing

  • 2 tablespoons Olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup

Directions

For the dressing

  1. In a small bowl, mix dressing ingredients together until smooth, you may add a little water to thin if desired.

For the bowl

  1. Cook the quinoa according to directions.
  2. Roast the veggies. Cube the sweet potato. Place sweet potato, Brussels sprouts on a greased or sprayed pan, and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning. Roast at 375 degrees for about 25-30 minutes.
  3. Assemble the bowls, divide the cooked quinoa, roasted vegetables, apple slices, tomatoes, and kale into two medium bowls. Top with the dressing.

Serves 2.

 

Classic Waldorf Salad with Greek Yogurt

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large apple, diced
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup halved red grapes
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries

Directions

  1. Whisk mayonnaise, yogurt, and salt in a large bowl. Add apple, celery, grapes, walnuts, and cranberries. Toss to coat.

Serves 4.