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Have you gone apple picking recently? Or perhaps you’ve just noticed that

grocery stores and farmers’ markets are prominently displaying all kinds
of apples these days. Yes, it’s apple season again!

If you’re looking for new ways to make apples or just a few more good reasons to eat them, you can read up on it in this article I recently wrote for We the Eaters, a blog for food lovers.

If you’re in the DC area come on out to Joe’s Movement Emporium for an apple cooking demonstration on Thursday, October 29 at 7 pm. We’ll make a soup, a sugar-less snack and share a few recipes to take advantage of apple season! 

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This fall I am thrilled to be offering workshops in my neighborhood of Mt. Rainier, MD. I would love for you to come out and see me and to get to know Joe’s Movement Emporium, a vibrant resource for people who love to art as much as they like to move!

For each event listed below, the suggested donation is $10.

Please pre-register at www.joesmovement.org, or click on each of the links to reserve your spot!

CC0 Public Domain

CC0 Public Domain

BREAKING UP WITH SUGAR Thursday, October 8th at 7 pm. Designed for people who have been told to cut the salt from their diets! 60-minute workshop on the role of salt in the body, that covers of the reasons why doctors often recommend a reduced salt diet with certain health conditions. Workshop will cover new science on salt as well as action steps individuals can take if they are interested in reducing their salt intake.

SALT: FRIEND OR FOE? Sunday, October 18th at 2 pm. Designed for people who have been told to cut the salt from their diets! 60-minute workshop on the role of salt in the body, that covers of the reasons why doctors often recommend a reduced salt diet with certain health conditions. Workshop will cover new science on salt as well as action steps individuals can take if they are interested in reducing their salt intake.

APPLE SEASON COOKING DEMONSTRATION Thursday, October 29th at 7 pm.  Participants will become acquainted with the nutritional benefits of apples, they will learn what to look for when choosing apples, how to store them and how to cook with them. Participants will also participate in making and sampling a sugarless apple snack, a green apple smoothie and an easy-to-make apple-squash soup. All easy-to-follow recipes will be shared with participants so they can make these dishes at home.

SPICES, FLAVORS AND FLAVORING Thursday, November 12, at 7 pm. Designed for people who want to cut down on salt and add more spice to their meals but do not know where to start! What role do spices play in our life? How are they aligned to our sense of taste? 50-minute workshop on how to use spices with some basics on how to get the flavors you’ve tasted at restaurants in the dishes you cook at home.

HEALTH STRATEGIES FOR THE HOLIDAY SEASON Sunday, November 22nd at 2 pm.  Designed for people who feel that their best health goals are completely undone by the 5 weeks of holiday parties that happen between Thanksgiving and the end of the year. Participants will receive a number of strategies and work to formulate their own plans for staying on track during the holiday season.

THE SKINNY ON FATS  Sunday, December 6th at 2 pm.  Confused about the “new science on fat?” Can I eat fats now, or are they still dangerous to my health? Participants will learn about the sources of fat in the diet as well as the difference between saturated, unsaturated and trans fats, and which are the fats that are to be avoided. Participants will recognize the different names for fats, the benefits of some essential fatty acids for optimal health and will receive concrete recommendations on how to cook and store their oils to prevent them from spoiling.

Use this link, Hearty Nutrition Line up, to download a PDF of all the upcoming events at Joe’s Movement Emporium.

Here are some random thoughts on apples that you may not have considered….Image

Sometimes when a person eats fruit, they end up with a bloated stomach. This is a sign that the fruit is fermenting while it travels through the digestive system. Apples, however, contain a malic and tartaric acids which prevent them from fermenting in your stomach so they are less likely than other fruits to cause bloating.

Apples are best stored in the refrigerator. Thy do better in the dark and in cooler temperatures. Like other fruits, apple skins give off ethylene gas. When storing apples in the refrigerator; keep them away from your carrots because this gas will give your carrots a bitter taste. (Robinson, 2013).

Read more about apples from these resources:

Robinson, Jo (2013-06-04). Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health (p. 229). Little, Brown and Company. Kindle Edition.

Wood, R. (2010). The new whole foods encyclopedia. Penguin Group: New York., NY.

The most colorful apples are the ones that have been exposed to the greatest amount of sunlight and therefore contain more phytochemicals that benefit your health (Robinson, 2013). In her recent book Eating on the Wild Side Jo Robbins talks about how apple trees are trimmed so that more of the fruit is exposed to sunlight making the apples rich in color. The more color they have, the more phytonutrient value (see http://heartynutrition.net/2013/10/07/apples-a-rich-source-of-antioxidants/).

Photo by Rick Ruggles

Photo by Rick Ruggles
http://www.foundhearts.com

Choose organic or locally grown apples. The Environmental Working Group lists apples as having some of the highest levels of pesticides on them when compared to other fruits and vegetables. Organic apples are pesticide free. Many times locally grown apples are also organic, but farmers in smaller orchards and farms often cannot afford to go through the organic certification process, so they don’t have the organic label. The best thing to do is to ask the farmer how he or she harvests the apples when you see them at the farmers’ market. Also, locally grown apples are fresher and are grown in smaller orchards that use smaller amounts of harmful pesticides.

Choosing organic also helps to protect the natural habitat in which apples grow. Apples need bees and other insects for pollination – excess pesticide use can negatively effect crops, habitat and bee populations.

See the following sources for more information:

The Environmental Working Group 

The Organic Center 

Robinson, Jo (2013-06-04). Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health (p. 229). Little, Brown and Company. Kindle Edition.

Wood, R. (2010). The new whole foods encyclopedia. Penguin Group: New York., NY.

Last Sunday, my classmate Josh Smith and I gave a presentation at a parish in downtown F&F-KM-Teach-DSC_4757Baltimore organized by the Baltimore Food and Faith Project, supported by the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for a Livable Future. While I did mention this in my previous blog, I did want to give a shout out to the good work of the Baltimore Food and Faith project — working with faith communities, religious schools, and faith-based organizations to address social and economic justice in the food system as well as ecological care.

Josh and I were welcomed by a fantastic group of people eager to learn more about how to combine making healthy food choices with more sustainable living.

F&F_apple-chop_4734On the menu were 50 lbs of apples donated by the Baltimore Orchard Project, an organization dedicated to bringing productive fruit trees and fresh fruit to neighborhoods throughout Baltimore;  by doing so, they are working with local neighborhoods and faith communities to create a greener and healthier city, and more resilient neighborhood communities.

 

Over the past couple of months I have been doing food demonstrations educating people on how to increase the benefits of particular foods through cooking techniques. So far I have averaged about one demonstration a month. Each one I put together helps me to gain the supervised hours I need to get my license to practice as a nutrition specialist in the state of Maryland.

Back in July, my classmate Maureen and I led a fermentation workshop. We were able to share what we’ve learned regarding the benefits of eating fermented foods. Participants went home with fermented kefir, sauerkraut, ketchup, and fermented fruit and vegetable drinks known as kvasses.

In August I did a cooking demonstration at the Mt Rainier’s Farmer’s Market. There I tried to emphasize quick and easy recipes that involved many of the vegetables sold at the market. There was quite a bit of interest. I am sure that had nothing to do with the free food samples. To learn more about that day – please go to my YouTube page and see the slide show

September I hosted a canning party  where we canned applesauce and some spicy salsa. Canning is a great option if you have a garden and want to enjoy the fruits of your harvest later in the year.

Just last weekend I gave a workshop at a church in Baltimore on apples – how to serve them fresh and cook them in both savory and sweet dishes. For me, the best part of the workshop was when the 5-year old boy wanted to be the first to try the green smoothie made of kale, ginger, banana and apple, and then he immediately asked for seconds!

I have been lining up engagements throughout October and November. If you know of a group that’s eager to learn, perhaps we can arrange something!

If you live on the anywhere in the northern US you know that apple season is here! Many varieties of apples are ready for harvesting.Farmers Market-112

Nutritionally speaking, apples are rich in flavonoids, a class of phytochemicals that act as antioxidants and protect the body against cancer. They are also rich in vitamin C and other antioxidants (Wood, R., 2010).  Quercitin, a major component of apple peels, has been associated with a decreased risk in type II diabetes in a number of nutritional studies (Boyer & Liu, 2004).

Why eat foods rich in antioxidants?

If you cut open an apple and leave it on the counter for an hour, you’ll see that it “ages;” it discolors and softens and becomes less appealing to eat. This browning process is called oxidation; it is akin to what takes place in your body when “free radicals” are allowed to multiply and travel liberally.

Free radicals are oxygen and nitrogen based molecules with unpaired electrons; they are produced by a number of metabolic processes in the body. Left on their own free radicals attack healthy cells trying to find an electron to make them complete. Antioxidants help to keep the peace – they prevent free radicals from destroying other cells by giving them a positive electron and neutralizing them  before they can harm other cells.

Studies have shown that a diet rich in antioxidants can help prevent cancer and chronic diseases, like diabetes, cardiovascular disease and asthma. (Boyer & Liu, 2004 and Hyson, 2011).

Fresh apples with the peels on contain the most phytochemical value.  Be certain to wash the skin thoroughly. When baking, don’t throw away the peels, use them in your dish to add fiber and phytonutrients.

References:

Boyer, J. and Liu R. H. (2004). Apple phytochemicals and their health benefits. Nutrition Journal 2004, 3:5. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-3-5

Hyson, D. A. (2011). A comprehensive review of apples and apple components and their relationship to human health. Advances in Nutrition 2(5): 408–420. doi: 10.3945/an.111.000513

Robinson, Jo (2013-06-04). Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health (p. 229). Little, Brown and Company. Kindle Edition.

Wood, R. (2010). The new whole foods encyclopedia. Penguin Group: New York., NY.

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