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Fast Cheap and Easy March 19, 2013  RSS feed

Fast, cheap, easy and healthy - Part 10

By Sherry Matney

Here we are about to begin week 10 and almost into the first week of spring. Everywhere I turn there is something else to sabotage my weight loss efforts. This week it was Spring Break and a visit from my two teenage grandsons. So much fun and so much food! My goodness they can eat, which means I cooked a lot, and not necessarily fast, cheap or healthy. And when and what I cook, I eat. It is just that simple.

But this is another week and I am up a pound. Still haven’t seen 150 but keep hoping. I suppose if I think about it enough, it is bound to happen. What do you think? I did manage to get my walking in, at least ten miles, so that is a plus but wasn’t very diligent about drinking water.

How about you? Are you putting me to shame? Did you walk? Did you drink your 8 cups of water a day? Oh, if I only knew!!

This week the super food we will look at is apples. The most common, easy to purchase and inexpensive food you can get or the money.

In my Super Foods book, apples ranks numero uno, #1, of all the foods listed. Years ago we would hear, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” and it looks as though that might be a true statement.

Although apples don’t, with the exception of potassium, contain standout amounts of any particular vitamin or mineral they do contain high levels of various plant chemicals. Some of these chemicals are helpful in protecting the body against cancer and Alzheimer’s, and has anti-inflammatory properties. Apples are a valuable source of pectin, a soluble fiber that can help lower bad cholesterol and help prevent colon cancer.

According to this book, research has found that adults who regularly eat apples have smaller waistlines, less abdominal fat, and lower blood pressure than those who don’t. When I read something like that I always wonder if people who eat apples are more likely to have a healthier lifestyle which could account for those facts, so I wonder, are they healthy because they eat apples or do they eat apples because they are healthy. Either way, if you don’t eat an apple a day, start now.

Apples are rich in flavonoids for healthy heart and lungs, low in calories, high in fiber and a great source of potassium.

Certainly, it is not difficult to find delicious apple recipes, but many of them add so many unhealthy ingredients you likely do not get much benefit from the apples. Below are a couple recipes that do not compromise the delicious, healthy apple.

Raw Apple Salad

2 medium apples, diced (don’t peel) 1 cup celery, thinly diced ½ cup fresh blueberries 2-3 tablespoons walnuts or almonds Dressing A few tablespoons of fresh lemon juice and about one teaspoon lemon zest Sugar or sugar substitute to taste 1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Toss apples, celery and berries with dressing. Top with walnuts and serve immediately. <iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/tdv5SvZjKgk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Microwave Baked apples

2 apples 2 tablespoons brown sugar 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 2 teaspoons butter

Core the apples, leaving the bottom intact. In a bowl, mix the brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Spoon the sugar mixture into the apples and set a teaspoon of butter on top of each apple. Place the apples in a deep casserole dish and cover. Microwave for 3 ½ to 4 minutes or until tender. Let the apples set for a couple minutes before serving.

My grandkids absolutely love spiced apples for breakfast. Similar to the one above but less trouble.

I slice the apples into eights, leaving the peel on them and I use whatever is on sale. Place in a shallow glass baking dish and sprinkle liberally with cinnamon. If you like, you can add some brown sugar but be careful. Pop into the microwave for about five minutes, depending on how many apples you are cooking. Take out and serve with whatever you are serving for breakfast. The apples create a tasty sauce which makes them good on pancakes or oatmeal or great by themselves.

Till next week. Eat healthy. Be happy.

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