Cooler weather is in season~ YAY! I can never get tired of the fall season, it is just so pretty outside (will be even better in the next few weeks), and also it is HARVEST TIME (which means we will be getting a lot more options for fresh produce). October is the month for apples and cranberries.
Apples are commonly consumed in the United States all year round, and they are available in many forms: fresh, frozen, canned, dried, and juice. Apples are nutrient-dense fruit, which contain excellent sources of fibers, vitamin C, potassium, as well as phytochemicals (polyphenols and phenolic acids). The consumption of apples shows potential health benefits in preventing and managing chronic diseases, such as certain cancers, diabetes, bone disorders, cognitive decline, cardiovascular diseases, and pulmonary disorders (Sementelli, 2019).
Cranberries are harvested in fall, and mostly consumed during winter time (during holiday season). They are also available in many different forms, such as fresh, dried, frozen, sauce, and juice. Cranberries are packed with fiber, vitamin C, manganese, and antioxidants. The positive health benefits linked to consumption of cranberries are not limited to prevention of urinary tract infection; they also help to inhibit bacteria associated with gum disease and stomach ulcers; as well as to reduce risk of cardiovascular disease (Levinson, 2015).
Other than the impressive health benefits associated with the consumption of apples and cranberries, I love the versatility of both fruits when it comes to recipes, and they seem to pair very well together. I found some great interesting recipes to share with you.
Cranberry apple quinoa salad: This is a plant based recipe, it is light but not bland. This salad is packed with fiber and protein! I also prepared the salad dressing (basic vinaigrette) to go with this salad. The recipe is adapted from Primavera Kitchen.
Savory turkey cranberry apple braid: If you are hosting a dinner party during this holiday season, you must give this recipe a try! This savory pastry is not just easy to make, it is also very flavorful. I love how it has a good balance of sweet and savory taste. The recipe is adapted from Honeysuckle white.
Pork tenderloin with apples and onions: This recipe is a keeper per my friend, Lisa Morgan. The dish was prepared by Chef Brendan. Recipe is actually adapted from Sodexo.
Fruity chicken salad on croissant: I shared this recipe a couple months ago. I love this refreshing chicken salad so much, and now I love to share it again. The recipe was adapted from Taste of home.
Turkey and cranberry-apple chutney sandwich: The cranberry-apple chutney recipe is adapted from Taste of home. I made a slight modification to this recipe as I was not able to get fresh/frozen cranberries at the store. Per the recipe, you need sugar+water+fresh/frozen cranberries, I simply substituted them with a can of whole berries cranberries sauce. To make a sandwich, I spread a generous amount of chutney on toasted rye bread (or you can use ciabatta roll), stack with sliced turkey and provolone cheese, then lay a handful of arugula over the cheese. You can either serve this sandwich cold or hot.
Apple pie baked apple: If you are wanting a dessert after your meal, I vote for this delicate apple recipe. It is a healthier and easier option of apple pie. It is literally a baked apple recipe, but we make it fancier. This dish was also done by Chef Brendan. And, the recipe is adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction.
Apple cranberry cinnamon oatmeal cookie: Who does not like to have cookies for breakfast? These cookies are best when you have a busy schedule, do not have time for breakfast, and/or wanting to have a midafternoon snack. They tend to be a little bit dry when fresh out of the oven, but as they cool down, the cookies become soft and chewy. The recipe is adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction. I made a slight modification of the recipe by incorporating a handful of dried cranberries.
Levinson, J. F. (2015). Culinary corner: celebrate the holidays with cranberries. Today’s Dietitian, 17 (12), 66. Retrieved from https://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/1215p66.shtml
Sementelli, K. (2019). Health benefits of apples. Today’s Dietitian, 21 (9), 46. Retrieved from https://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/0919p46.shtml