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An apple a day the easy way |

An apple a day the easy way

Apple harvest

Apple harvest

Apples that are harvested in the fall keep longer than those that ripen in late summer.`

Posted: Thursday, October 19, 2017 3:45 pm

An apple a day the easy way

By Angela Shelf Medearis
The Kitchen Diva


There is some truth to the old saying about the health benefits of eating an apple a day. One apple has about 80 calories and about four grams of fiber. Two-thirds of the fiber and lots of antioxidants are found in the peel of an apple. Antioxidants help to reduce damage to cells, which can trigger some diseases.

Apples are the second-most valuable fruit grown in the United States. Oranges are first. The top apple producers are China, United States, Turkey, Poland and Italy.

Fall is the best time for harvesting and eating apples. Apples that ripen in late summer do not keep as long as apples harvested in the fall. Apples ripen six to 10 times faster at room temperature than if they are refrigerated. Fuji is one type of apple that can be stored for a long time. It will retain its texture for several months.

A good apple should be bright, crisp and juicy. Fresh apples need to be stored in a cool place (about 32 F to 40 F) to help keep them fresh and prevent rotting. Be careful not to get below 32 degrees F, because freezing will quickly deteriorate fresh apples.

Think beyond apples eaten out of hand or in a dessert. Using apples in savory dishes is a great way to incorporate fruit into your daily diet. Try these recipes for Apple and Gouda Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, and Crispy Chicken with Apples and Brussels Sprouts. Have an apple a day, the easy way.


    • 4 slices of fresh crusty bread (Pullman, Multigrain, Sourdough or Ciabatta)
    • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and sliced thinly
    • 4 slices smoked or regular Gouda cheese
    • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
    • Lay out bread slices. Add 1 slice of cheese each to 2 slices of bread. Divide apple slices in half and top each cheese slice. Top with another slice of cheese, and then place remaining bread slices on top. Spread one tablespoon of the mayonnaise on the top pieces of bread.
    • Heat two heavy, dry skillets over medium-high heat. Place both of the sandwiches with the mayonnaise-covered bread on the bottom of one skillet to cook first. Spread the remaining tablespoons of the mayonnaise on the top piece of bread.
    • Using pot holders, place the second, heated heavy bottom skillet on top of the sandwiches. Press down on the skillet to ensure full contact and a crispy texture. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until browned. If more browning is required, flip carefully and cook for another minute on the other side. Slice in half and serve. Makes 2 sandwiches.


I love this recipe because it showcases the best of fall in a one-skillet meal. You can toast the pecans in a dry skillet first over medium-high heat for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring to keep from burning the nuts. Set the pecans aside, wipe the skillet clean and proceed with the rest of the recipe. While the chicken is cooking, prep your vegetables. Makes 4 servings.

      • 1 1/2 pound boneless chicken thighs
      • 2 tablespoons poultry seasoning
      • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
      • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
      • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
      • 4 tablespoons olive oil or canola oil
      • 1/2 pound Brussels sprouts
      • 1 large Granny Smith apple
      • 1/2 large red onion
      • 3 garlic cloves
      • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
      • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
      • 1/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted
      • Season the chicken thighs with the poultry seasoning, 1 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper, and the cayenne pepper. Place a large, cast-iron or non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and add in 2 tablespoons of the oil.
      • Place the chicken, skin-side down in the skillet and cook without moving, uncovered for about 15 minutes, until the fat has rendered and the skin is deep golden brown and crisp. Turn chicken and cook on the other side. If the skin is sticking to the pan, it probably isn’t finished on that side. Reduce heat as needed if the skin starts to burn before it is golden brown.
      • Turn the thighs over and continue to cook for about 15 to 20 more minutes, uncovered. When the meat closest to the bone is cooked through, the chicken is done. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
      • Thinly slice the Brussels sprouts, apple, red onion and garlic. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan. Add in the Brussels sprouts, apple, red onion and garlic clove to the skillet, and cook over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, until the Brussels sprouts are wilted, about 5 to 6 minutes.
      • Stir in the vinegar, brown sugar and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and black pepper.
      • Return chicken to pan to warm, skin side up, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with the toasted pecans.

Angela Shelf Medearis is an award-winning children’s author, culinary historian and the author of seven cookbooks. Her new cookbook is “The Kitchen Diva’s Diabetic Cookbook.” Her website is To see how-to videos, recipes and much, much more, Like Angela Shelf Medearis, The Kitchen Diva! on Facebook. Recipes may not be reprinted without permission from Angela Shelf Medearis.

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Thursday, October 19, 2017 3:45 pm.

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