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Take Five Easy Meals, Healthy Families: Apples - 9/26/2013

11:11 AM, Sep 26, 2013   |    comments
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One of the reasons I love living in Michigan is the fall apple season and I'm happy to report that this year promises to be one of the biggest harvests in decades!

For a mere 95 calories, a medium apple provide 4 grams of soluble fiber and is a good source of immune-boosting vitamin C. As a sweet and filling snack, apples can help you manage your weight and the soluble fiber aids in controlling cholesterol levels. Apples also contain a significant amount of disease fighting antioxidants.

Now that you know how healthy they are for you and it's time to add a bag (or two) of Michigan apples to your shopping cart... and use them in these easy and affordable recipes!

Cinnamon Apple Chips
Makes 4 servings

2 large red apples, such as Gala or Pink Lady®
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 cup Meijer Powdered Sugar
1½ tsp. McCormick® Ground Cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 250°F. Using a mandoline or a sharp knife cut apples crosswise into slices 1/8-inch thick. Remove any seeds. Drizzle apple slices with lemon juice.
2. In a large shallow dish combine powdered sugar and cinnamon. Dip apple slices in sugar mixture, turning to coat. Place apple slices in a single layer on parchment-lined baking sheets.
3. Bake 1½ to 2 hours or until apples are lightly browned and crisp, turning every 30 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container.

Per serving: 90 calories, 0g fat, 0g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 5mg sodium, 25g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 0g protein

Harvest Spinach and Apple Salad with Maple-Cider Vinaigrette
Makes 6 servings

2 (5-oz.) pkgs. Earthbound Farm® Organic Baby Spinach
4 turkey bacon slices, chopped
1 tbsp. Meijer Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 cup sliced onion
1 (16-oz.) pkg. mushrooms, sliced
1 cup apple cider or apple juice
¼ cup cider vinegar
2 tbsp. Meijer Organics Pure Maple Syrup
1 tbsp. Meijer Dijon Mustard
1 large apple (such as Granny Smith, Gala or Fuji), cored, thinly sliced
¼ cup chopped walnuts

1. Place spinach in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
2. In a large nonstick skillet cook bacon over medium heat 5 minutes or until browned and crisp. Add oil and onion; sauté 2 minutes or until onion is softened. Add mushrooms; sauté 2 minutes until softened. Transfer vegetables and bacon to bowl with spinach.
3. For the vinaigrette, return skillet to medium-high heat. Add apple cider; cook until reduced slightly, stirring and scraping up any browned bits. Stir in vinegar, maple syrup and mustard. Cook and stir 3 minutes or until thickened slightly. Remove from heat.
4. Pour vinaigrette over salad. Add apples, walnuts, and pepper to taste; toss to combine. Serve warm.

Per serving: 185 calories, 8g fat, 1g saturated fat, 10mg cholesterol, 255mg sodium, 26g carbohydrate, 5g fiber, 6g protein

Shari Steinbach, MS RD, Meijer Dietitian and Healthy Living Manager

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