October Fiber Fest: Super Fall Foods-Pears and Apples: The Best in Fiber, Phytochemicals and FlavorPosted by October 07, 2015
We have 2 reasons to celebrate this month of October and November- Apples and Pears. Why? These fruits have the highest fiber around for fruits, due to the insoluble fiber which is also great for Diabetics too. They are a good addition to any meal as a piece of fresh fruit serving with it’s blood suger lowering ability. Pears are exceptional for the phytochemicals and fiber combined in the skin of the fruit! There are many varieties and my favorites are Boscs(below right), Anjou and Bartletts(below left).
Pears contain hydroxycinnamic acid, which is found in the pear skin. Studies have shown that this polyphenol might lower risk of stomach cancer. Pears have no sodium, and higher pectin levels than apples- ladies good for the skin! Glycemic index rating 38. (as in 100 being the highest for raising blood sugar) Insoluble fiber helps healthy bacteria stifle the production of bad bacteria and carries it out of the gut. We have two recipes including my favorite fruits. Remember: you can always cut back on the sugar by half and use gluten free pie dough as substitutes.
Fresh Pear Tart
A quick way to use pears is in a puff pastry found in your freezer case. here’s the recipe:
- 1 sheet of puff pastry defrosted
- 3-4 bosc pears cored and sliced thinly
- 3 tablespoons of melted butter
- 1/4 cup of sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Defrost one sheet of puff pastry and use a rolling pin to jut flatten the sheet out a little and lay flat on a cookie sheet. Score which means take a sharp knife and create a 2 inch border around the sheet not cutting all the way down. prick the bottom with a fork in 4 places. Slice and core pears and lay out in 2 rows. Brush melted butter over the pears and sprinkle with sugar and nutmeg. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes or until golden and puffed around the edges.
There is a revolution going on in the produce aisle with apples! You don’t have to slice apples for yourself or the kids before you go to work or school. We have prepackaged apples with no added sugars.
Apples carry their weight in healthy benefits. High in quercitrin for the heart, apples also possess flavonoids which can slow down the breakdown of complex carbohydrate into simple sugars (good for weight loss!) -So your blood sugar has less simple sugars to deal with. Apples have polyphenols, which stimulate the beta cells in the pancreas to rid sugar from the blood.
Ben Franklin could have been the first founding foodie, for he thought apples were the perfect food back in the 1770’s. On his journeys to Europe, as the story goes, Ben asked his wife to send Pippin apples overseas, when he lived in France.
There are many delicious apple bar recipes. For a quick apple bar baked up in half the time, use commercial pastry crusts. Try ready made dough defrosted. They come in rolls and when defrosted lay them flat. Press 2 pie disks of dough into a cookie sheet and also into the corners of the pan and bake for 30 minutes until golden brown.
- 2 commercial pie crusts defrosted
- 6 apples peeled and cored and thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon of grated lemon peel
- juice of one lemon
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- pinch of cloves
- 1 cup of oatmeal
- 1 cup of all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup ground walnuts or almonds
- 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar
- 1 1/2 stick partially softened butter, (12 tablespoons) sliced and cut up into pieces
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Unroll the defrosted dough and press the dough into the baking sheet pan 9x 12, and let rest in the refrigerator for 10 minutes. Cut up the apples, add the 1/2 sugar, spices, lemon juice, extract and zest and mix together. Set aside. In a food processor add the oatmeal, flour nuts, baking powder and the remaining 1 cup sugar. Pulse a few times and add the butter. Pulse until butter is incorporated into the mixture and looks like peas. Set aside. Take the baking pan out of the refrigerator, bake in the oven for 15 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and rest for 10 minutes . Cover the baked dough with the apples and sprinkle with the oatmeal nut topping.
Cover the bars with foil and bake for the first 30 minutes covered. Take off the foil and continue baking until bubbly and the crust is crunchy for an additional 20-30 minutes.