Apples and honey and so much more

Cathleen Kronemer, NSCA-CPT, Certified Health Coach, is a longtime fitness instructor at the Jewish Community Center. She is also a member of the St. Louis Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.

By Cathleen Kronemer, NSCA-CPT, Certified Health Coach

L’Shana Tovah!  Rosh Hashanah is here, heralding what I always consider the beginning of apple season.  Dipping apples in honey, and enjoying this sweet treat with freshly baked challah, is a sure sign of the holiday, and an autumn brimming with hopes for a healthy and happy New Year.

National Apple Month is the only national apple promotion conducted in the United States. Originally founded in 1904 as National Apple Week, it was expanded in 1996 to a three-month promotional window, extending from September through November…conveniently coinciding with our Jewish High Holy Days!

Can an apple a day truly keep the doctor away?  There is no guarantee that including these delicious members of the Rose Family as part of a regular meal plan will keep you from ever needing medical care; but these gems certainly are powerhouses of health benefits!  Packed with antioxidants, fiber and energy, apples are a delicious and easily portable way to keep up strength before and after a workout.  As a natural source of fructose and glucose, apples will ensure an adequate supply of energy as you pump your way through a grueling exercise session. Glucose replenishes the body’s glycogen reserves, thereby aiding and promoting muscle recovery.

Whether you choose to pick your autumn delicacies straight off the tree or from the grocery store produce aisle, keep in mind that apples will ripen 6-10x faster when stored at room temperature than if they are refrigerated.  Once ripened, cold apples do take on a certain delicious crispness, so chilling the fruit once it has ripened is perfectly acceptable and will not detract from its health benefits in any way.  If a warm fall treat is more to your liking, baked apples give off a sweet, spicy and tantalizing aroma, especially with the addition of cinnamon and a subtle dose of nutmeg.

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I am always telling our new granddaughter that I love her “a bushel and a peck”.  As it turns out, a “peck” of apples weighs 10.5 pounds…about as much as little Madelyn herself at 4 months old!

Here is an easy recipe to prepare for your Rosh Hashanah gathering. It also makes a great after-school snack, lunchbox treat, or post-workout energy booster.

Baked Apple Rings

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 large apples
  • 1 teaspoon of each: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg

Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.

Core apples and slice thinly with a sharp knife.

Toss slices with spices and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake for 1 hour. Sprinkle with additional cinnamon and arrange on a platter.  Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped topping.

Happy, Healthy, Delicious New Year To You and Your Families!