Make Every Bite Count with Michigan Apples
The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines were just released and they focus on choosing healthy foods and beverages that are rich in nutrients, while staying within individual calorie limits. The guidelines call on all of us to Make Every Bite Count! This means that the majority of the foods we choose to eat should provide an abundance of nutrients, not just calories. Unfortunately, the current low intake of nutrient-rich foods and beverages has actually resulted in the underconsumption of some key nutrients and dietary components. Among these are calcium, potassium, dietary fiber, and vitamin D. As we start a new year, make a resolution to carefully select the foods you add to each meal and snack to ensure important, health-promoting nutrients are included. Start simply by following the MyPlate Guide for planning meals. Each small step you take toward making healthy food choices will add up to big health benefits – bite by bite.
One of the foods you can feel good about consuming daily is a Michigan Apple. Eating just one apple a day, with the skin, will provide an average of 4.5 grams of fiber and a tennis ball-sized apple contains only about 80 calories. In addition, an apple will provide approximately 180 mg of potassium. So, making Michigan Apples a regular part of your food choices is helping you increase your intake of two under consumed nutrients and dietary components – fiber and potassium! Michigan Apples are also crunchy, sweet and satisfying. Add apple chunks to your morning cereal, keep whole apples in the refrigerator for snacks, or add apple slices to your dinner salad. As part of a nutrient-rich diet, apples can help protect against serious diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, cancer and more. Consider them your healthy secret weapon for 2021 and beyond.
Try our deliciously healthy recipes below and click here to get a full one-week menu plan featuring apples and other nutrient filled foods so you can Make Every Bite Count this year.
Michigan Apple, Quinoa Breakfast Bowl – I love chopped apples on oatmeal but this recipe uses high-protein quinoa for a nutritious, energizing morning meal that’s also gluten free. Recipe makes 1 serving.
3/4 cup 2% milk
2/3 cup diced Michigan Apple, divided
1/4 cup quinoa
1/4 teaspoon apple pie spice or cinnamon
1-1/2 tablespoons slivered almonds
1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
Combine milk, 1/3 cup chopped apple, quinoa and apple pie spice in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cover on simmer on very low heat until the liquid is absorbed, about 10-12 minutes.
Let stand 5 minutes. Top with the remaining apple, almonds and honey or syrup.
Nutrition information per serving: 340 calories; 9g fat; 52g carbohydrate; 14g protein; 6g fiber
Recipe adapted from EatingWell.com
Baked Apples with Granola – This recipe is super simple and these tasty baked apples make a great fiber-filled snack, or top with vanilla Greek yogurt for breakfast.
4 medium to large Michigan Apples (Honeycrisp, Jonathan, Rome or Braeburn work well)
1/2 -3/4 cup prepared granola
4 teaspoons butter, melted
4 teaspoons honey
Preheat oven to 350°F. Wash apples and scoop out the core leaving the bottom 1/4 of the apple intact. (Use an apple corer, knife, spoon or melon baller).
Place apples in a baking dish and drizzle 1/2 teaspoon of melted butter in each apple opening.
Fill each apple with 2-3 tablespoons of granola and top with remaining 1/2 teaspoon of butter on each.
Cover apples with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes, until apples are tender.
Drizzle each with a teaspoon of honey and serve warm.
Nutrition information per apple: 210 calories; 10g fat; 33g carbohydrate; 2.5g protein; 5.5g fiber
Apple Kale Salad – Chock full of flavor, nutrients and antioxidants, this fresh salad comes together in minutes!
Makes 4 servings
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 package baby kale or baby kale blend salad mix
1/3 cup dates, chopped
1 large Michigan Apple (Gala, Honeycrisp), cut into thin slices
1/3 cup sliced, toasted almonds
1/4 cup grated parmesan or asiago cheese
Whisk the lemon juice, olive oil and salt together in a large bowl. Add the kale salad mix and toss.
Add the dates, apple, almonds and cheese to the salad. Season with salt and pepper and toss well.
Nutrition information per serving: 256 calories; 8g fat; 41g carbohydrate; 4.5g protein; 6g fiber; 291 mg sodium