For many, fall is the PERFECT time of year — there is a crispness in the air that is invigorating and refreshing. Fall is also the time for football, harvest festivals and apples!! There are so many ways to enjoy apples — fresh and raw, baked into a pie, simmered into sauce or mixed into your favorite salad.
Apples pair exceptionally well with a sharp cheddar cheese. Add in some tart sauerkraut and you have a winning combination! I have been making these quesadillas for a few years, and they are always a hit. You can use flour or corn tortillas. Choose a firm, crisp-crunchy apple like Gala or honeycrisp. Use a high quality cheddar that you shred yourself (have you ever looked at what is in pre-shredded cheese?) and opt for natural fermented sauerkraut, not a vinegar based variety.
When choosing apples, look for firm, fresh-smelling fruit with smooth, tight skin. They should be free of bruises and blemishes. Apples are one of the “Dirty Dozen” so opt for organic or locally grown from a grower you trust.
Apples ripen 6-10 times faster at room temperature than if they were refrigerated. For optimal storage, apples should be kept at 35-40 degrees with relative humidity of 80-90%. (That is why those apples you bought at the beginning of the week and put in a basket on the counter were soft by Friday!) Apples also easily absorb odors, so store away from strong-smelling foods (like onions).
For the most health benefits, use a naturally fermented sauerkraut which can be found in the REFRIGERATED section of many grocery or health food stores. Making your OWN sauerkraut is simple, so I encourage you to try it! I personally have been making it regularly for the past 4 years, and try to have at least 1 tablespoon daily (usually added to my salad) for the probiotic and other health benefits!
Remember, a healthy lifestyle begins in the kitchen, and what better place to start than with a bag of apples!
Until next time,
Mrs. Dornberg, your kitchen BFF