It’s Autumn now and along with the obvious seasonal changes such as temperature and length of days, we’re also seeing new fruits and vegetables at the local farmers’ markets and grocery stores. Last week I picked up a bag of fresh green apples, and I couldn’t resist using them to make a spiced apple loaf with chunks of raw ginger.
When I was growing up, I always remember seeing health charts at school and at the doctor’s clinic with a picture of an apple, followed by the caption “An apple a day keeps the doctor away!” If only staying healthy were that simple, but actually, apples do contain many nutrients that make them worth eating on a regular basis.
Here are just a few reasons why apples are good for you:
- Apples are a low-calorie, high-fiber food; in other words, you can eat apples for a guilt-free sweet snack, and their fiber content will leave you feeling full for much longer.
- One apple counts for about 1 cup of fruit; the recommended daily fruit intake is around 2 cups for adults on a 2000-calorie diet, so an apple a day meets half the daily fruit requirement.
- Apples are a great source of immune-boosting Vitamin C.
- Apples contain quercetin, and interestingly, research suggests that quercetin may help to improve endurance and lead to other fitness gains. The jury is still out but so far the data revealed looks promising. [Read this article for more information]
So even if you don’t feel like chopping up apples for baking purposes, enjoy eating them as they are!
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose gluten free flour, plus 1 tsp
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- dash ground cloves and ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons agave syrup
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup apple juice, unsweetened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 chunk of fresh ginger, finely chopped (about 1 tsp)
- 2 cups apple, peeled, cored and diced
- 1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a loaf pan with a little butter.
- Add flour, baking soda, baking powder, and spices to a large bowl and mix to combine.
- In another large bowl, add the oil and sugar. Using a mixer, mix on medium speed until well combined. Add the egg, agave syrup, apple juice and vanilla, and mix until combined. Reduce speed to low, and gradually beat in the flour mixture, being careful not to overmix.
- In a medium bowl, toss together the chopped ginger, diced apples, chopped nuts and 1 tsp flour until combined. Fold fruit and nut mixture into the batter.
- Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Place pan on baking sheet, and bake until a tester inserted in center comes out clean, about 60-65 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes before removing it from pan and letting it cool completely on a wire rack (although, it tastes best when it’s still warm from the oven).