As the saying goes, an apple a day keep’s the doctor away. The old adage is more than just a common cultural phrase, it’s a health claim backed by science. According to one of my favorite NYT columns, Well, consuming apples is linked to a decreased risk of stroke. Apples are also an excellent source of dietary fiber, which may be effective for those with high blood pressure. Like other colorful fruits, apples contain a number of antioxidants and phytonutrients, including the flavonol quercetin, which has been associated with reducing inflammation in the body.
The best part about apples, in my opinion, is that unlike berries and (my personal favorite) pomegranate seeds, they are relatively inexpensive. And at this time of year, it’s easy to source them locally–or better yet, pick your own!
After a recent trip to Stribling Orchard in Markham, VA I was left with a bounty of apples in need of a purpose. Since my slow-cooker is my chosen culinary best friend this fall, I decided to give apple butter a whirl. The result is a deliciously lemon-ginger spiked treat, perfect atop your Sunday morning pancakes or cup of plain yogurt.
Lemon-Ginger Apple Butter
What You’ll Need:
8-10 medium to large apples
zest of one lemon
juice of one lemon
1 inch grated fresh ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 cup Demarra cane sugar
How to Make It:
1. Wash and core apples, then rough chop them (leaving skin on).
2. Fill a 5 quart slow-cooker with your apples then toss together with lemon, zest, spices and sugar.
3. Cover and cook on high for 5-6 hours.
4. Blend the cooked apples until smooth with a hand blender or in a food processor.
5. Let cool then serve immediately or give canning a try to preserve your pickings all winter long.