“An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” My mother used to tell me that proverb very often when I was a child.
Nowadays folk wisdom is confirmed by a number of scientific studies relative to the beneficial properties of apples. According to a research by the University of Florida, a decrease of the total cholesterol levels by 14% was achieved for the 160 women who participated in the programm and followed a diet including daily dried apple consumption for one year. It is estimated that eating raw apples would lead to even better results*. Other studies relate the systematic consumption of apples to the avoidance of heart disease, the loss of weight and the reduced risk of suffering from colon, prostate and lung cancer*. It is also believed that apples help liver detoxification, tone the gums and cure constipation. Apple cider regulates intestinal flora, lowers stomach acidity, reduces intestinal gas and promotes good kindey function*.
The healing properties of apples lie mainly to their high concentration of antioxidant compounds and fibers. Especially pectin, a fiber contained in apples, is hindering the absorption of cholestero by the intestine and encourages the body to use it, instead of accumulating it*.
Although it is highly unlikely that ancient people knew what is mentioned above, the apple tree was one of the first systematically cultivated species. The 7,500 apple cultivars known today have a common ancestor, the wild apple Alma (malus sieversii), which is native at the central Asia mountains. According to the historians, Alexander the Great was the first who had spotted in 328 BC in Kazakhstan dwarfed apples and sent samples to his homeland Macedonia. An impressive fact about apples is that their genetic code comprises of 57,000 genes, which up today is the largest known number of plant genome. The human genetic code consists of 30,000 genes*.
Did your appetite for apples grow suddenly? It is known that fruit are best consumed raw in order to benefit from their nutrients. If however the idea of a healthy apple pastry is more appealing to you an easy to prepare recipe follows. The particular apple pie contains also cinnamon, the beneficial properties of which are mentioned here.
So far I was not successful in spotting apple essential oil in the market. Nevertheless you can use warm baked apple poultice to soothe skin irritations and apple vinegar mixed with warm water to rinse your hair. The result will be silky soft and shiny hair.
You can also make your own apple essential oil following this techinque: fill a glass, dark colored jar with almond or calendula oil. Add the whole skin of an apple, close the jar and leave it in a sunny spot for one week, shaking the jar every 2 days. After one week strain the oil, add new apple skin and repeat the whole process. You may continue adding apple skins and leaving the mixture to mature according to the desired scent intensity. The produced oil has 6 to 12 months shelf life and should be stored in a dry and cool place.
Apple pie in 10′
1 pastry sheet
2 cups peach marmalade (preferably homemade)
3 apples chopped in small pieces or ground
Place the pastry sheet on an oily baking pan. Cover the half pastry surface with marmalade and add the chopped apples on top. Sprinkle with cinnamon and cover with the other half of the pastry sheet. Slightly notch the top surface of the pie and sprinkle with milk. Bake in preheated oven at 180oC for 30-40 minutes. After removing from the oven, when the pie has cooled down sprinkle with powdered sugar.
You will find many suggestions for desserts with apples at the following books and also interesting recipes for dishes with fish, meat, pasta and even apple coctails. For your convenience, in order to remove easily kernels and slice apples fast, do not omit to buy the special tool.