October 21st is National Apple Day and there are no prizes for guessing what it celebrates. Apples are a fruit we probably take for granted more often than not – the go-to item that you can munch on to top up your 5-a-day, the obligatory healthy item in a child’s lunchbox etc etc, but eating apples doesn’t have to be hard work. There are many creative ways you can include more apple your diet, adding that extra touch of flavour to both sweet AND savoury dishes…
Meatballs are a very versatile comfort food, being spicy or herby, served as light meal with a dip, or as a substantial dinner with a rich tomato sauce. But if you usually make yours with beef mince, may we suggest buying some pork mince when you next order with Ocado voucher codes and trying this alternative instead? Pork works well with both spices and Mediterranean flavours, but when paired with apple it really shines. Just grate a small cored and peeled apple and combine with your pork mince, some chopped fried onion, a crushed clove of garlic, some fresh thyme, and salt and pepper. Shape and cooked in the oven for approximately 20 minutes at 180 degrees centigrade, or until golden brown.
It might not be the season for summer salads right now, but this is one suggestion worth storing away for when it gets a bit warmer again. Homemade coleslaw always tastes a million times better than the shop bought stuff, and all you have to do to make it is finely slice some white cabbage and red onion, then mix with grated carrot and your favourite brand of mayonnaise (check out Sainsburys promo codes for a great selection). You can guess what we’re going to suggest next, right? Yes, get that grated apple out again and mix this in too, and if you want to avoid it turning brown, add a squeeze of lemon juice.
We’ve got every meal of the day covered today, and this is probably the easiest tip of all. Rather than just stirring honey, golden syrup or sugar into your porridge, chop up half an apple while you’re waiting for it to heat through and stir in along with some cinnamon. And that golden syrup too of course, because everyone knows this always makes porridge taste better.
‘Tis the season for hot puddings, but unfortunately most of them are a bit of a faff to prepare and something you can’t usually be bothered with on an average week night. Apart from this one, that is. All you need to do is heat your oven (180-200 degrees centigrade), core your whole apples (using a specially designed corer is the easiest way to do this and you can order an inexpensive one using Argos discount vouchers), score the skins around the middle and fill the centre. This filling is just a combination of a couple of tablespoons of demerara sugar, a handful of sultanas and a teaspoon of cinnamon. Once you have filled the centre of each apple, top with a knob of butter and bake for 20 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream, or Greek yoghurt if you want to be a bit healthier.
Easy Apple Tart
There’s a very good reason why no one apart from Bake Off contestants attempts to make their own puff pastry – because it’s incredibly difficult and time consuming. So thank goodness you can buy the readymade stuff from every single supermarket, because all it requires you to do is cut it down to the correct size and bake according to the packet instructions. To make yourself an easy apple tart, just cut out a large rectangle shape, then an edge to place on top. Thinly slice your apple, arrange in the centre and sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar before heating through.
So whether you spend National Apple Day biting down on your favourite variety or nagging your children to make sure they eat all there’s up, store a few of these apple suggestions for future reference and you might find this particular fruit featuring in your cooking and baking a bit more often.
By Anna Scott, 21st October 2016