Apples, Apples, Apples

When I go to Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s, I am besieged by a wide variety of organic apples: Pink Ladies, Granny Smiths,Galas, MacIntosh Apples and more. I usually buy some for eating and some for baking, asking the produce people which is which for my purposes.

According to www.bestapples.com, a website for Washington State apples:  “Although there are more than 7,500 varieties of apples worldwide, following are the top 9 varieties of apples grown in Washington state. Our most famous apple, the Red Delicious, represents about 30% of apples grown in the state, but accounts for 48% of apples exported to other countries. ” Here are the 9 varieties: Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Gala, Fuji, Granny Smith, Braeburn,Honeycrisp, Cripps Pink, Cameo.

The website www.orange pippin.com/apples, has an A-Z directory with photos of the many varieties of one of America’s favorite fruits. This is their list of the Top 10 Varieties: (Similar but not exactly the same)

Granny Smith (votes: 95) – rating: 4.59 Pink Lady® (votes: 92) – rating: 4.36 Honeycrisp (votes: 87) – rating: 4.59 Jazz (votes: 66) – rating: 4.32 Red Delicious (votes: 55) – rating: 3.00 McIntosh (votes: 42) – rating: 4.69 Golden Delicious (votes: 41) – rating: 4.07 Fuji (votes: 40) – rating: 4.53 Gala (votes: 37) – rating: 3.97 SweeTango® (votes 35).

From http://urbanext.illinois.edu/apples/nutrition.cfm here are some  Apple Nutrition Facts:

*One medium 2-1/2 inch apple, fresh, raw, with skin) Calories 81 Carbohydrate 21 grams Dietary Fiber 4 grams Soluble Fiber Insoluble fiber Calcium 10 mg Phosphorus 10 mg Iron .25 mg Sodium 0.00 mg Potassium 159 mg Vitamin C 8 mg Vitamin A 73 IU Folate 4 mcg.

Since I eat a lot of apples I always buy organic apples and organic applesauce. The Environmental Working Group (www.ewg.org) lists apples at the top of the Dirty Dozen list for last year, so organic is the way to go.

A couple of weeks ago, The Jewish Exponent published my article about being Kosher & Vegetarian with recipes for the Jewish New Year.
((http://www.jewishexponent.com/kosher-and-vegetarian-dishes-for-the-holiday).

Apples dipped in honey is one of the traditions for wishing everyone a sweet New Year, so this is a spin-off of that tradition. I forgot to take a photo, but I found a photo on stock photo that shows a slice of cake with apples & honey…a perfect Jewish New Year substitute photo for my recipe!


Apple Honey Cake

Utensils: Bowls for mixing, measuring cups & spoons, baking pan
Prep. Time: 30 minutes or so
Baking Time: 45 min.

Category: Vegetarian

Ingredients

1/2 cup organic apple juice or orange juice
¾ cup organic raisins or currants

(Wet ingredients)
2 large eggs
1/3 cup olive, coconut or walnut oil
(plus one Tbl. for baking pan)
1/3 cup honey
1 tsp. almond or vanilla extract

(Dry Ingredients)

2 cups pastry/all purpose flour
(plus 2 Tbl. for baking pan)
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon powder
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
½ tsp. powdered ginger
2 cups organic apples: cut, peeled and diced.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a small bowl, soak raisins in juice. Set aside.
3. In blender, place eggs, oil, honey and almond/vanilla extract. Blend well.
4. In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and spices.
5. Add blended items to dry ingredients in bowl and mix well, making sure all the flour is moistened. Mixture will be thick.
6. Add soaked raisins with the juice and mix into large bowl, stirring well.
7. Add diced apples and stir in completely.
8. Grease a 2 ½ quart baking pan with 1 Tbl. oil and sprinkle with 2 Tbl. flour.
(Pan is approximately 8 by 12.)
9. Bake for approximately 45 minutes in a 350-degree F. oven. Check after 30 minutes with a toothpick and continuing baking if toothpick is not clean. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Note: This can be served as is, with a dollop of yogurt or applesauce, or made sweeter by drizzling honey on top before serving. This is a good cake not only for dessert, but also for breakfast or as a snack with a beverage. It is not overly sweet.


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