Apples are healthy – and more than just a fruity snack

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Apples are packed with more potential than most people realise. They can be used as an inexpensive household remedy for digestive problems or as a vegan egg substitute. But before you start, there are a few points to consider.

Facts about the crunchy and vitamin-rich fruit

Did you know?

Popular
On average, the Swiss eat a whopping 16kg of apples per capita each year.
Tasty
The varieties range from sweet to sour to tangy-fruity.
Satiating
Apples have a high water content – 85% on average – and lots of healthy fibre.
Native
One of the largest apple-growing areas in Switzerland is Thurgau.
Low in calories
100g of fruit contains a good 55 kcal.
Origin
The fruit originates from Central and Western Asia.

Valuable substances

  • Potassium: helps cells, nerves and muscles to function properly.
  • Vitamin C: ensures strong defences, contributes to building connective tissue, cartilage and bones, and has an antioxidant effect.
  • Quercetin: this flavonoid gives the apple skin its beautiful colour and has a strong antioxidant effect. It is anti-inflammatory and protects the body from arteriosclerosis, asthma and diabetes mellitus type 2. According to studies, this can reduce the development of cancer cells.

Old or new varieties – which are healthier?

The concentration of healthy substances in apples varies according to variety. “Old" apple varieties such as Boskoop, Cox Orange and Gravensteiner score better in this respect than the new, highly bred varieties such as Pink Lady and Gala. Breeding has led the newer varieties to become more resistant to plant diseases, easier to store and transport, and look immaculate. But this is often at the expense of polyphenols. Usually found directly underneath the skin, these secondary plant substances give the apple a rich flavour and ensure, among other things, that the apple turns brown when cut. Breeding has often led to a strong reduction in polyphenols.

Old varieties are particularly tolerable for apple allergy sufferers

Old apple varieties contain plenty of polyphenols. Often, allergy sufferers tolerate these varieties better. But polyphenols also act in the interest of "non-allergy sufferers": they have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects and regulate blood pressure.

The multi-talents of apples

Digestion regulator

The skin of the apple contains large amounts of pectin, which counts as a polysaccharide. Nutritionally speaking, pectins are dietary fibres. These fibres have a lot going for them. Not only do they have the ability to bind water to themselves but also to solidify liquids.

Constipation

Slow digestion depreciates a person’s quality of life just as much as diarrhoea. To regulate digestion, eating fresh apples is recommended. This is due to the dietary fibres pectin and cellulose that they contain which, in combination with sufficient water, can swell up in the digestive tract and stimulate muscle activity. The stool becomes softer and bowel movements are accelerated. A glass of naturally cloudy apple juice can also provide relief. When drinking juice, the naturally cloudy variety should be chosen, as it contains more valuable secondary plant substances such as polyphenols and flavonoids than clear apple juice.

Diarrhoea

Excess water in the intestine leads to liquid stool – which is then excreted as diarrhoea. This is where the water-binding pectin in the apple peel can provide relief. In order for the apple pectin to develop its full effect, the best method is to grate the apple with its peel and let it stand for 15 minutes before consuming. The pectin can then bind excess water in the intestine and help reduce diarrhoea. In addition, pectin can bind toxins to itself and eliminate them from the body.

Egg replacement

Apple sauce can be used as an egg replacement for baking! The vegan egg substitute keeps cakes, muffins or pancakes moist and succulent. One egg can be replaced by 60-80g of apple sauce. The apple flavour is almost completely lost during baking. For a light and fluffy baking result, simply add half a teaspoon of baking powder or baking soda to the mixture. Caution is advised with store-bought apple sauce, as it often contains large amounts of added sugar. For this reason: pay attention to the ingredients or make it yourself.

Vegan gelling agent

Pectin is a plant-based alternative to conventional gelatine. Thanks to its binding properties, it can be used to make jams, jellies, marmalades and blancmanges. This natural gelling agent can be bought in health food shops or most supermarkets.

Recipe: Healthy Raffaello glass with apple crumble

The dessert serves 3-4. In total, the Raffaello glass with apple crumble takes 45 minutes, of which active preparation time is 25 minutes.

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Quickly prepared and beautifully presented in a glass cup: Raffaello cream with apple crumble, decorated with almond flakes.

Apple crumble method

Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees on the upper-lower heat setting. Grease the oven tin with a little coconut oil. Halve and core the apples and chop into small pieces. Add lemon juice and cinnamon and mix well. For the crumble, put the flour in a mixing bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Use your hands to work the mixture into a crumble consistency. Spread the crumble over the apples.

Bake: Bake in the middle of the preheated oven (200°C) for about 25 minutes. Remove and leave to cool slightly while you prepare the cream.

Apple crumble ingredients

  • 3-4 seasonal sour apples
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • a little coconut oil (to grease the baking tin)
  • 100g spelt flour
  • 80g birch sugar
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 80g butter
  • Flaked almonds to decorate

Raffaello cream

  • 200g soy yoghurt
  • 200g coconut yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp. coconut flakes

Method: Put all the ingredients in the given order in a bowl and mix with a whisk into a smooth cream. Place in the fridge if necessary.

To serve

Divide the Raffaello cream into 3-4 glasses, top with the apple crumble and decorate with the almond flakes.

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