As 2011 comes to end, so does the North Carolina No-Diet Diet blog series. If you’ve been following us throughout the year, I hope you’ve enjoyed all the healthy, seasonal recipes featuring local ingredients from your farmer’s markets and growers. To wrap up a year of locally inspired, nutritious dishes are recipes from WakeMed’s Heart Smart Cooking series featuring December’s seasonal sensation, the apple. This holiday season, feed the ones you love a healthy dose of all the wholesome benefits the apple has to offer.
With only 85 calories and 5 grams of dietary fiber per medium apple, this fruit packs quite the healthy punch. For starters, the apple’s soluble fiber reduces cholesterol by absorbing it before it gets into your arteries. It also helps regulate blood sugar levels. Insoluble fiber helps curb the appetite, (e’hem) keeps you regular and may reduce the risk of colon cancer.
What’s more, apples, like other fresh fruits and vegetables, aren’t just low in calories and high in nutrients, they’re full of phytochemicals, bioactive substances that appear to have valuable health benefits we’re just beginning to understand.
With the holidays now in full swing, check out WakeMed’s Heart Smart apple recipes, like apple brown Betty and homemade applesauce. Also try apple parsnip soup from Cooking Light Magazine or a rustic apple pie with dried cherries from celebrity chef and nutritionist, Ellie Krieger. Each dish is sure to please your pickiest holiday eaters. Even better, they are packed with the apple’s most prevalent vitamin, vitamin C. That’s great news as we head into winter’s flu season.
Thanks for following the NC No-Diet Diet. I hope the rest of your 2011 is healthy and bright. Happy holidays from your WakeMed dietitians!
Link to previous NC No-Diet Diet posts.
- November: Pecan
- October: Pumpkin
- September: Muscadine Grapes
- August: Watermelon
- July: Vegetarian
- June: Peach
- May: Broccoli & Cabbage
- April: Strawberry
- March: Lettuce
- February: Sweet Potato
Lori Stevens is a clinical dietitian with WakeMed Cary Hospital.