Most of us know the old adage ‘An apple a day keep the Doctor away’, well I think a slight variation on the theme might ring true in this household.
I have actually been learning a lot about apples recently thanks in the main to the nutritionist we saw earlier in the year. She suggested incorporating stewed apples into Cameron’s diet on a regular basis as the pectin would be beneficial for a healthy gut. So I duly stewed an apple or two, served it up and he looked at me in total disgust, especially when I sprinkled it with some cinnamon as suggested! So back to the drawing board and I had an idea or two; Cameron has pancakes at least once a week and has yet to notice that I sneak a spoon or two of stewed apple into the batter. He also enjoys his banana smoothies a few mornings a week, and yes you’ve guessed, he has not yet twigged that there is an extra ingredient!
He is not a great fan of stewed apple to be fair but this time of year with blackberries aplenty he will tuck into a home-made apple and blackberry strudel that he has both helped make and also picked the blackberries with us beforehand. Just the job now the weather is starting to turn towards autumn dished up with a dollop of Alpro custard.
I have also been reading a great little book called Wonderfoods for Kids by Natalie Savona. It is split into different sections; energy, tummy, allergy, calm, skin, defence and growth – covering 70 different wonderfoods and has 140 recipes – it really is a worthy read. I naturally went to the tummy section first and found out all about apples. In summary I learnt that apples contain two types of fibre; insoluble and soluble pectin – the latter being good for healthy gut bacteria. They also contain quercetin which helps reduce inflammation and allergic reactions – interesting stuff. As a side line the fructose in apples make for a good gradual release of energy for a child which is always a bonus. There is a lovely recipe on page 65 for griddled apple rings with sesame seeds and honey – sounds delicious and is on my to do list this weekend.
For those that do enjoy stewed apple I think it would be great served up with yoghurt and fruit for breakfast, I always love it served alongside my roast pork and the BBC Good Food website has 306 recipes for ‘apple’ so I might have a browse through and see what else I can find to tempt Cameron with!
Aptly timed these arrived on my doorstep this week from a neighbour so I have duly set about peeling, coring, stewing and freezing them all. I actually really hate having lots of bags in the freezer – when you freeze a sauce/puree, etc you can never get it all out of the bag can you, it seems such a waste – it really is a pet hate of mine! So I remembered what I used to do when my boys were little and I started to wean them on pureed foods.
I used to freeze different purees in ice cube trays and then when the puree was frozen I popped out the individual cubes and bagged them up – I could then use as little or as much as I needed, mix and match as the fancy took me and I was a happy bunny with a tidier freezer!!
So these days I take out a couple of the apple cubes the night before for a breakfast smoothie or for some pancakes and a whole bag if I am making a pudding, cake, etc – a whole less messier and a whole lot easier to use I find!
After introducing stewed apple and a few other tweaks to Cameron’s diet as suggested by his nutritionist we seem to be in a good place at the moment (she says touching wood!) so long may it continue.