The Core of the Matter - Apples and Herbal Add-Ins

[ The Core of the Matter: Apples and Herbal Add-ins ] ~ from Monterey Bay Herb Company
Fall Hard for Apple Shadow Header
Nothing fills the apple of our eyes more than a freshly baked pie bursting with chunks of Granny Smith or Golden Delicious apples, especially if there's a promise of homemade whipped cream or vanilla bean ice cream to go with it.
Even though this classic autumn fruit is considered "American as apple pie," it was virtually unknown in the New World until it came ashore with early European settlers. In fact, this member of the rose family was cultivated in ancient Rome and Asia for thousands of years before turning up in a New England breakfast turnover or a bucket of water for bobbing.

[ The Core of the Matter: Core Apple Facts ] ~ from Monterey Bay Spice

a. core apple facts

One small apple provides more than 17% of the daily recommended amount of fiber and nearly 14% daily vitamin C. While the myriad of antioxidant polyphenols in an apple might indeed keep the doctor away, they're also responsible for the oxidation that causes apple flesh to turn brown when exposed to the air.

Apples must be handled with care. Otherwise, the same polyphenols that trigger oxidation when the fruit is cut or bruised also promote the production and release of ethylene gas. This effect gave rise to the cautionary instruction, "don't upset the apple cart." It also validates the assertion that "one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch."

Of more than 10,000 possible varieties of apple, only 20 are commercially grown in the U.S. Some of the most popular include: Granny Smith, Cortland, McIntosh, Delicious, Rome Beauty, York Imperial, Winesap and Jonathan.

According to Celtic folklore, apples are a symbol of fertility, love and abundance. Apples are also used for divination by "snapping" for apples, or what most of us know as bobbing for apples. The game, originally played exclusively by young boys and men, involved either diving into a vessel of water to retrieve an apple with the teeth or to "snap" with same at an apple dangling from a string. The first lucky guy to sport an apple grin was certain to marry his true love.

A is for apple, and malusdomesticaphobia is the fear of anything to do with them. How 'bout them apples?

In the early 20th century, apple pie was a favorite dessert to follow Sunday dinner. The cost of lard and flour, however, kept many families from enjoying a pie made with a bottom and a top crust—so they made pie with only a bottom crust. More affluent families, who could afford both, were referred to as members of "the upper crust."

[ The Core of the Matter: An Apple A Day Recipes ] ~ from Monterey Bay Spice

c. an apple [ recipe ] a day

apple crumb muffins
Moist and rich on the inside with a crunchy, sweet topping on top, these muffins are perfect with breakfast or as a lunchbox treat. Makes about a dozen large muffins.
get the recipe >

apple pie soup
This is a classic slow cooker recipe that tastes as good as it sounds. It's easy to make easy as pie!
get the recipe >

autumn apple pie
Apples, dried apricots, cherries and ground almonds come together in Sun-Maid's Autumn Apple Pie recipe for a nutrient-rich twist on traditional apple pie.
get the recipe >

apple and cinnamon

[ The Core of the Matter: Not Your Mama's Kitchen ] ~ from Monterey Bay Spice

b. not your mama's kitchen

Baked apple with cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg sure stirs up warm memories of family gatherings gone by. But basil in apple stuffing?

Before you think we're comparing apples to oranges, consider that because variety is indeed the spice of life it's nice to mix things up in the kitchen by experimenting with different herb-spice-apple combinations that go beyond traditional standbys. So, don an apron, grab a spatula and get ready to stir your creative juices!

[ marjoram ] ~ from Monterey Bay Herb Company
With a spicy-sweet flavor and lemony undertones, marjoram is terrific with baked or stewed apples, apple compote and jelly.

[ cardamom ] ~ from Monterey Bay Herb Company
Use whole in mulled apple cider, spiced wine or gin and the ground spice in apple breads, cakes and puddings.

[ basil ] ~ from Monterey Bay Herb Company
Any variety is a wonderful addition to apple-based stuffing, cakes and breads.

[ rosemary ] ~ from Monterey Bay Herb Company
The pine-like flavor of rosemary pairs beautifully with apple jelly and apples cooked or baked in chicken and pork dishes.

[ vanilla bean ] ~ from Monterey Bay Herb Company
vanilla bean
Scrape the seeds into apple jams, jellies, pies, compotes…heck, anywhere there's apple!

[ orange peel ] ~ from Monterey Bay Herb Company
orange peel
Add these little gems to mulled apple cider and stewed apples.