Monthly Archives: September 2010

Appreciation for the Amazing Apple with Julia

It’s apple season! Those of us living in BC are so lucky to share our home with the many many varieties of apples that are grown here. Apples have become such a common food in North America that their unique qualities and health benefits have come to fly under the radar. I’m here to remind you of benefits of this amazing fruit!

Apples contain a long list of phytonutrients that function as antioxidants and support our heart health and prevent free-radical damage. To take full advantage of these powerful plant nutrients, leave the skin on your apples! Apples also contain a high percentage of fibre, both soluble and insoluble, and combination that both keeps us regular and lowers LDL (the “bad” cholesterol). Many studies have suggested that apples are specifically preventative of certain types of cancer, including breast, colon and lung. In fact, apples have stood out amongst other fruits when it comes to general support of lung function and lung health. For those of you with asthma or related symptoms, this fruit can have some protective functions.

Despite these amazing properties, there is a down-side to apples. When grown non-organically, farmers spray 25 types of pesticides on growing apples, making them the most heavily sprayed factory farmed fruit in North America. The good news is there’s a simple solution: buy organic apples. There you have it, you can have your apple and eat it too.

What’s your favourite type of apple? If you’re not sure, visit this year’s apple festival at UBC and choose from over 60 varieties http://www.ubcbotanicalgarden.org/events/applefest.php.

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Two Dram Ginger Chutney by Jason McRobbie

If there is one fruit that epitomizes the glowing orange orb of summer for me it is the peach.  This is as heady a hit of summer’s sweet heat as you might ever want to for an autumnal accompaniment to everything from grilled chops to roasted fowl.  Makes a great chicken salad base or just spread it on toast.

The scotch small wonders and brings this chutney together from start to finish, but is entirely optional upon temperance.  You might similarly steep the peaches in Earl Grey and make it your own as it the Earl of Ginger Peach Chutney.  Really, you just might.

I prefer the scotch, especially as a friend just delivered to my door and it is a favourite in the kitchen and glass alike. The first dram be dedicated to him and the second to another a friend of mine who takes Indian food to heart and has shared his table and malt with me in equal spirit.  This is a dude-dedicated chutney for certain, yet should appeal equally to the ladies…so long as they like it hot and salty, a wee bit sour and a as sweet as they come at heart.

Recipe

Ingredients A:

7 cups            ripe local peaches, peeled*, slice 1/2”

1 1/2 tsp        Smoked Sea Salt

2 oz.               Glenmorangie Nectar d’Or (or balanced Speyside)

* Tip: Peeling the Peach: Don’t dicker with the paring knife to peel a peach.  Get a medium-large pot of water on the boil.  Make a small X incision at the base of each peach and pop into the boiling water for about 30 seconds.  Remove the peaches with tongs and gently place them in the cold water bath to cool.   Remove from bath, peel back from incision and voila – perfectly peeled peaches with the mess and waste.

Combine peaches, sea salt and scotch in a bowl to marinate covered for about an hour in the fridge.  Drain and reserve a 1/2 cup of the ‘marinade’ before chilling the remainder of the peachy ambrosia for later or sharing on the spot.  Though it seems a blasphemous to some, the reserved spirit/juice mix makes for the perfect splash of summer in a wintery scotch cocktail.

Ingredients B:

1 1/2 cups     cider vinegar (or white vinegar for milder flavour/colour)

1 1/2 cups     organic cane sugar

1/2 cup           reserved Scotch peach marinade

1 cup              raisins

4 cloves         fresh garlic, chopped

2 Tbsp            fresh ginger, thin strips

1/2 cup           onion, diced

3                      limes, zest and juice

1 Tbsp            ground ginger

1/2 tsp            red pepper chili flakes (or chipotle flakes)

1/2 tsp            paprika

1/2 tsp            nutmeg

1/2 cup           crystallized ginger (or dried peach/mango/apricot)

Bring the cider vinegar, sugar, the reserved marinade, raisins, garlic and fresh ginger to a boil before adding the drained peaches.  Return to a boil before reducing to simmer for 15 minutes.  At this point you can add in everything else to cook through for anywhere from another 30 to 45 minutes depending on the consistency of the chutney you are after. Allow for some thickening to occur in the cooling process, but think thickly coated spoon versus peach soup for optimum results.

Seal in jars as clean as you can get ‘em (hot soapy water and a pop in the oven for the neat freaks) and share with friends for using immediately or freezing for up to three months.

Recipe tried and tested by Jason McRobbie