Food – An Apple, A Rose

Did you know apples belong to the rose family? The Rosaceae (rose) family, a medium-sized family of flowering plants of approximately 300 known species, includes fruits, herbs, shrubs, and trees. From the Rosaceae come many edible fruits such as the apple, pear, peach, apricot, plum, cherry, strawberry, raspberry and almond; ornamental trees and shrubs comprise the rose, hawthorn and meadowsweet. Roses make rose hips, which are fruits similar to the apple.

Apples have been grown for several thousand years in Asia and Europe. The apple tree, thought to have originated in the nutrient-rich mountain ranges of Kazakhstan, is considered to be the earliest tree cultivated by humans.

“The long list of health benefits attributed to apples is due to the wealth of vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and organic compounds that are found in them. These important nutritional elements include vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, and riboflavin, as well as minerals like potassium, copper, manganese, and magnesium. Apples are also very good sources of dietary fiber. … The real value of apples lies in its organic compounds. It is packed with phytonutrients and flavonoids like quercetin, epicatechin, phloridzin, and various other polyphenolic compounds.”

Much of the phytonutrient and anthocyanin (the plant antioxidants that give apple skin its color) content is contained in the peel. Through studies there is growing evidence that these plant anthocyanins elevate our own antioxidant systems. Almost half of the apple’s vitamin C level is just under the skin, as well as containing 38% fiber, so to get the greatest amount of benefits, eat the apple with the peel. Try to consume organically grown apples, or scrub nonorganic apples gently with vegetable soap and water to help remove unwanted chemicals.

An important loss of nutrients usually occurs commercially when apples are processed into applesauce, and an even greater loss when they are processed into juice. But in processing whole apples in a home blender or juicer and consuming the resulting cloudy juice, very little if any nutrients are lost.

Regardless of where it first appeared, the apple has been cultivated since the dawn of history in all sorts of climates. Today, the apple is the most widely cultivated fruit, the most popular in terms of consumption, and perhaps the one with the most varieties.

There are over 8,000 varieties of apples grown around the world, 2,500 of which are grown in all states of the U.S. With various color shades of red, green and yellow, flavors ranging from tart to sweet—the shorter the growing season the tarter the fruit—and textures ranging from soft and creamy to firm and crisp, there’s an apple to fit every taste and recipe.

Though the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden is not identified, popular Christian tradition has held that it was an apple that Eve coaxed Adam to share with her. This origin is found in confusion between the Latin words mālum (an apple) and mălum (an evil), each of which is normally written malum. The larynx in the human throat is also called Adam’s apple because of a notion that it was caused by the forbidden fruit remaining in the throat of Adam.

Raw Applesauce
4 apples, unpeeled, seeded and quartered ¼ tsp. cardamom
1 Tbsp. lemon or orange juice, freshly squeezed pinch of salt
¼ cup medjool dates, pitted, or 2 Tbsp. honey water or raw apple juice, if necessary to process
In a blender or food processor, combine all ingredients; process until smooth or chunky consistency. Enjoy immediately, warm slightly or refrigerate.