Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Apple Hearts for (food) Lovers

It’s fairly safe to say that Lisa and I seem to have a love affair with red foods. We’ve professed our love for tomatoes, strawberries, raspberries, beets, pomegranates, tart cherries and cranberries. Yet, another very important food (that I actually eat almost every single day) falls into this color category: apples.  In fact, we’re partnering with the US Apple Association tomorrow at 4pm PST for a fun Twitter chat where we’ll be dishing out some health facts and tips about the benefits of eating apples.

And there are a lot of benefits in eating an apple a day.

Every time you bite into an apple, you’re giving your body a healthy dose of nutrition. One medium apple is only 95 calories but provides 17 percent of your daily recommended intake for dietary fiber and 14 percent of your recommended intake for vitamin C. Not only that, there are tons of studies backing up the health benefits of apples including cancer prevention, improved heart health, and even the ability to help keep your weight at a happy place. But, since it is National Heart Month, we do feel our tickers deserve a little bit of extra attention.

Lisa touched on impressive study earlier this week, but there is even more research backing up the heart protective qualities of apples. Researchers at the University of California-Davis have reported that daily consumption of apples and apple juice may help reduce the damage caused by the “bad” type of cholesterol and protect against heart disease. And an additional study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2005 reported that that for every 10 grams of fiber consumed per day the risk of developing heart disease may decrease 14 percent, and the risk of dying from heart disease may decrease 27 percent.

This is some very good news for apples, and the other red foods we love, considering they’re such wonderful sources of fiber.  And don’t even get us started on our love of fiber. 
So today, in recognition of Valentine’s Day -- which is just around the corner! -- celebrate by showing yourself and your heart some love with these cute Apple Hearts.

This adorable snack is the perfect thing to add to your child’s, friend’s, spouse’s, or your own (I’m doing this!) lunchbox this week.

The best part? It’s so easy to do. 

As our favorite culinary guru, Julia Child once said:
You don't have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces – just good food from fresh ingredients.”

So choose a type of apple you really love. Because we know an apple isn’t just an apple -- Gala, Pink Lady, Granny Smith, Fuji, Honeycrisp, Braeburn, Golden Delicious, Macintosh – the options are far from few.

Find some a delicious aged cheddar cheese.
Or, some chunky almond or peanut butter from your local natural grocery store.

And assemble your apple sandwich. In fact, this is so cute, we really think it may become a weekly tradition.

Enjoy, and be happy that you’re showing your heart some love.

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