Apples and walnuts are autumn's perfect pair - especially when combined in a delicious dessert! Whether in an apple-walnut loaf, or breakfast muffins - this duo works well in so many all-American favorites.
Apples and walnuts are loaded with dietary fiber, which helps lower blood cholesterol and glucose; and prevents constipation.
- Soluble fiber is gel-like and helps to lower blood cholesterol and glucose. Apples are high in soluble fiber as are oats, peas, beans and barley.
- Insoluble fiber is roughage, which increases the weight and size of stool and softens it. Walnuts are high in insoluble fiber as are vegetables, whole wheat, wheat bran and potatoes.
- There are thousands of apple varieties but only about 100 are grown commercially in the U.S.
- The top apple producing countries are China, the U.S. and Turkey.
- Apples are naturally free of fat, sodium, and cholesterol.
- One medium-sized apple is about 80 calories and has five grams of dietary fiber.
- Apples are a great source of the soluble fiber pectin.
- The pilgrims planted the first United States apple trees in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
- A serving of walnuts is one ounce, which equals seven shelled walnuts or 14 shelled halves.
- One ounce of walnuts contains 4 grams protein and 2 grams of dietary fiber.
- Walnuts are the oldest tree food known to man, dating back to 7000 B.C.
- Walnuts are one of the best plant food sources of omega-3 fatty acids (healthy fats).
- Walnuts are a good source of magnesium and phosphorus.
- The top walnut producing countries are China, Iran and the U.S.
- 1 cup whole-wheat graham flour or flour of your choice
- ¼ cup organic sugar
- ¾ teaspoon double-acting baking powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1⁄16 teaspoon (or a pinch) ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 large apple, finely chopped
- ½ cup walnuts, finely chopped
- 1 egg or 2 egg whites
- ½ cup unsweetened apple juice
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- Nonstick cooking spray
In a medium-sized bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, spices and salt. In another medium-sized bowl, combine apples and walnuts. Lightly dust apples and walnuts with a small amount of the flour mixture. In a third large bowl, lightly beat egg or egg whites, apple juice and applesauce.
Add flour mixture to the egg mixture. Mix well, then gently fold apple and chopped walnuts into batter.
Spray a nonstick 8-inch by 4-inch loaf pan (or 6-inch by 2-inch round pan) or muffin tin with cooking spray. Turn batter into pan or evenly pour into muffin cups. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. It's not overly sweet and can be served with jam.
This muffin / cake is also delicious at breakfast and with afternoon tea.
"An apple a day keeps the doctor away" is one of those sayings that has lots of truth to it, so add another apple if you like it fruity!
Along with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, walnuts also contain vitamin E.
Nutrition facts per serving made with a whole egg (125 grams): 210 calories, 7 grams fat, 160 milligrams sodium, 34 grams carbohydrates, 4.6 grams dietary fiber, 5.5 grams protein.
For more healthy recipes and the way to longevity, pick up a copy of Layne's award winning book: Beyond The Mediterranean Diet: European Secrets Of The Super-Healthy, available on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.
Layne Lieberman, MS, RD, CDN, is an award-winning registered dietitian, educator and entrepreneur. She is author of the book Beyond the Mediterranean Diet: European Secrets of the Super-Healthy. Read her blog and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram and The Huffington Post.
This recipe is adapted from my book Beyond The Mediterranean Diet: European Secrets Of The Super-Healthy.