By Nancy Smorch
I personally take this snack idea for granted, but I’ve noticed that when I’ve mentioned it to friends and family members when they are looking for snack ideas, they’ve never thought to try it! So, given the time of year, I thought it might be a good idea to toss this idea out there for all of you.
Try it with your favorite nut butter, whatever that may be, or experiment with a different nut butter on different days - peanut, almond, cashew, hazelnut, sunflower - get creative!
Oh - and don’t forget the salt! I always put salt on my apples - either Maldon’s Sea Salt or Selina Naturally Celtic Sea Salt. Just try it!
Since apples are in abundance now, there's plenty of varieties to check out. Honeycrisp is my absolute favorite, but I’ve recently tried Ginger Gold which are also quite tasty.
It might actually be fun to become an apple connoisseur, as there are actually several thousand named apple varieties. Look for some of these varieties at your local farmers’ market and taste the difference for yourself: Northern Spy, Spitzenburg, McIntosh, Newton Pippin, D’Arcy Spice, or Cinnamon Spice.
If you’re interested in growing your own apple trees, check out the Trees of Antiquities website, where you can order trees. Also, Michael Phillips' website is a great resource for growing apples organically.
For your chemistry lesson of the day, here are a few facts that make apples taste and smell like they do:
-Apples owe their variety of flavors to the variance in ethers, acids, and sugars.
-Their different “aromas” come from chemicals called esters, a combination of an acid and an alcohol. Acids are a substance found in the cell fluid of the apples and are a part of the molecules that make up the cell membrane. Alcohols are the by-products of cell metabolism. The enzymes in the apple combine the acids and the alcohols to give it a particular aromatic characteristic.
Take advantage of the freshness and abundance of apples this season, especially here in Michigan, and remember this quick, easy combination when you need a snack!