Notes from the Farmers’ Market Chef

I have a lovely big bag full of York apples I bought at the last Howard County Farmers’ Market at the Glenwood Branch Library. Now I have to decide what to do with them all! Time for a little research at the library.

An Apple a Day

Everyone knows how healthy apples are supposed to be. I suppose my family could each just eat one apple a day—these York apples are delicious! And there are proponents of raw foods (also called “living foods”) who would say that is the best way to benefit from an apple—just eat it out of my hand.

Ani Phyo, author of Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen: Easy, Delectable Living Foods Recipes (2007), is one of these proponents. She says “Organic foods in their most natural, uncooked state are packed full of taste, nutrients, and enzymes.” Ani’s enthusiasm is rather contagious and the book is sprinkled with photos of Ani enjoying her raw food.

Gene Stone, author of Forks over Knives: the Plant-Based Way to Health (2011), advises that we, “Eat plants, the more intact the better—minimally refined… The closer you can get to the plant as it exists in nature the better.” You can also find Forks over Knives: The Cookbook and Forks over Knives the DVD at the library.

I may not be ready for Mimi Kirk’s Live Raw: Raw Food Recipes for Good Health and Timeless Beauty (2011), but if you think you would like to adopt a raw/live food diet she will offer you much passionate encouragement.

Another author, dietitian Samantha Heller, in Get Smart: Samantha Heller’s Nutrition Prescription for Boosting Brain Power and Optimizing Health (2010), says, “Fruits and vegetables are really, really good for your brain.” However I eat them I’m sure my apples will be good for my health.

The Apple Recipes

As tasty as a raw apple can be I do love the fragrance of apples cooking in a sweet or savory dish. Cooked apples can be so warming, tempting and satisfying. I found a few great titles to share.

The Farmers’ Market Guide to Fruit: Selecting, Preparing & Cooking (2001) by Jenni Fleetwood, begins with apples. Fleetwood touches on the history of our love affair with apples, how to select and store them, and follows with four recipes including the all-important apple pie and a tempting applesauce sundae. The photos are lovely but are only of whole fruits, not of finished recipes.

 

Alice Waters, legendary chef and champion of local organic produce, wrote Chez Panisse Fruit (2002). Her segment on apples begins with reminiscences and goes on to encourage us to try more of the 7000 varieties of apple grown around the world. Her ten carefully chosen recipes include salads, an onion-and-apple marmalade for pork, a tart, a galette, and a sherbet.

 

And finally, a book devoted to the apple—Olwen Woodier’s Apple Cookbook (2002). The author begins with a short history of the popular varieties (which are listed in detail at the end of the book) and how they were developed, and goes on to apple breakfasts, drinks, salads and desserts. I really like the arrangement of one recipe to a page. However, in Fleetwood’s and Waters’ books, there are no illustrations of the recipes. This book is definitely spending a little time in my kitchen.

I would like to recommend a newer book—The Apple Lover’s Cookbook (2011) by Amy Traverso, but I will have to wait in line with other library customers to get a look at it!

A word about the raw food diets mentioned here—Howard County Library System strives to maintain a balance of information about all facets of health care but does not endorse any particular lifestyle. Talk with your healthcare provider before embarking on an eating plan.

Barbara Cornell joined the Howard County Library System in 1993 as Assistant Branch Manager at the new Elkridge Branch. Since 2000 she has enjoyed a shorter commute to the Glenwood Branch.

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