It seems apples are part of my genetic make up, they bookend the growing season in my mind. Spring starts with the fragrance of apple blossoms in the air and the taste of fall is that of a crisp apple. Fresh crisp apples in the cool fall air, warm apple crisp, freshly stewed apple sauce with cinnamon, yellow, red, and green and beautiful variations in between. Spartan, Fuji, Braeburn, Mutsu, Pippin, MacIntosh, Gala and beyond, I love them all - except for the Red Delicious. I have never really been a fan of the Red Delicious. Until just a few days ago, then I had my apple revelation.
I arrived at the Vancouver Public Library, to see Michael Ableman speak, and was given an organic Red Delicious apple form George & Anna Zebroff's farm in Cawston. It was the comment 'it tastes like the holidays' that convinced me to give the old Red Delicious another try. Gone were the spongy texture and the lackluster taste that I found so uninspiring. This Red Delicious was bursting with taste & vitality. The most beautiful shade of red, it fit perfectly in my hands, and as I ate my apple, I relished in the delight of a newly discovered treat. This changes everything! Just as I could taste the warm Cawston sun and cool water that gave this apple life, I could taste the love that nurtures the apples and the land.
I was so pleased to see photographs and hear tales of George & Anna during Michael Ableman's presentation. As I looked around the room and saw people munching away on their apples, I couldn't help but feel like George and Anna were in the room with us.
I could not wait to share my apple revelation. The next morning, I started my class at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition by giving each student a Red Delicious apple from George & Anna's farm. Not only a good source of insoluble fiber, and good for digestion, heart health, and balancing blood sugar, the apple is also part of our folklore, and community. Farmers Markets are always a great way to connect with the people who are lovingly growing our food. With Winter Market season upon us, take the opportunity to stop by the Market, pick up some apples and chat with farmers about the diverse varieties grown right here in BC. It will add a sweet & tangy delight to your fall. Be prepared for a revelation of your own.
I wonder if it was a Red Delicious that fell on Newton's head....
Revelation Apple Crisp
6-8 local apples cored & chopped
(mix & match varieties for an explosion of taste & texture)
1/3 cup apple juice
¼ cup maple syrup
to taste grated fresh ginger
1 cup rolled oats
½ cup spelt flour
¼ cup sucunat
¼ cup organic palm shortening or organic coconut oil
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup chopped nuts & seeds (almonds, hemp nut, sunflower seeds, etc.)
Preheat oven 350° F.
Core & chop apples, add apple juice, maple syrup and fresh ginger. In a separate bowl, mix remaining ingredients. Mix 2/3 of dry mixture with apple mixture and place in lightly oiled baking dish. Top with remaining dry mixture.
Bake for 35 – 45 minutes.
Serve with tea & good friends
*use organic & local ingredients whenever possible
Published in the Slow Food Newsletter Fall 2005