For the love of your gut, eat cooked apples

Apples sliced on a cutting board by a window

We know apples are good for us. They're a rich source of phytochemicals, and studies demonstrate eating them can reduce the risks associated with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, some cancers, and even asthma.

However, did you know cooking apples before eating them can also be beneficial to gut health? Apples contain a form of soluble fiber called pectin which acts as a prebiotic and feeds the good bacteria in your gut. Cooking apples increases the body's ability to process and digest that helpful pectin.

You can use cooked apples in a variety of ways:

  • Breakfast: with yogurt or oatmeal
  • Side Dish: with any lunch or dinner (kid and picky eater friendly)
  • Dessert: can be made with or without added sugar. Eat them alone in a bowl, topped with a little whipped cream, or splurge and put them over some ice cream.

How can I cook apples? Simple! Here are two ways:

  • Peel or don't peel (up to you), core, and slice or dice the apples. With either method apples, salt, and cinnamon are basics. Additional ingredients could include: lemon juice, vanilla, nutmeg, sweetener (brown sugar, honey, coconut sugar, maple syrup etc)
  1. Heat butter or olive oil or both (my favorite) in a sauté pan. Add apples, cinnamon, sea salt, and any other ingredients of your choosing. Cook until soft, bubbly and have a texture you like. Taste them along the way to identify your personal taste preferences. Serve warm or cold.
  2. Add apples to a pot with a small amount of water (about 1/2 cup per 4 apples), cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. Cook over low to medium heat (about 10-15 mins) until the apples soften.

I'm allergic to raw apples, but removing the skin and cooking them allows me to enjoy a fruit that I love but can't eat raw. Cooked apples are also easier to digest if you have pre-existing stomach issues.

There are many other creative ways to cook apples (homemade applesauce, baked apples, etc.) With Thanksgiving this week, I encourage you to indulge and have a piece of delicious apple pie!


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