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Rozanne Stevens | An Apple A Day

I love anything involving apples, from apple pie through to appletini cocktails. Apples are a truly versatile fruit in both savoury and sweet dishes, with many classic combinations such as pork and apple sauce and homemade apple tart (click through for our recipes). Not to mention all the boozy incarnations, such as cider and calvados!

Sadly, the poor apple is often left in the fruit box to become floury, bruised and forgotten. I think we buy them with the intention of having apples as a healthy ‘grab ‘n go’ snack, especially at work. But good intentions might not always lead to apple eating actions. So I’m sharing a couple of my favourite ways to incorporate apples into everyday eating habits so that no apple gets left behind.

🍏Apple Pie Porridge

Porridge would be one of my go-to dinner breakfast options, but I get bored with foods easily so need to mix things up. Developing recipes professionally for almost 20 years, I know many tricks from very virtuous to decadent and indulgent. So while having whiskey, creamy and honey soaked porridge would get my day off to a REALLY good start, on weekdays I opt for more PG porridge toppers. And here is where apples really come into their own.

They are a delicious match with porridge, and even the ‘floury’ or slightly forlorn apples work well once they get mixed in. Simply grate or chop up an apple and add it to your porridge before cooking. For a slightly apple pie vibe, add a pinch of ground cinnamon and a few raisins or sultanas. The end result is really tasty apple pie porridge and an easy way to enjoy more fruit at work and in your diet. If you make extra apple pie porridge, it’s equally good the next day – and I won’t tell anyone if you add a drizzle of cream…

Crunchy Coleslaw 🍏

Coleslaw is one salad that works very well throughout the year. It also makes for light, crunchy relief against rich, spicy dishes such as pulled pork and southern fried buttermilk chicken. My friend Helen is an expert on coleslaw and makes various different versions on a regular basis. Mixing up creative combinations of shredded white or or red cabbage, red onion, grated carrot, fresh and dried fruit.

Helen’s top tip is to mix grated apple and grated red onion with the salad dressing and allow it to ‘pickle’ for a few minutes before mixing in with the coleslaw. Top tip: as long as your dressing has some lemon, lime or orange juice in it, your apple won’t discolour. I can attest that this really does work well and adds a lovely sweet note that’s in the best coleslaw recipes without having to add sugar to the dressing.

🍏Nutty Apple-y Snack 

nut butter, peanut butter, jar peanut butterThe combo of apple wedges dipped into nut butter is an often recommend healthy snack. Delicious, but a bit messy and awkward in practice. Firstly, sticking apple wedges into the jar of nut butter is messy business and sends my ‘double dipping’ phobia over the edge. Secondly, depending on the type of nut butter and how well you’ve stirred the oil in, it can slide off the apple as you’re doing your dipping. You’re probably thinking I’m totally uncoordinated here, but these are real first world problems I’ve battled.

And ones that I think I’ve solved. Small victories and all. Start off by coring the apple with an old fashioned apple corer, this will get rid of the core but keep the rest of the apple intact. Then slice the apple into chunky rings. Smear on a nut butter brand of your choice, or you can even make it at home using The Fruit People’s easy nut butter recipe. Eat as is or sprinkle with a little crunchy granola. Much easier than a wedge and more like eating a slice of toast.

Surprise Tuna Salad 🍏

Tinned tuna is such a handy item to keep in your office drawer. And now with the ‘less drain’ brands it’s super easy and mess free whipping up lunch in the staff kitchen. It’s great as a base for a salad, on bread or scooped up with crackers. How you like your tuna mayo is a very personal choice. I’m going to share my combo with you, just try it, you may be surprised!

I learnt this easy recipe on a school camping trip where, thank heavens, our teacher was great at catering, as the trip was rained out and a muddy misery. This recipe has been a staple ever since and my favourite way to make tuna mayo: Take one tin of tuna, drain, mix with a little mayonnaise and a tiny squirt each of tomato ketchup and relish. Add a finely diced tomato, half an apple, a bit of diced red onion and a thumb length of cucumber, diced. Season with salt and pepper. Mix with shredded crunchy lettuce such as iceberg, romaine or cos if serving as a salad or simply serve on a roll, bread or crackers.

I hope that these ideas have inspired you to to use apples in different ways and reap all the wonderful health benefits of them. These recipes won’t let fruit go to waste, especially apples from your Fruit People boxes, Dublin’s best office fruit delivery service!

Rozanne Stevens is acclaimed chef, author and cookery tutor from South Africa based in Dublin. For more WorkPlace Wellbeing foodie content connect with Rozanne on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.