Antioxidants in the Non-Exotic Apple Barrel

May 12, 2010 in Blog Recipes, Diabetic Menu Item, Mediterranean, Nutrition, Weight Management, Whole Grains by Joyce Bunderson

There’s been lots of chat during the past month or two in the news I scan about apples deserving ‘super fruit’ status. You may remember what I think about the expensive exotic ‘superfruits’, if not, you can review Health Claims of ‘Superfruits’ - Fantasy.

The companies that are touting their expensive exotic ‘superfruits’ usually announce from the rooftops the ORAC numbers (numbers that refer to the active antioxidants in a fruit). I guess that the apple growers associations finally got the idea; what they are starting to say, if I may paraphrase them, is something like this: ‘We have a great product that also contains fabulous antioxidants. Our customers ought to be delighted that they won’t have to pay the outrageous prices that the exotic ‘superfruits’ demand. Let’s start telling them –and everyone – about our numbers, at the same time, we can remind them about the all-around great goodness of apples.”

A large apple (about 5 ounces) with the skin (please note that it is with the skin) has an oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) of about 7500 units. Comparing it with a half cup of blueberries at about 4750 the apple would deserve to be considered a superfruit. The skin is where most of the antioxidant power is stored – so try to make recipes that don’t discard the skin. Apples are high in fiber and vitamins; and low in fat and sodium.

No question that apples are a nutritionally packed yet portable snack. In addition, because of the water and fiber, apples are a great choice when trying to manage weight – they make you feel full, yet do so with few calories. Let’s not forget soluble fiber’s ability in apples to bind LDL cholesterol (bad stuff).

Unlike sticky candies and cakes, apples are juicy and don’t get stuck to your teeth – great refreshing, juicy snack choice.

It’s so great to get the actual numbers to backup my argument. Any of you can learn to check the nutrition facts yourself. Do not be deceived by the hype about the antioxidants in the latest exotic fruit. Here is more evidence that you don’t need to spend a fortune on exotic ‘superfruits’ to benefit from antioxidants.

Fresh Apple Muffins

These muffins are another example in controlling the ‘mindless margin.’ Each muffin is 100% whole wheat, made with extra virgin olive oil, no added sugar, fresh apples – perfect for breakfast on the run, snack, or dessert at less than 100 calories. If you usually buy the 300-calorie white flour fatty muffins – you’ve saved 200 calories. Remember to redefine the 200 calories as 20 pounds in a year – I think that’s very motivating. No matter if your focus is Mediterranean-style eating, managing the ‘mindless margin’ or eating a healthy diabetic diet – you can accomplish it with these muffins.


One package of Dr. Grandma's Whole Wheat Muffins Your Way (with accompanying extra virgin olive oil packet (1/4 cup).

½ teaspoon cinnamon, if desired

2 extra large eggs (or 1/2 cup egg substitute)

½ cup water

2 ½ cups fresh chopped apples, (Good choices are: Roma, Rome Beauty, Fuji, Granny Smith, Jonathan, McIntosh, Newton Pippin, Rhode Island Greening, or Winesap)

Cinnamon and sugar (or Delight), if desired


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat the standard 12-cup muffin tin with vegetable spray.

Mix the Muffins Your Way flour mix packet, and cinnamon. Mix the two extra large eggs or ½ cup egg substitute, the water, the oil, and the apples. Mix the apple mixture with the flour mixture. Do not over mix. Fill the muffin tins. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar mixture, if desired. Bake for 16 to 20 minutes. Remove from the muffin tin. Can be frozen.

Grandchildren and children alike love Fresh Apple Muffins.

Grandchildren and children alike love Fresh Apple Muffins.