Nothing like biting into an apple as your first taste of fall! I am always sad to see the end of summer but as an apple lover I look forward to the abundance of fresh local apples. My very favorite variety is the New York McIntosh. I know they usually appear in mid September so I had been eagerly awaiting these sweet, tangy, juicy delights and was ecstatic to find some in the market this week! While waiting for my preferred apple over the past few weeks I decided to try something new, the Paula Red, which I just learned are the earliest NY state variety. I originally chose some Paula Reds because their appearance is similar to a mac. While they don’t taste just the same, I did enjoy the tart juiciness of the Paula Reds and will definitely grab some again next year! I also veered from my norm this apple season when we received a bag of Honeycrisps from my mother-in-law who lives amid some of NY’s premier orchards. Honeycrisps are very crisp as their name implies, with a nice sweet tart flavor. Since we had a whole big bag of them, it was my goal to make use of them quickly. Because of their crispness they were great to dip in honey, peanut butter, or almond butter.
I also loved adding slices of them to Paninis and sandwiches, usually accompanied by arugula and low-fat Havarti cheese. They were also a great addition to my arugula and kale salads. These were just some apple varieties that I had the chance to devour during early autumn and I’m sure I will be checking out some more in weeks to come, especially if I do some apple picking. Make sure to take advantage of the stock in local markets and find your favorite.
There are definitely options for all palates!
Apple Arugula Panini
Recipe by Stacy Rothschild MPH, RD
Recipe makes 1 Panini
2 slices of whole wheat bread
2 slices low fat Havarti cheese
½ cup washed and dried baby arugula
3, ½ inch slices of honeycrisp apple (seeds removed)
Olive oil spray
1. Construct sandwich: Layer 1 slice of bread, ½ slice of cheese, ¼ cup arugula, 1 apple
slice, ½ slice of cheese, ¼ cup arugula, 2nd apple slice, ½ slice of cheese, 3rd apple
slice, ½ slice of cheese, 2nd slice of bread
2. Spray Panini press or pan with olive oil cooking spray
3. Place sandwich on press or pan and cook for about 3-4 min on each side or until cheese
is nicely and melted and bread is toasted to desire.
I like using Food for Life Ezekiel Bread because it has lots of protein and is low in sodium.
Feel free to experiment with different low fat cheeses if you can’t find the Havarti,
which I usually get at Trader Joes and enjoy the nice way it melts and the
mellow flavor with the spicy arugula and sweet apple.