A Healthy Start to A New Year
BY THE AMERICAN
INSTITUTE FOR CANCER RESEARCH
- The Jewish New Year - Rosh
Hashanah - features apples and honey rather than champagne and
fireworks. Like most New Years celebrations, it is a joyous
occasion, but just a bit more solemn. It is a time to reflect
on the year thats ending and focus on bringing in a sweet
Families gather for a holiday meal that always includes sweet
foods, many of which are tied to the fall harvest. It is a custom
to dip wedges of apple, for example, in honey, in hopes of a
In addition to apples and honey, traditional Rosh Hashanah foods
include roast chicken, beef brisket, kugel (a noodle casserole),
sweet potatoes, carrots and prunes. Challah, a rich, slightly
sweet, egg bread is also a part of the holiday meal and it, too,
is dipped in honey. For Rosh Hashanah, challah isnt baked
in its usual braided form but in a circle, another symbol of
the cycle of the year to come. Honey cake and baked goods made
with apples also are popular desserts for the two-day holiday.
It may be true that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Studies
show that apples are the most concentrated food source of flavonoids,
a group of phytochemicals, natural substances that help protect
against cancer and heart disease, and may block the ability of
certain viruses to grow and spread. Much of the flavonoids
protection against cancer and heart disease seems related to
their antioxidant power. Health experts say that if people eat
five to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, flavonoid
consumption could reach a healthy range.
Try these ginger-stuffed baked apples with honey for a happy,
healthy new year dessert.
Baked Apples - Makes
- 4 Rome Beauty apples
- 1/4 cup crumbled gingersnaps
- 2 Tbsp. golden raisins
- 1 Tbsp. dried currants
- 1 Tbsp. light brown sugar
- 1 tsp. minced crystallized
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp. ground cardamom
- 4 Tbsp. honey
- 1 cup apple cider
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Peel apples, removing skin from only the top half of each. Remove
the cores from each. Using a scooper or peeler, remove enough
flesh from the center of each to make an inch-wide cavity that
reaches almost to the bottom. Place apples in an ovenproof dish
just large enough to hold them without touching.
In a small bowl, combine gingersnaps, raisins, currants, sugar,
ginger, cinnamon, and cardamom. Spoon mixture into the cavity
of each apple. Drizzle a tablespoon of honey over each so it
coats the exposed flesh as it drips down. Add cider to the pan.
Bake apples uncovered until soft when pierced with a knife but
not collapsing, about 50 to 60 minutes. (After 30 minutes, add
more cider if the pan looks dry.)
Cool apples to warm and place
in individual bowls or dishes. Spoon some of the liquid from
the pan over each apple and serve. Alternately, cool, cover and
store them in the refrigerator, up to 3 or 4 days, and bring
them back to room temperature before serving.
Per serving: 249 calories,
less than 1 g. total fat (0 g. saturated fat), 65 g. carbohydrate,
1 g. protein, 5 g. dietary fiber, 34 mg. sodium.