We’ve all heard this saying, and there actually is some truth to it, as Wikipedia explains:
The proverb “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” addressing the health effects of the fruit, dates from 19th century Wales. Research suggests that apples may reduce the risk of colon cancer, prostate cancer and lung cancer. Compared to many other fruits and vegetables, apples contain relatively low amounts of vitamin C, but are a rich source of other antioxidant compounds. The fiber content, while less than in most other fruits, helps regulate bowel movements and may thus reduce the risk of colon cancer. They may also help with heart disease, weight loss, and controlling cholesterol. The fiber contained in apples reduces cholesterol by preventing reabsorption, and (like most fruits and vegetables) they are bulky for their caloric content.
There is evidence that in vitro apples possess phenolic compounds which may be cancer-protective and demonstrate antioxidant activity. The predominant phenolic phytochemicals in apples are quercetin, epicatechin, and procyanidin B2.
Apple juice concentrate has been found to increase the production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in mice, providing a potential mechanism for the “prevention of the decline in cognitive performance that accompanies dietary and genetic deficiencies and aging.” Other studies have shown an “alleviat[ion of] oxidative damage and cognitive decline” in mice after the administration of apple juice.
Researchers at the Chinese University of Hong Kong discovered that fruit flies who were fed an apple extract lived 10 percent longer than other flies who were fed a normal diet.
However, apple seeds are mildly poisonous, containing a small amount of amygdalin, a cyanogenic glycoside; it usually is not enough to be dangerous to humans, but can deter birds.
We hear all the time about how we should all have more fruits and vegetables in our diets, but finding delicious and interesting ways to do so can sometimes be a bit challenging. I sometimes purchase fresh apples for us to snack on — hubby prefers the tart and tangy Granny Smith apple, whereas for snacking, I tend more toward varieties like Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Fiji, Pink Lady, and other such apples. So last night, as I was perusing my pantry, I noticed a couple of Granny Smith apples that hubby hadn’t snacked on were starting to go a bit soft, and I also had some packaged coleslaw mix (green and a bit of red cabbages with some carrot strips, as well) needed to be used. Add in the lean pork chops I had in my freezer when I stocked up during Brookshire’s most recent sale, and I decided on the classic combo of Pork Chops with Cabbage and Apples.
I mean, if Pork Chops with Apples — or, more precisely, applesauce — is good enough for the Bradys, then it’s good enough for us!
This recipe was inspired by a recipe in a Diabetic Cooking magazine for Pork Chops with Red Cabbage and Apples that I’ve changed up to better suit our personal tastes and what we usually have on hand: cabbage coleslaw mix instead of half a head of red cabbage, more apple, and some finely diced onion for the shallots, as I nearly always have onion on hand, but only purchase shallots if I need them for a specific recipe.
I also had some small red potatoes that needed using, too, so I rounded the meal out with mashed potatoes and some WhiteWheat buns (’cause it’s too hot to bake my own bread) — so I guess I was also fulfilling that old saying to “Waste not, want not.” 😉
Garnish each serving with a spoonful or two of no-sugar-added applesauce, if you like — I try to keep the little individual serving size packs in my pantry. 🙂
Et voila — a comforting, healthy meal that is delicious year round! In the colder months, I’d likely bake up some cornbread to go along with the meal and help warm up the kitchen.
It smells — and tastes! — so incredibly yummy, you’ll be rounding up friends or relatives to dance while you sing “One Bad Apple” 😉 (Go on, watch it — it’ll bring a much needed smile to your face. Oh, and if your memory tells you this was a Jackson Five song, well, you’re memory is wrong — it was the Osmonds! *LOL* Whoever knew Donny could hit such high notes? 😉 )
Pork Chops with Cabbage and Apples (Makes 4 servings)
- Four thick, lean boneless pork chops
- Seasonings to taste: salt (suggest sea salt or reduced sodium salt), coarse ground black pepper, and Chinese Five Spice Powder
- 2 to 4 tablespoons diced onion
- 2 green apples, cored and sliced
- 8 ounces (1/2 bag) shredded coleslaw mix (or more, to taste, if desired
- Splash or two of red wine vinegar
- Splash or two of lemon juice
- One to two spoonfuls of Splenda granular or other favorite artificial sweetener
- Drizzle of canola or olive oil
- A tablespoon of butter or margarine
- Sugar-free/no-sugar-added applesauce, if desired
- Dry pork chops with a paper towel (the will brown better this way). Season to taste with a wee sprinkle of salt, coarse ground black pepper, and a nice dusting of Chinese Five Spice powder. (I usually season one side and place that side down in the skillet and season the other side in the skillet before turning them.)
- Heat a drizzle of canola or olive oil in a large, heavy non-stick skillet over medium to medium-high heat until skillet is hot, about one minute. Brown pork chops on both sides (cook about 2 to 3 minutes on each side). Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until chops are done, about 20 to 25 minutes, turning several times to ensure even browning.
- Remove chops and keep warm.
- Add butter to skillet and cook apple slices and onion for 4 to 6 minutes, until apple begins to soften. Add in coleslaw mix, a splash or two of red wine vinegar, a splash or two of lemon juice, and a spoonful or two (or equivalent) of sweetener. Simmer until cabbage is wilted and tender. Return chops to skillet.
- Serve chop with apples and cabbage. Top each serving with a spoonful or two of applesauce, if desired. Refrigerate leftovers.