A Most Misunderstood Fruit

Mrs Clippy herself - Michelle McKenna

Ever thought that the phrase “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” was an old wives tale? Think again... As Poppy Watt recently discovered, the humble apple is versatile and packs more than just a few surprises of its own, proving it is in fact the ultimate super-food!!

For thousands of years, people have been eating apples. Fossils show that apples were cultivated as early as the Neolithic period. Perhaps the early humans knew the fruit was good for their health even before they understood what an antioxidant was.

A single apple has approximately 1500mg of vitamin C, to give the immune system a boost; 44% more antioxidant power than blueberries and ten times the antioxidant power of goji berry juice.

Quercetin is another antioxidant contained in the skin of apples. This anti-oxidant has been showed to lower the risk of heart disease and even prevent the cell changes that lead to cancer.

Furthermore, apples contain fibre, especially in the skin, and are great roughage to add to your diet.

And still the list goes on…

Apples have antiviral properties, will help you detoxify your body and have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels. In fact, if you eat two apples a day you can reduce your cholesterol level by up to 10%.

With all these outstanding health benefits you might think that the apple - with its crisp, crunchy white flesh, ranging from moderately sweet and refreshing to pleasantly tart depending on the variety - would be a more popular fruit.

Since 1970, 67% of British orchards have disappeared. Only 38% of Apples sold in the
UK are grown here.

On October 21st 1990 Common Ground initiated Apple Day, an annual celebration of
UK apple heritage. Events range from markets in village halls to menus in National Trust houses, pruning and grafting classes, apple road shows by horticultural societies and apple food and drink in the Houses of Parliament. By 2000, Apple Day was celebrated in more than 600 events around the country and abroad.

With all these facts and figures at my disposal, I went to work trying to locate an authority on the British apple and my research led me to Michelle McKenna, founder of the “Clippy’s Apples” brand and a young woman who is very keen to make the British apple “sexy “ again.

“Some fruit appear to have caught the imagination of the media more than others and have consequently been elevated to a level they really don’t deserve. Goji berries and kiwis; blueberries and melon: all wonderful, healthy fruit, with an image so much more attractive than the humble British apple”.

It’s a fair point. If you want to mix sensual with your “five a day” then apples tend to drop down the list a little at the expense of the more exotic.

However, Michelle’s campaign is proving successful and it is also admirable when one considers that she only recently (3 months to be exact) gave birth to a healthy baby daughter. Where on earth did she manage to get all the energy, I pondered.

Maybe it was all those apples?

With their commitment to building a brand and focus on the British apple, Clippy’s have the sponsorship of the new Cheshire Wildlife Trust apple orchard. In June they were ‘Highly Commended’ at the Food NW (North West) awards and Borough Market (London) has invited Clippy’s Apples to attend their weekly producers market.

For more information regarding Clippy’s range and interesting apple facts visitwww.clippys.com.

~~ Apple Recipes

 

Clippy's Crunchy Apple Slaw with Cheeseboard

Apple slaw:

  • 1 fresh and tender fennel finely sliced
  • ¼ red cabbage finely sliced
  • 1 perky red onion finely sliced
  • 1 perfect British apple finely sliced
  • Handful of young green baby spinach leaves
  • Dressing - 1 teaspoon of cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon of fresh homemade mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon of whole grain mustard
  • Handful of slivered pistachios or walnuts

Combine the fennel, cabbage, onion and apple together with the dressing
Layer the slaw with tender spinach leaves
Scatter with a sprinkling of pistachios or walnuts

**********

Clippy's Cheshire Apple Cake

 

  • 175g softened unsalted butter
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 175g self raising flour
  • 3 large organic beaten eggs
  • 2/3 chopped, peeled & cored British apples
  • 1 Teaspoon of natural vanilla extract
  • 300ml of double cream (softly whipped)
  • Icing sugar, for dusting

Clippy’s Apple & Very Berry Jam

Preheat oven to 180C

Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and airy, add the beaten eggs slowly and the vanilla and combine. Add the flour and fold in gently, then add the chopped apples, divide between the two 9in cake tins and bake at 180°c for around 20 minutes, or until golden.

When the cakes are ready, remove them to a metal rack to cool.

When the apple cakes are cool, place one cake on a cake stand and smear over the jam, then spread the whipped double cream over the top. Place second cake gently on top and dust with icing sugar. This is perfect for birthdays, special occasions or just for you…

Poppy Watt