Can Roses Really Help You Lose Weight?

What member of the rose family is a great tool in the battle of the bulge?  If you guessed apples, you’d be right!  Believe it or not, apples truly are a member of Rosaceae or the rose family and with the Fall season in “full bloom” it’s no wonder we turn our attention to this versatile fruit Malus domestica, otherwise known as the common apple.

Quick Facts

Besides being in the rose family, here are a few other apple tid bits:

  • They are grown in all 50 states, most notably in Washington.  However 36 U.S. states actually produce apples commercially-including California
  • They are virtually fat, cholesterol, and sodium free. 
  • The most popular variety is the Red Delicious, followed by the Golden Delicious in second place.  Both of which are available year round.

Your Weight Control Partner

Apples are a sweet way to add fiber to your diet and help you feel full.  This is important if you are trying to shed a few pounds before the holidays get into full swing.  Also, pectin, a form of fiber found in apples has been shown to reduce blood cholesterol levels in many scientific studies.

There are a number of foods that pair well with apples including sharp cheeses, nuts and nut butters, or even a little dark chocolate.  Here’s a simple fall recipe to get you started.

Speedy Baked Apple

This is a super easy recipe using your microwave that quickly delivers a delicious fall treat with 5 grams of fabulous fiber for only 140 calories.  Makes the house smell nice too!

Serves:  1

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium apple (any variety)
  • 1 Tbsp Splenda© Brown Sugar Blend
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp dried sweetened cranberries
  • 1 tsp light butter
  • ½ tsp almond extract

Directions:

Core the apple and place it in a small covered microwave safe dish.  Mix the Splenda© Brown Sugar Blend, nutmeg, cinnamon and cranberries in another bowl.  Spoon the mixture into the center of the apple, top with the butter and almond extract; microwave on high for about 3-4 minutes.

So enjoy the bounty that apples have to offer this fall knowing that you are eating both nutritiously as well as deliciously.  Isn’t that the way it should be?

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Grillin’ Up Some Color

When we think of summer, we usually think backyard barbeques.  What a better way to gather friends and family to share up some good eats.  This year why not try grilling up more than just the standard fare of burgers and dogs-lets grill up some color.  Brightly colored fruits and veggies can be grilled up and turned into fantastic side dishes (or main dishes) which can add a beautiful touch to your backyard feast.  Here are a couple of my favorites:

Grilled Fruit Kabobs

Alternate sliced fresh peaches, strawberries and canned chunk pineapple on skewers that have been soaked in water for at least 15 minutes.  Lightly grill while brushing with a simple balsamic honey glaze.

Grilled Fruit Kabob Glaze

(makes enough for 8 kabobs)

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon of honey

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Firecracker Veggies

Alternate quartered onions, 1 inch slices of yellow squash and zucchini, as well as red and yellow bell pepper along the soaked skewers as above.  While grilling, brush with this tangy sweet sauce that packs a little peppery kick.

Firecracker Sauce

(makes enough for 8 kabobs)

1/4 cup(s) fresh lime juice

1/4 cup(s) honey

2 tablespoon(s) ketchup

2 tablespoon(s) olive oil

2 tablespoon(s) soy sauce

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon(s) crushed red-pepper flakes

Salt and pepper to taste

These are just a few suggestions, get creative!  Try other vegetables such as mushrooms, potatoes, and asparagus which are all delicious when grilled.  Think outside the box and color up your meals this summer.