Do you know that saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”? It’s one of those sayings that has been around for what seems like forever. I’m guessing most people repeat it with a little chuckle and don’t really take it to heart. But like many sayings that have been passed down through generations, there is a hint of truth to it! I’m thrilled to be partnering with Pazazz Apples and The American Institute for Cancer Research to share some information about the health benefits of apples (and a fun recipe to boot!) with you.
February is National Cancer Awareness Month and I’m going to share a fun way you can participate in the Cancer Cruncher Challenge. You’ll be nourishing your own body with a cancer-protective diet, encouraging others to do the same and raising money for The American Institute for Cancer Research all at the same time!
First, let’s talk about some of the health benefits of eating apples. It’s long been known that eating a diet rich in fiber can help lower a person’s risk of developing cancer. Apples are one of the most delicious ways of adding fiber to my diet. Plus, apple peel is actually a prebiotic (a necessary food for probiotics to use to help maintain a healthy gut). Apples also provide additional benefits like protecting your brain, promoting bone health, lowering your risk of developing diabetes, supports your heart health and may aid in maintaining a healthy weight. That’s a LOT of goodness coming from one little fruit!!
Pazazz Apples are one of my favorite ways to enjoy the benefits of apples. Pazazz Apples are a cross between Honeycrisp and another mystery pollinator and have such an amazing flavor that they are often called “the Jolly Rancher of apples”. They have a perfect sweet and tart balance and an incredible crunch. Their ruby red bi-color hints at their bold, bright and juicy flavor. Pazazz Apples are available late Fall through Summer and are in peak flavor December through June. They are a great addition to salads, meat dishes and desserts. Scroll down to the bottom of this post for a favorite apple dessert of mine!! I love grabbing my Pazazz Apples at my local Meijer where I can also take advantage of curbside pickup!!
Before we get to the tasty dessert I love to make with Pazazz Apples, let me tell you how you can help to support the American Institute of Cancer Research by participating in the Cancer Cruncher Challenge.
Eat a cancer-protective diet of superfoods like Pazazz apples and upload your photo to the Pazazz superhero filter. Pizazz will donate $1 to The American Institute for Cancer Research to further the fight against this disease!! Feeling camera shy? You can also text PAZ to 797979 to also generate the $1 donation.
Here’s the tasty apple recipe that my family absolutely begs me to make on a regular basis, Cinnamon Apple Blossoms!
These delicious and beautiful apple desserts look complicated but are actually very simple to make.
Three Pazazz apples
Juice of half a lemon
One sheet of puff pastry
Four tablespoons of apple butter
Your favorite cinnamon
Here’s how to create the Cinnamon Apple Blossoms:
Core the apples and cut the apples in half.
Slice the apples into thin slices.
Place the apple slices in a bowl with enough water to cover them and add the lemon juice. Microwave the apples for three minutes on high.
Unfold the puff pastry sheet and roll out lengthwise. Then slice into six even strips. (I use a pizza cutter.)
Add 2 tablespoons of water to the apple butter and stir until combines to thin it a bit.
Spread the apple butter down the center of each pastry strip.
Place the apple slices on each pastry strip with the peel slightly off the strip and the cut side in the center. Each piece should slightly overlap the previous one.
Sprinkle generously with cinnamon.
Once all the apple slices have been placed, fold the other half of the puff pastry up to cover the cut end of the apple slices.
Take one end of the pastry strip and roll the strip lengthwise to form the blossom.
Place the blossoms in a muffin tin (I use a jumbo muffin pan that has six large muffin forms.)
Bake the blossoms in a 375° oven for 35-40 minutes or until pastry is risen and starting to brown.
Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. These are best when eaten while still warm.
Frequently asked questions:
My apples are too crisp to roll up once they are in the pastry strip. What should I do?
If your apples are too stiff to bend easily, put them back in the lemon water and microwave for an additional minute. Check and, if needed, continue microwaving for 1-minute intervals until soft enough to bend easily.
I don’t see any sweetener or sugar in the recipe. Did you forget to add it?
I find that the sweetness from the apples and apple butter is just right on its own. If you find that you prefer more sweetness, you can add some sugar or other sweetener to the cinnamon when you sprinkle it on.
Do these keep well?
You can absolutely put the apple blossoms into an airtight container and eat them at a later time. If you reheat them, the pastry base tends to get a tad bit soggy and less flakey. That said, I have not had any complaints from my family about eating these as “leftovers”!
Can these be made in a traditional muffin tin if I don’t have a jumbo tin?
Yes. You can either use smaller pastry strips or just roll them a bit tighter so that they will fit into a traditional muffin tin. Just be aware that the baking time may vary, so keep a close eye on them while in the oven.
Does it matter what type of apple I use?
Actually, yes it does. I like an apple that has a good flavor since it is the star of the recipe. You also want an apple that isn’t going to turn to mush once it is baked. I’ve found that Pazazz Apples fit the bill perfectly. If you do experiment with other varieties, just be aware that some of the cooking times may vary a bit based on the type of apple you use.