Taken from Lynne’s weekly column ‘Green Scene’ for the Western Mail. 23rd September 2017 Happy Apple Time
It’s apple time! Well, it is for me anyway. I have been busy picking my own apples, and client’s apples, and getting them turned into ‘liquid gold’, or apple juice, as it’s otherwise known.
It is absolutely the best way to deal with a glut of apples. I get all mine squished, or pressed, into the most delicious juice at Aber Valley Fruits in Talybont on Usk, in the Brecon Beacons.
The friendly, family-run business produces premium cloudy apple juice, hand pressed from the finest British apples and with no sugar or preservatives added. But for a month or so every year they also take in apples to press for the public. It is a fabulous service and I can’t recommend it highly enough, especially after years of seeing windfall apples being left to rot on the ground in so many places.
What could be better than labelling up your own apple juice and giving it as a Christmas present or taking it to a dinner party? It is a brilliant talking point and that’s before people even taste it!
Simply pick your fruit and take it to Eifion for ‘recycling’. He’ll do the rest. (He can also squish pears if you are lucky enough to have a glut of those).
But remember to keep your bottles; if you take them back, you’ll get a discount on next year’s apple juice.
And whilst you’re there, ask about the fabulous Cowboy Pickles that they make to an old family, Texas style recipe. You’ll need more than one jar though, as the sweet, spicy, pickled gherkins are totally addictive.
For more information call Eifion Morgan on 07970 838065 or 01874 676607.
Take your Pick
I did exactly this with Wolf’s adjustable fruit picker, until I actually used it a few years ago. And then I wished I’d thought of it myself!
I am already a disciple of Wolf’s interchangeable handles, thanks to my brother; basically you buy a handle (I have a couple of telescopic ones) and then just buy the attachments for them, from brush heads to saws, and about everything in between.
Their fruit picker simply clicks onto the telescopic handle and although it takes a bit of practice to get the knack, it is much easier than balancing on top of a ladder! The picker is around £14, or £40 with a 4m telescopic handle.
Most garden centres will stock them at this time of year, so you can have a better look.
The pectin in apples is said to reduce inflammation and the appearance of fine wrinkles, and therefore considered a natural boon to a beauty routine. For a quick way to brighten up your face, grate a peeled and cored apple and apply to skin; let sit for 15 minutes. Rinse with warm water
The fruit’s alpha-hydroxy acids also work wonders on skin, so for a fab face mask, that also utilises the moisturizing properties of oatmeal, try this: Grate half a peeled and cored apple and mix with one tablespoon rolled oats, one teaspoon yogurt, and one teaspoon honey. Slather on face and let sit for 10 minutes, rinse with warm water.
Apples also contain malic acid, a chemical used in teeth whitening products, and which helps dissolve stains, so an apple a day could help to keep your teeth pearly white!
Keep the Doctor Away
It seems an apple a day really can help to keep the doctor away, as researchers from Cornell’s Food Science and Toxicology Department in USA found that the antioxidant properties of one fresh apple were equal to 1,500 milligrams of vitamin C. The Cornell researchers suggest that a combination of plant chemicals, collectively known as phytochemicals, found mainly in the skin of apples, provide the bulk of the fruit’s anticancer and antioxidant properties. The cooperative activity of these phytochemicals, they argue, has health benefits that are superior to those found in single compounds like vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene, which have been widely studied for their antioxidant activities.
Did You Know?
The “national apple” of Canada, it was also the favourite apple of Jef Raskin, head of the team that created the Apple Macintosh.