It’s apple season! The apple harvest is a wonderful marker of the changing seasons. The air becomes cool and crisp, the leaves begin to change color and fall to the ground, and this delightful red fruit helps us transition from the light salads of summer to the heartier soups and roasts of autumn.

Here in New York, local apples are widely available. Buy a bushel from a local farmer, or find a u-pick farm nearby! Enjoy them fresh or bake them into a classic dinner or dessert.

When shopping for apples, choose firm, brightly colored fruits with intact skin. Apples will keep for 4 to 6 weeks in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. You can store them in a perforated plastic bag. You can also extend their shelf life by turning them into applesauce, jam, or cider.

Today I’ll share one of my favorite fall apple recipes!

Apples are an excellent choice for a snack. Like many fruits they offer us fiber and water. They are low in calories and high in nutrients! Apples are a great source of vitamin C, which we need for a healthy immune system. They also contain antioxidants, which help protect your cells against certain chronic diseases.

While apples are popular as a raw snack, they also cook well into soups, stews, and roasts. They add a little natural sweetness and crisp texture, and a nice pop of color if you leave the skin on (The skin is the best source of fiber!).

Today’s recipe is Apple Corn Chili. See the full details here at https://www.myplate.gov/recipes/myplate-cnpp/apple-corn-chili.

This recipe features apples, corn, onions, and green chilies with chicken. It’s a delicious lunch or dinner, especially paired with some whole-grain bread or served with brown rice. Apples, corn, and beans are all excellent sources of fiber. Fiber is good for our gut and our heart. It helps us to feel fuller for longer. Chicken and beans provide protein, which we need for growth and general maintenance in the body. It also helps us to feel satisfied after a meal! Seasonings such as cumin or cayenne add a burst of flavor without increasing the sodium. Sodium, or salt, can increase our blood pressure, so it’s worth adding flavor with these salt-free spices instead.

Corn, beans, and chilies are vegetables and apples are fruit. These two food groups, especially in different colors, provide many nutrients that help us stay healthy and fight disease. Each color offers slightly different nutrients, so it’s important to eat the rainbow! We should try to make roughly half our plate fruits and veggies. This recipe can help you do just that!

Apple Corn Chili

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil (divided)

8 oz chicken (skinless and boneless breast, cut into medium chunks)

1 medium onion

2 garlic cloves (ground)

1 can (15.2 oz) canned corn (unsalted, drained)

2 red apples (chopped, peeled)

1/2 tablespoon ground cumin

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

1 can (15 oz) black beans (unsalted, drained, and washed)

4-1/2 oz diced green chilies

2 cups water

Directions

In a stockpot, heat 1 tbsp. olive oil; add chicken and brown (about 5 minutes). Remove chicken from pan.

Heat remaining olive oil in same pot; add onions and garlic and sauté until soft.

Add corn and sauté until golden brown. Add apple, cumin, and cayenne pepper (if desired); cook about 3-4 minutes. Let cool about 5 minutes.

Set aside about 1 cup of mixture. Purée remainder in food processor or blender, adding a portion of water, if needed, and return to pot.

Add browned chicken, black beans, chiles, and water. Bring to boil and simmer about 15 minutes. Chicken should be cooked to 165 ºF.6.

To serve, ladle soup in bowls and top with non-puréed portion of apple corn mixture.

This recipe makes 4 servings.

One serving provides 360 calories, 11g fat, 140mg cholesterol, 48g carbohydrates, 9g fiber, and 20g protein.

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If you’d like to share your fall recipes, we’d love to hear them! If you’re interested in learning more about healthy cooking that saves you money, check us out on Facebook @snapedny or email skm99@cornell.edu.

Visit www.SNAPEDNY.org for more tips and tricks and to find virtual or in-person classes.

USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides nutrition assistance to people with low income. It can help people buy nutritious foods for a better diet. To find out more, call 1 (800) 352-8401.

Sarah Martin is a lead nutritionist in the SNAP-Ed NY Northwestern Region, which includes Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties. SNAP-Ed NY is funded by SNAP and delivered by Cornell Cooperative Extension. Martin writes a nutrition column for The Daily News.

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