By Jacqueline Dunnington

The folk adage, "an apple a day keeps the doctor away," is not only a simple rule for good health but a tip for delicious dining. Apples are grown on every continent and are the fruit of a Eurasian tree, the Malus pumila.


(Serves 4)

An aromatic treat to be enjoyed throughout the year.

  • 20 dried, unsweetened apple rounds or slices
  • 8 dried figs (Calmyrna best)
  • 1-½ cups cranberry juice (about)
  • 2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 3 Tablespoons grated orange peel
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon arrowroot powder (optional)

Place all ingredients but arrowroot powder in a 2-quart pot with lid. Bring contents to boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 40 minutes. Stir occasionally. If desired, thicken juice with arrowroot powder, then bring to a final boil and remove from heat at once. Let stand at least 15 minutes. Serve hot or cold.

Total Calories Per Serving: 262
Fat: 1 gram


(Serves 4)

Enjoy this unique apple syrup served over fresh fruit or cooked rice.

  • 2 cups apple juice
  • ½ orange, studded with 3 or 4 cloves
  • ½ apple, studded with 3 or 4 cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon dried orange rind
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon arrowroot powder
  • 4 ripe bananas or other raw fruit slices

In a 1-quart pan simmer apple juice with all the ingredients, except arrowroot powder and bananas until liquid is reduced by half (about 30 minutes). Remove pan from stove and discard orange and apple halves. Stir in arrowroot powder, return pot to burner and bring to a final boil. Remove syrup from heat at once and let stand 15 minutes longer.

Peel bananas and slice them. Divide sliced bananas into four individual bowls. Pour syrup over bananas and serve.

Total Calories Per Serving: 165
Fat: 1 gram


(Serves 4)

A dessert in which sweetness and healthy indulgence meet.

  • 4 large baking apples
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup apple juice (about)
  • ⅓ cup dried currants
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • Large pinch ground cloves
  • Large pinch ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Core apples, remove seeds, peel away a bit of skin, and stuff with currants. Set in oven-proof baking dish. Combine lemon and apple juice with spices and maple syrup and pour over apples. Bake uncovered for about 45 minutes, basting often. Serve warm.

Total Calories Per Serving: 259
Fat: 1 gram


(Serves 4)

A recipe from my Swiss grand-mother's kitchen. Great for brunch.

  • 4-6 red baking apples, cored, sliced in thin wedges (leave mostly unpeeled)
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • Pinch ground anise seeds
  • Pinch ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups cooked rice (preferably brown Basmati)

Place all ingredients but vanilla and rice in a 3-quart pot. Simmer uncovered (stir a few times) for about 20 minutes or until apple wedges are soft. Remove from heat and let stand a few minutes. Stir in vanilla. Pour over rice and serve.

Total Calories Per Serving: 219
Fat: 1 gram


(Serves 4)

Pretty, tasty, easy, and healthy!

  • ⅓ cup brown rice syrup or other liquid sweetener
  • ¼ cup unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 2-½ cups grated red apples, cored and partially unpeeled
  • 1-½ Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup shredded fresh pineapple
  • 6 large fresh strawberries, sliced

Dissolve rice syrup into pineapple juice; then combine all ingredients but the strawberries in a bowl. Let stand for a few minutes, mix again. Set fruit mixture in individual dishes, garnish with berries. Serve at once.

Total Calories Per Serving: 132
Fat: less than 1 gram


(Serves 4)

This soup is absolutely delicious.

  • 20 dried, unsweetened apple rounds or slices
  • 12 large dried apricots, pitted
  • ½ cup raisins or dried currants
  • 2 cups apple juice
  • 1 Tablespoon of grated orange peel
  • 1 Tablespoon grated lemon peel
  • 1 cloth packet with a stick of cinnamon and a few cloves

Mix all ingredients thoroughly in a 3-quart pot. Simmer uncovered for the better part of an hour, stirring often. Add more juice if necessary and discard spice packet at end of cooking time. Serve warm or chilled. Keeps for days in the refrigerator.

Total Calories Per Serving: 226
Fat: less than 1 gram
Jacqueline Dunnington is a freelance writer from Santa Fe, New Mexico.

About The Vegetarian Journal and The Vegetarian Resource Group

This article originally appeared in the July/August 1995 issue of The Vegetarian Journal, published by:

The Vegetarian Resource Group
P.O. Box 1463
Baltimore, MD 21203
(410) 366-8343
E-mail: vrg@vrg.org