Perhaps the old saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” isn’t so far-fetched—well, at least if you bump it up to two fruits daily.
In a joint randomized controlled study between researchers in Italy and England, 40 participants with mild hypercholesterolemia who consumed two apples daily for 60 days experienced modest improvements in a handful of cardiovascular disease risk factors, including reductions in total and LDL cholesterol levels and an increase in microvascular vasodilation. Participants who consumed a calorie-matched beverage instead of the apples saw no improvements.
The dynamic duo of polyphenol antioxidants and soluble fiber pectin in the crispy fall fruit are likely behind these ticker-friendly benefits. That makes this sweet and savory dish a dinner meal your heart will love.
3 medium-sized apples, chopped
1 C chopped dried figs or dried plums
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 t honey
2 t fresh thyme
1 t brown mustard seeds (optional)
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t ground cloves
2 t lemon zest
4 6-oz chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
1/2 t salt
Combine apples, figs or plums, shallot, honey, thyme, mustard seeds, cinnamon, cloves, and lemon zest in a medium-sized saucepan. Place over medium heat until apples begin to sizzle, reduce heat to medium-low and cook covered, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes, or until apple has softened considerably. To poach chicken, place breasts and salt in a pot large enough that they lie flat in one layer, then add enough water to completely cover the meat by about 1 inch. Bring water to a very slight simmer with just a few bubbles breaking the surface, reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover, and cook for 15 minutes, or until meat is cooked through. Slice chicken breasts and serve topped with apple chutney. Makes four servings.
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