Most of us think that healthy eating sounds plausible only if you have all the time in the world.The idea behind this thought roots from the fact that most fruits and vegetables can’t be kept fresh looking for long periods of time. Fruits and Vegetables like Apples, Apricots, Pears,Potatoes, and Eggplants are a few examples which turn brown when they are cut. But what if someone told you the converse is true and that too without altering the taste or adding any citrus juices? Yes, fruits like apple can be kept fresh over-night without much hassle. You can learn this simple hack and keep apples from turning brown with Honey only!
People who follow a tight schedule usually don’t have time to prepare for healthy meals under the wire, because it means peeling, cutting and chopping a lot of fruits or vegetables. On the contrary, Unhealthy options are quicker to fix and smooth to serve. So if only there was a mechanism to preserve pre-cut fruits and vegetables with freshness, many people will definitely choose healthy eating over other processed options.
APPLE, THE MAGICAL FRUIT!
When it comes to healthy eating, Apples are one of the most nutritious and healthy fruits. In fact,who hasn’t heard of the old welsh proverb “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”. Irrespective of the authenticity of this quote, apples do have a very rich supply of Minerals including Potassium, Calcium, and Magnesium. Potassium and Magnesium are very important in maintaining the electrolyte balance of the body. They help in improving the nerve and muscle functions. Calcium is crucial in muscle contraction, strong bones and teeth strengthening, blood clotting, nerve function, and regulating the heartbeat.
APPLE, THE IMMUNITY BOOSTER!
Apples are also rich in Vitamin C, which is one of the most important vitamins in building up a strong immune system. Apples also contain a good percentage value of B-complex vitamins like riboflavin, thiamin, and vitamin B-6. These vitamins play a major role in keeping our red blood cells and the nervous system healthy. And last but not least, Apples are rich in dietary fiber,hence keeping your digestive tract healthy and fit.
WHY DO APPLES TURN BROWN?
Not many people are fond of the chemistry behind cooking. All they are interested in is the outcome. So let’s put it up simply for all and sundry. There is a chemical enzyme in the flesh of apples which reacts with Oxygen.
Yes, the same Oxygen gas which keeps us ticking and is present far and wide around us. The product of this oxidation reaction, then further reacts with another enzyme in Apple’s flesh to give it a brown tinge. Since the enzyme is inside the cells of Apple’s flesh, so whenever it is cut or injured somehow, this reaction takes place.
Different cultivars and varieties of apples have this enzyme in different quantities; hence the rate at which the browning occurs is also different. Nonetheless, it is ubiquitously undesirable for everyone. Be it your lunchbox or your child’s snack time, nothing looks more unappetizing than a browned apple. And soaking your fruit in citrus juice is not always a preference and doesn’t work for long hours too.
HONEY- THE MAGICAL SYRUP!
Honey is a familiar pantry item, which is available almost in every household. It is sweet,delectable and healthful too. It holds religious value in many parts of the world and is believed to have anti-bacterial and healing properties.
We all know that it comes from honeybees, and its nutrition value and constituents vary largely.Its taste, smell and nutrition values mainly depend upon the source flowers. It is consumed both raw and pasteurized. Raw honey is directly bottled from the honeycomb in the beehive, whereas the pasteurized one is treated before making it available commercially. However, it is an important part of our breakfast table as is, and is served atop many sweet delicacies too.
It does contain a lot of sugars and carbohydrates, but still will be a healthier option than the processed sugar. Honey is rich in antioxidant compounds which are very good in maintaining your heart health and cholesterol levels. Recent studies have shown that a certain type of honey,called Manuka honey, help in preventing some bacteria which cause severe diarrhea and sickness.
MANUKA HONEY- A HONEY WITH SUPER POWERS
The chemical compound responsible for the antibacterial qualities in honey is Hydrogen peroxide. But some variations of honey have another antibacterial compound naturally which is more effective than the normal honey in fighting bacteria and infections, called Methylglyoxal,commonly known as MG. While MG is found in most of the honey types, only in small quantities, it is found in higher concentration in Manuka Honey.
Manuka Honey is originally made in New Zealand and Australia when the bees pollinate the Manuka bush.But it is now widely available in other parts of the world too.
A scale has been developed for rating the antibacterial properties of honey-based on its MG values. The scale is known as Unique Manuka Factor or UMF and you could easily look up for brands who are selling the “Active Manuka Honey” or “UMF Manuka honey” based on this rating.
HOW TO KEEP APPLES FROM TURNING BROWN USING HONEY WATER?
Manuka honey is a bit more expensive as compared to common honey. But the good news is,you can use any honey for this trick. The method is explained in simple steps below for your convenience.
You will need;
1 Cup Water
2 tablespoon honey (any type)
Cut apples in slices. You could peel it if you desire, but remember that apple with skin has more nutrients than a skinned apple.
Take a cup of drinking water and add 2 tablespoons of honey in it. Mix well until the honey is not visible separately. If the weather is cold, then you might want to heat water to bring it down to room temperature so that the honey dissolves in it completely.
Soak the sliced apples in the Honey and water mixture for around 30 seconds.
Remove the fruit from honey water and store in an airtight container in a refrigerator for as long as 24 hours without the slightest change in its color.
This simple life hack works equally well for pears, avocado, apricots and any other fruits that undergo enzymatic browning.
It works equally well for Eggplants, zucchini, and potatoes or any other vegetables which turn brown after cutting.
Use the fruits or vegetables within 24 hours for best results and avoid keeping them for longer than this period.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
So, what exactly is the magical trick? Honey is rich in peptides, which come from its makers, the honey bees. These peptides inhibit the activation of polyphenol oxidase with oxygen. Polyphenol Oxidase is the same compound which when reacts with oxygen lends a brownish tinge to the fruits and vegetables.
Many other tricks can slow down this oxidation reaction too. For example, soaking in water or acidic compounds, like lemon juice, also helps slow down this process. But if you intend to put fruits in a recipe based on cream or milk, using citrus fruits is not a very good idea. It can alter the texture of cream by curding it and will ruin your effort. And the fruits remain fresh for a longer period of time in honey water as compared to the lemon juice or lime juice water. This tip is safe, handy and very economical.
OTHER WAYS TO KEEP APPLE FROM TURNING BROWN
No doubt honey does a magic trick in keeping apples or other fruits from turning brown, but there are other tips and tricks that can be used to prevent it. Imagine you packed apple slices for your kid’s lunch and they returned uneaten or untouched leaving you wondering your kid spent his afternoon hungry. So to prevent this situation, along with that honey trick you can soak those apple slices for 10 minutes in salt water (1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1 cup cold water) and no, the apples won’t taste salty.
Other tricks include squeezing or dipping in lemon juice or any other juice containing citric acid or you can sprinkle cinnamon powder to prevent the apples from turning brown. Directly slice the apple slices into the water, these tricks have some downsides but overall they work just fine.
You can even dip it in ginger ale, it will prevent them from turning brown but will add a bit of sugary touch to the fruit. Extreme temperatures also prevent from browning those apples,like boil for two minutes, drain and dip in cold water. Some of the hacks to save your diced apples.
Next time if you wish to prepare for the Thanksgiving dinner earlier, or you plan to throw a cocktail brunch in the morning, don’t hesitate to cut your fruits a night before, by using this life-saving hack. This honey tip will keep the apples as well other fruits from turning brown.
It’s easy, economical and works perfectly for 8 to 14 hours. The best part is that the taste of fruits is also preserved without the need for washing them again before consuming. And the ingredients are easily available in every household without difficulty.