Saturday, February 12, 2011

Apple Puzzle

There's no puzzle about what is the best treat for your sweet tooth: real fruit!

But getting kids to choose fruit over the myriad other sweet temptations can be tricky. Here's a sneaky way to make an apple fun, and keep it fresh in a lunch box to boot!

Apples turn brown when they are cut because the enzymes and iron phenols in the fruit oxidize when exposed to air, basically causing the surface of the fruit to "rust." It's a protective mechanism against pests and pathogens, but doesn't really change the taste of the fruit. It's not very pleasing however, and while immersing the fruit (potatoes, bananas and pears, to name a few, are also prone to this "enzymatic bruising") in water or lemon will retard the effect, they can also make the fruit less pleasant to eat.

Try this at home!

take a clean apple

make a cut straight across, next to the core

make the same cut

on each side

of the apple

the pieces will look like this

gather them back up to reform the apple

secure with a rubber band

Voila! No oxidation!

Sante.

74 comments:

  1. why don't someone design an apple wrap instead of using a dirty rubber band?

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    Replies
    1. This rubber band is not dirty. This is one of the best idea.

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    2. Why don't you design one? You sound very smart:)

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    3. Buy a new package of rubber bands just for this. Brilliant idea!

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    4. Maybe I'm strange but I wash the nice ones that come with veggies in the baset of my dishwasher. Quick, easy, and reusable. Love this idea for apples!

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    5. Lolololol @ anonymous on August 6th.

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  2. Flipping simple, yet brilliant! This is so happening at my house now. :) Btw, found you on Pinterest. Love your blog.

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  3. nice idea! i don't like to touch rubber before i eat anything because the smell often makes me grossed out. this would work well with rotisserie rubber bands, which have no smell.

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  4. Wow! Love this. I never give my son apples in his lunch, because he doesn't like whole ones, and it turns brown if I cut it up. I'm going to try this next week.

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  5. Now this is just way too cool! My girls absolutely love apples. So glad to be able to cut them up and serve them later (no lemon juice needed!) Thanks for sharing! :)

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  6. Brilliant! Thanks for sharing - I'm excited to try this, I usually go for the lemon juice approach, but last week I ran out! So its nice to have options. ;) Love your site! Thought provoking!

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  7. Fantastic! I am going to try this for my son's lunch this week!

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  8. Brilliant. I am going to do this for sure!

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  9. What about using an apple slicer and then wrapping the whole apple in plastic wrap? You'll need to put the rubber banded apple in something.

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    Replies
    1. I did this and daughter says it browned and was disgusting.

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  10. I'm not sure what I did wrong, but I tried this a couple weeks ago and the slices were brown. :(

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    Replies
    1. Me too.. this did not work for me!

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  11. great idea! i have tried orange juice … nicer than lemon but not as effective, but the cuteness of this might just win Miss Fusspot over! xt

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  12. found you on pinterest as well. Just tried this and was so surprised that it worked. I left it on the counter fro about 90 minutes and it was just slightly brown. I imagine a clean hair tie would be just as effective and wouldn't give that nasty rubber smell/taste on the fingers of the person who eats it. But, I agree...someone needs to start making apple koozies. I think I hear Etsy calling!

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  13. This isn't fullproof but again helping in addition to using a ceramic knife. Acidic fruits and vegetables react to the metal ions in steel blades. If you slice something with a ceramic knife and follow with a steel blade, you can taste the difference between two slices of the same fruit.

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  14. I might try a few of those old silly bands that we have laying around instead of the rubberbands--will let you know how it works. I found you on pinterest.com, my new obsession!

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  15. Found this on Pintest, & I'm trying this tomorrow. Thanks!

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  16. This is the best idea! I'm featuring it tomrorow on " My Fabulous Finds" . I love real food blogs and I am now following you. I would love it if you visited my blog and followed me back.

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  17. My children love a variation on this theme: I cut a big and deep zig-zag line all around the apple, pull the two halves apart (then you have two "crowns", as the kids call them). Next I remove the core and put the two halves together again. Because there enters no air into the apple, there is hardly any oxidation. For an extra treat you can add a wrapped little sweet in the hollow inside.

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  18. Great idea! I often want apples cut for a picnic on the go, but don't want to deal with adding lemon juice.

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  19. Dip the apple wedges in pineapple juice. Just make sure every part of the wedge touches the juice or it will turn brown. I don't like pineapple juice but apples dpped in pineapple juice are delicious!!

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  20. u could always wrap the apple in a paper towel first then apply rubber band

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  21. I do this, but wrap them tightly in plastic wrap...Stretch Tight is the best because it really, really sticks to itself well. The slices still get a little bit brown, but not bad at all and my son will eat them! So it's a win!

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  22. I LOVE YOU!!

    Thank you!

    Will be sharing your post!

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  23. I use an apple slicer, as Anonymous said above. For my son who has braces, I slice the apple with the slicer, then turn it slightly and slice it again (slice quickly so the apple doesn't break up). This produces 16 thin apple slices. I then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Put the rubber band around the plastic wrap.

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  24. Here's a tip for removing the apple core quickly & cleanly before putting it back together with a rubber band, whatever... Take out that melon baller you've probably used twice and use it to scoop out the core.

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  25. Use the rubber bands from asparagus bunches.

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  26. What happened to just leaving the apple whole and biting into it?!?!?!

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    Replies
    1. Some younger kids can't eat it like that.

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    2. one word...braces! =) and, after having them as an adult, I still have a hard time biting into hard textures even though the braces are long gone. My wee one has had orthodontic appliances for the last 2 years (he's 9) and has many more years forthcoming. Applesauce only goes so far.

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  27. Or you can just soak a ton of slices in ginger ale for an hour or so. They don't lose taste, don't turn brown and last for days so you can portion them out for lunches.
    Angela @ First Comes Baby...

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  28. When my son is at home he loves from me to turn his apples into puzzles (a little more complicated than this puzzle). He would love it if I could make his "at school apple" into a puzzle. Thank you for this awesome tip!

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  29. This is why I started buying Gala apples, they don't seem to browen, however my son prefers Red Delicious, and this is perfect!

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  30. wow, I'm giving this a try. My kids love apples and eat them sliced because of their braces. This would be perfect for their lunches.

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  31. nice idea..thanks for sharing....

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  32. Interesting, great idea. Kids hate eating apples that have turned brown.

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  33. I have been doing something like this as well. And as someone else mentioned, different apple varieties have different tendencies to oxidize (turn brown) - so that's another variable to fiddle with.

    Finally, I have 1 or 2 round rubbermaid containers that are a perfect size to slip the apple into - people who don't like the rubber band idea might try this.

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  34. Did you know that each kind of apple browns at a different rate. Some kind of apple take much longer to turn brown than others.

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  35. I LOVE this idea! As a holistic health practitioner I love finding ideas on how to eat on the run and what's more convenient than an apple, all ready cut up and unbrowned. Thanks!
    http://nutritiontransformationexpert.com

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  36. wow what an amazing idea! this will make my daughter who is heading off to school next year and me really happy! and i'm all about the happy. Look for the twinkles, follow the winks, and fid your happy at twinklesandwinks.com -the twinkleteacher twinklesandwinks@gmail.com

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  37. Holy cow, what a great idea! Thanks so much - I will try this tomorrow for my kids' lunches! :0).

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  38. You can also remove the core, fill the hole with peanut butter (or the new peanut free kind), and wrap in plastic wrap. You have to make sure all of the flesh is covered with the peanut butter for it to work.

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    Replies
    1. such a brilliant idea!
      Did you think that up yourself?
      Or did you pick it up somewhere?
      I will certainly be using this tip!

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  39. love this idea... great for school snack..

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  40. What happened to their teeth?

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  41. Just gave you a shout out!

    http://4you-withlove.blogspot.com/2012/08/school-lunch-ideas.html

    Have a great day!

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  42. Love this idea, and featured it on my blog. Thank you for sharing your wonderful idea!

    http://thesweetestmemoryblog.blogspot.com/2012/08/apples-awesome-recipes-and-snacks.html

    Kari

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  43. amazing! thank you so much for this tricky apple!

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  44. this didnt work. i opened up my apple at lunch and it was disgusting!

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  45. cant you just wrap it in plastic wrap? btw i am not a robot!

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    Replies
    1. Just use an apple corer http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_corer and then put the apple pieces back together and wrap it up using plastic wrap.

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  46. Fantastic. I have always wanted to solve this problem. It looks simple.

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  47. Sprinkling some lemon juice helps stop the browning...and my son loves the extra flavor. Also, Ash at Deuce Goods ( http://www.etsy.com/shop/DeuceGoods ) sells apple cozies...that would maybe help keep the apple together too?!

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  48. It's a protective mechanism against pests and pathogens, but doesn't really change the taste of the fruit. It's not very pleasing however, and while immersing the fruit wheatgrass juice

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  49. Love this! I tagged you in my last post :)
    http://lifeasarinnagade.blogspot.com/2013/08/gluten-free-can-do-apples-pretzels-pb.html

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  50. It’s a great idea. Everyone must follow these kind of ideas.

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  51. I usually rub a few drops of lemon juice on them doesn't let it go brown and tastes good too

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