Everyday Superfoods Part I: Apples (Student Guest Blog Feature + Recipe)

I am beyond thrilled to introduce the work of Leigh Merotto, a 4th year  Ryerson University  nutrition student and aspiring dietitian with an interest in private practice, sports nutrition and women’s health. 

Leigh is another one of the group of students who has joined in on my guest blog initiative and she came to me with the great idea of starting an “Everyday Superfoods” series.  

Of course, there is no such thing as a true superfood, however these “Everyday Superfoods” are a group of seasonal, affordable and extremely healthy foods that are widely available in Canada. Each post will discuss the health benefits of the food, a couple of fun facts and discuss how to incorporate it into your daily life, with a showcase recipe also featured.

Apples as an Everyday Superfood 

As they say… An Apple A Day Keeps The Doctor Away

A recent trend in the world of health and nutrition is the emergence of so-called “superfoods”. These foods are often pricey and are imported from places far away in the world. Some claim they are the ultimate cure for any maladies, and offer immense health benefits. But do they really?

This series of blog posts hopes to showcase the superfoods of the everyday foods that we know well and come across easily, but that perhaps some of us can include more of in our everyday diet. Everyday superfoods like apples, broccoli, or flax seeds need not break the bank like the trendy and well marketed alternatives  popping up in various health food and grocery stores, but can still offer us a variety of awesome health benefits.

As the air gets cooler, autumn is approaching, and apples are ready for harvesting. I consider Apples an everyday superfood because they offer a variety of nutrients (especially in the skin) such as antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamin C, and soluble and insoluble fiber, which can benefit the immune system, digestive system and support  blood sugar regulation.

Due to their seasonality, apples are even more affordable this time of year and are often picked close to home. This means a big hoorah for locally grown foods! An interesting fact about apples is that they have grown in Canada for hundreds of years,  but have been agriculturally selected for increasing sweetness over time. So if you have ever picked wild apples, you will notice they are much less sweet than the varieties of granny smith, Macintosh or golden delicious you will find in the grocery store.

Here are four ways to add apples to your everyday meals:

1. Diced and added to oatmeal

2. Combine with bacon and cheddar for a tasty frittata

3. Slice thinly and add to your favourite green salad

4. Sprinkle slices with brown sugar and cinnamon, bake until soft, and serve with a scoop of ice-cream and sprinkle of granola for a simple dessert

Or, try this awesome apple-almond quinoa recipe, complete with warming fall flavours for a breakfast or snack that is sure to provide you with “superfood” energy! 

Apple Almond Quinoa ( vegan friendly) 

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 medium red apple, diced
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon
  • Small handful chopped almonds
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup


Combine quinoa and 2 cups of water in a medium pot. Bring to a boil, then add remaining ingredients. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover with a lid, and cook for approximately 20 minutes, or until liquid has evaporated. Let stand with lid on for 5 minutes. Serve with sliced banana, and top with your favourite nut or peanut butter, enjoy.

Serves 6. Recipe can be doubled and saved for a busy morning breakfast, just reheat and eat!

Hope you all enjoyed Leigh’s awesome contribution!


Andy De Santis RD MPH