Where it all started
Let’s talk history. The first DNA analysis of the humble apple originates in the mountains of Khazakstan. In those days the wild apples had a slight sourness. Later the domesticated apple, ‘Malus domestica’ was cultivated. For thousands of years humans ate apples and today there are over 7,500 varieties in the world. Whew, glad we only have around 10 varieties to choose from. Aussies love apples all year round.
Nicoletti’s Deliver Healthy Snacks
We all love a great crunch and one that packs with a sweet juicy flavour. Yes, we’re talking about the new season Royal Gala apples. Queensland’s healthy snacks grow in the picturesque town of Stanthorpe, a scenic two and a half-hour drive from Brisbane.
Fourth-generation grower Daniel of Nicoletti Orchards commenced harvest a few weeks back. Daniel states the drought has created difficulties for many farmers around Australia. The family’s apples have suffered heat stress and the skin may show a few marks. Good news is they’re sweeter than ever due to the high temperature’s experienced this season. Trust us, you won’t stop at one!
Nicoletti Orchards apples are always a big hit at the bi-annual Stanthorpe Apple and Grape Festival. Daniel’s wife Toni is a co-host at the festival’s Paddock to Piazza cooking demonstration. The Southern Downs renowned Chef Andrew Simpson from Queensland College of Wine and Tourism will wow the crowd with Nicoletti apples. So, mark your diaries as this incredible, fun-filled event is only 2 weeks away. Don’t forget the Fuji apples are almost here!
Ohana Cider House and Tropical Winery Support’s Farmers
It’s wonderful to know that business owners Josh and Zoe of Ohana Cider House and Tropical Winery are very passionate about supporting other family businesses. The couple instantly connected with Stanthorpe apple growers Daniel and Toni Nicoletti. All of the ciders use Nicoletti Orchards apples. The family says the apples are consistently high quality, super sweet and always fresh.
After 3 and half years of creating handcrafted ciders, wines and liqueurs this gutsy couple saw potential to expand. They took the plunge and opened Queensland’s first cider house. It began to blossom into something they’d never imagined. Winning several awards with Cheeky Tiki Ciders in 2017, 2018 and 2019 benchmarked amongst Australia’s and the Global markets’ premium producers.
It usually takes around 3-4 months to make apple cider. First the apples are crushed and pressed to extract the fresh juice. This juice is then pumped into the fermentation tank and yeast is added. Yeast consumes the sugars in the apple juice, and as a result of this chemical reaction alcohol is created. After fermentation, the cider is filtered and aged. Lastly it goes through a final filter and the cider is slowly carbonated in brite tanks and bottled.
Maintain Good Nutrition
Who doesn’t love a healthy kick-start to the day! With around 95 calories and 25 grams of carbs, this great snack provides vitamins C, K and a good dose of potassium. High in fiber and water they’re a good filler in between meals too! Speaking of fiber, apples contain soluble fiber which means that it may lower blood cholesterol levels and is a plus for gut health. It’s great to keep the skin on as the polyphenols (in the skins) may lower the blood pressure and may lower the risk to type 2 diabetes.
We all know mums like to ensure their children maintain a healthy diet eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables every day. Apples are perfect for the kids lunchbox and a fantastic after school snack.
Experimenting with the Versatile Apple
Apples are so versatile you can add them to almost any dish. Raw, baked or stewed, the firm texture and sweet flavour makes them the perfect go-to fruit for cooking. From amazing savoury chicken or pork stir fries to the sweetest of sweets, caramel apple bars, it’s always a delight to experiment.
Personally, we love apples fresh most of the time. Of course, we don’t mind cooking up a storm with grandmas home baked apple pie and traditional pastry, good old-fashioned flour, butter, eggs and sugar YUMM! Veganism has certainly changed the world with an array of healthy alternatives. For those of you who are gluten-intolerant there is so much on offer. From almond to chickpea flour and dairy free yoghurt to cashew butter and everything in between cooking with apples has never been easier. We’ll be sharing a delicious recipe very soon!