Granny Smith and the Apple Snack-Over
I have three grandmothers. My paternal grandmother, my maternal grandmother, and one that grew on a tree. The one that grew on a tree is called Granny Smith. At last count she has about 23 million Australian grandchildren. Granny Smith was born in 1868 on an orchard in New South Wales, originally propagated by Maria Ann Smith. Being the doting grandchild I am, I visit Granny Smith weekly at my local fruit shop where she socialises with her best friends Golden Delicious and Royal Gala. They play bingo on Wednesdays and flirt with the bananas on Tinder on Fridays.
Granny Smith is an apple. Not just any apple—Australia’s favourite apple. For close to 150 years this apple has been the snack of a nation. Why? Well for one it is the easiest snack to prepare, simply because it requires no preparation at all. Just bite into and eat around the core. Secondly, it does not spoil easily. I’ve eaten apples that have been rolling around the bottom of my handbag for two weeks and they have still tasted perfectly crisp and tart. From Adam and Eve to Snow White, the crunch of an apple is the sound of seduction. That’s why the Apple® logo has a bite taken out of it, not even Steve Jobs could resist.
My obsession with apples was pretty lo fi compared to say celebrities, who have taken their obsession to the next level by naming their kin Apple. This was until recently, when I discovered I could give the apple a snack-over. A snack-over is similar to a make over, except applied to a fruit or vegetable that can taken to the next level without doing any actual cooking. I started developing apple algorithms – what went best with green apples, what went best with red apples, and what was an atrocity to both. I had turned a daily dietary habit into a dietary hobby. I had become the apple whisperer.
Employing the same astute cupid skills as a professional online dating match maker that had been burned by love one too many times, my apple set-ups were bang on. The following four apple snack-overs are my favourites. You’ll eat them so fast, apple sticker and all.
Apple with Hummus
Apple type: Green apple. Not optional, the tartness of a green apple paired with the hummus is worthy of matrimony.
1 green apple, sliced
300 grams of tinned chickpeas, rinsed
1.5 tablespoons tahini
1 clove of garlic
1 tablespoon water
Generous splash of olive oil
Fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Sweet paprika for seasoning
Blend chickpeas, tahini, garlic, water and salt and pepper until relatively smooth. Then slowly add a splash of olive oil. Blend again, then add some more olive oil, the juice of half a lemon, and some more salt and pepper to taste. Blend again. Taste. Repeat process until your taste buds give you a standing ovation.
Serve hummus in a bowl with a fresh drizzle of olive oil, tiny squeeze of lemon and sprinkle of paprika. Now dip your apple slices into the bowl with the enthusiasm of an Olympic diver.
Apple with Ricotta
Apple type: Red or green, or a mix of both to create an edible version of the Italian flag.
1 apple, sliced
2 tablespoons of good Italian fresh ricotta
Salt and pepper for seasoning
Fan your apples slices on a plate of your choosing. Dollop some fresh ricotta on the side, and spruce it up with a drizzle of olive oil and salt and cracked black pepper. Tastes just like the old country.
Apple with Greek Yoghurt
Apple type: Green apple for an Instagram worthy looking snack that will get you at least 11 likes.
1 apple, sliced
Generous helping of natural Greek yoghurt
Sprinkle of flaked almonds
Drizzle of honey
It’s all about the order you put everything into your bowl for this dish. Layer it up with your preferred amount of yoghurt, then apple slices, flaked almonds, a drizzle of honey and sprinkle of cinnamon. Take an Instagram of your attractive looking café style dish, consider publishing it, then don’t. Mix together so everything becomes lathered in yoghurt. I made the mistake of eating raw cinnamon once after the YouTube sensation. I am still finding cinnamon dust particles in my kitchen four years later.
Apple with Arugula and Walnut Salad
Apple type: Non discriminatory. Arugula does not judge.
1 apple, sliced
2 handfuls of arugula
1 handful of walnuts
Some sliced parmesan (peel with a vegetable peeler for ‘elegant ribbons’ of cheese)
White wine vinegar
Salt and Pepper
Mix arugula, apple slices, walnut, parmesan in a bowl, then drizzle with a splash of olive oil, white wine vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Gwyneth Paltrow would eat this.
This story was originally published on Snacks Quarterly with illustrations by Alice Oehr.