SINGAPORE - Apples are good for the heart as, like other fruit and vegetables, they are low in sodium and high in potassium, which is good for maintaining healthy blood pressure.
Taking too much sodium and not enough potassium raises the risk of high blood pressure, which, in turn, increases the risk of heart disease.
As apples are naturally sweet, using a generous serving of them to create the apple tart means that less sugar is required.
Eating excessive amounts of sugar has been linked to high levels of triglyceride (energy-providing fat) and low levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, commonly called "good" cholesterol, in the blood.
Both conditions increase the risk of heart disease.
"Good" cholesterol is converted from unsaturated fat and helps the body get rid of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, commonly called "bad" cholesterol, in the blood.
"Bad" cholesterol, which is converted from saturated fat, is distributed through the blood to tissue to produce hormones. But in excess, it is deposited on artery walls, narrowing the arteries and raising the risk of heart disease.
Adding sesame oil, which is high in unsaturated fat and low in saturated fat, to the apple tart increases the amount of "good" cholesterol within, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease.
Mr Roberto Galetti, the executive chef of Italian restaurant Garibaldi, created this apple sesame tart with the help of the Health Promotion Board.
He said: "The sesame oil adds an interesting dimension to this dessert."
Apple sesame tart (Serves four)
180g all-purpose flour
1 tbs honey
2 tsp white sesame oil
1/2 tsp salt
Water, as needed
250g Fuji apples, peeled and sliced finely
2 tsp brown sugar
1. Knead the flour with honey, oil and salt until the texture of the flour becomes dough-like. Add water if necessary.
2. Wrap the dough in cling film. Keep it in the refrigerator for one hour.
3. Divide the dough into four portions. Press each portion of dough into a cake mould.
4. Add the slices of apples on top of each portion of dough.
5. Sprinkle brown sugar on top of the apple slices.
6. Place the four cake moulds in a greased baking tray. Bake the tarts in the oven for 20 minutes at 175 deg C.
7. Serve the tarts hot.
Energy: 280 kilocalories
Total fat: 7.4g
Saturated fat: 1.1g
Dietary fibre: 2.9g
Use fresh fruit, dried fruit and unsweetened fruit juice as healthier alternatives to sugar to sweeten desserts.
Add more vegetables and fruit to dishes. They contain fibre, vitamins and beneficial plant substances called phytochemicals, which reduce the risk of some types of cancer.
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