I love apples. Not only do they taste amazing, but they’re a powerhouse of nutrients, including vitamin C, fiber, and the under-appreciated anti-inflammatory quercetin. So when Chef Jeanette came up with this meat-and-apple pairing, I was excited to try it. And let me tell you, you’re going to love it. It’s kind of a “no-grease” answer to sausage, and it’s perfect for breakfast.
My objection to store-bought sausage is that most of it is made with the worst bits of factory-farmed meat mixed with who-knows-what and ground into a tube so you can’t know what’s in it, then sweetened and seasoned so you won’t care. This recipe eliminates of all of those objections by substituting lean, mean turkey for pork. It contains no additives, no chemicals, and no mystery meat—just good, wholesome ingredients, including sweet apple and superstar spices such as basil and thyme. This is one sausage you can enjoy without having to worry about how it was made! —Dr. Jonny
Notes from Chef Jeannette
These patties make a balanced, high-protein accompaniment to many of the typical quick, higher-carb breakfast options that aren’t great for your blood sugar. While the patties cook, prepare a bowl of quick-cooking oatmeal, muesli, or granola to complete a balanced breakfast. This sausage is also excellent with a piece of fresh seasonal fruit, such as a ripe pear. You can freeze leftovers to enjoy any time you need a lean, speedy protein.
Featured Nutrient: Apple Cider Vinegar
First things first. Apple cider vinegar is simply vinegar made from fermented apples. And the fact that it’s made from fermented apples is our first clue as to why its healthful reputation might be warranted. As you may know, fermented foods are teeming with bacteria, particularly the good bacteria (known as probiotics) that are vitally important to a healthy gut. It’s these live microorganisms found in fermented foods (e.g., yogurt, kefir, real sauerkraut, kimchi) that give these foods “superpowers.”
But it’s not just the fermented apples that give cider vinegar its health pedigree. The main ingredient in vinegar—acetic acid—help kill bacteria or help prevent them from multiplying. The most exciting (and relatively recent) discovery about vinegar is that it can be very helpful to people with type 2 diabetes. Research by Jeff Volek, PhD, RD, from the University of Connecticut, and others has shown that vinegar improves insulin sensitivity (during a high-carb meal) and significantly lowers both insulin response and blood sugar.
A spoonful before meals is said to help digestion, possibly by providing (or stimulating) enzymes. The late D.C. Jarvis, MD—known as an expert on folk medicine—recommended taking apple cider vinegar with each meal. Apparently he believed it would keep urine acidic and prevent kidney stones, a notion that, it should be noted, has never been scientifically tested.