It seems the food of love this Valentines Day are apples, with 73% of Australians believing a healthy diet that includes apples, increases their sex drive.
The Bite Me survey was conducted by Apple and Pear Australia Limited (APAL) to officially launch the start of the 2007 apple season and highlight the health benefits of fresh apples. APAL is the peak industry body representing apple and pear growers in Australia. The online poll received over 1,200 responses from Femail.com.au
According to the Bite Me survey, Valentines Day is alive and well with 67% of respondents planning to celebrate the day with their loved ones. And this year love comes from the heart to the stomach with 47% saying that they plan on cooking dinner for their partner.
"We hope those that are celebrating Valentines Day with a meal this year will keep in mind that, like many aspects of health, sex drive is affected by what we put into our bodies. ""Certain foods affect the body in different ways. Depending on what you consume, wining and dining a date can induce more sleep than romance. A big, fancy dinner, a bottle of wine and fine chocolates may sound charming but really they are little more than empty calories," says Darral Ashton, Chairman of APAL.
According to the Bite Me survey, love doesnt need to be expensive with 24% planning on spending between $10 and $50 on their Valentines gift, while 18% will spend between $50 and $100. Not one respondent said they would be spending more than $500.
When asked which celebrity they would most like to bite them, the majority of female respondents revealed that George Clooney still has it, followed by Orlando Bloom and Brad Pitt. The male respondents chose Angelina Jolie and Scarlett Johansson, followed by Jennifer Hawkins.
John Howard took the crown as the person women would least like to bite them (Donald Trump coming in at second), while Amanda Vanstone and Paris Hilton had the men running a country mile.
Champagne won out as the most seductive element to a Valentines Day celebration, with fresh fruit and chocolate coming in second and third respectively.
With 70% of respondents stating they ate fruit at least once a day, APAL says its the combination of nutrients, antioxidants and dietary fibre that give apples their unique health benefits.
"Apples are virtually fat free and contain vitamin C," says Darral Ashton. "The average apple has just as much fibre as a pre-package muesli bar without the artificial processing."
"And weve got good news this Valentines Day - the apple season has arrived early and some of Australias favourite varieties are now available in stores," says Darral Ashton. "Although apples are available all year round, there are ideal times to buy each variety and February marks the start of the 2007 season."
"Royal Gala, Jonathon, Red Delicious, Jonagold and Golden Delicious will be the first varieties available in store in February. Seasoned favourites like Granny Smith and Pink Lady will be more readily available in March and April," added Mr Ashton.
To help Australian couples get in the mood and celebrate the launch of the apple season, APAL has developed a special Valentines Day recipe to spice things up.
Apple and chocolate crepes
Preparation time: 15 minutes (plus 45 minutes standing)
Cooking time: 20 minutes
1 cup plain flour, sifted
1 cup skim milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
25g unsalted butter, melted
3 royal gala apples, cored and sliced into thin wedges
1 tablespoon lemon juice
50g unsalted butter, extra
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
180g dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
1. Place flour in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Gradually add combined milk, egg and melted butter, whisking until smooth. Cover and set aside for 45 minutes.
2. While crepe batter is standing, make the apple filling. Toss apples with lemon juice. Heat butter and caster sugar in a large non stick frying pan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add apples and cinnamon and cook, stirring for 6-8 minutes or until softened. Remove from heat, cover and keep warm.
3. Place chocolate in a heat proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and stir until melted. Set aside.
4. Heat a small non stick frying pan over medium low heat. Spray pan with oil spray then pour in a little crepe batter. Cook until golden on the base, turn and cook on other side. Remove from pan, cover and keep warm whilst you continue with remaining batter.
5. To serve, place a crepe on each plate. Top with a few apple wedges then another crepe. Repeat twice, reserving a few wedges. Drizzle crepe stack with chocolate and top with remaining apple wedges.
APAL has also partnered with Fastflowers.com.au to offer a free apple with selected deliveries this Valentines Day. The Love Bite! will offer the recipient a discount on their next order with Fastflowers.com.au.