Is it truth or folklore that “an apple a day really does keep the doctor away?” I love crisp apples and I’m a firm believer in their super fruit powers! The apple is rich in fiber and contains a powerful antioxidant that fights inflammation. Besides, they just taste good, full of naturally sweet juice, and refreshing to the taste. But which variety of apple will you choose?
Here are the top 10 varieties of apples produced in this country: (According to the U.S. apple association.)1. Red Delicious: Full-flavored, sweet taste and crisp texture. Best for fresh eating and snacks.
2. Golden Delicious: Smooth, sweet taste and tender texture. Best for eating raw; cutting up in salads; and making applesauce, cider, pies or other desserts.
3. Gala: Crisp and snappy with mellow sweetness. Best for fresh eating or in salads and sauces.
4. Fuji: Sweet-tart flavor; stays crisp for weeks. Good all-purpose apple that’s best for fresh eating, salads and applesauce.
5. Granny Smith: Crisp with sour apple flavor. Good all-purpose apple.
6. McIntosh: Juicy with lightly tart flavor and fresh apple aroma. It is excellent in applesauce, cider and salad or for fresh eating and also used in pies.
7. Rome: Mild, sweet flavor and firm texture. Most popular for baking.
8. Ida Red: Tangy-tart flavor. Favored for sauces, pies and desserts.
9. Jonathan: Juicy flavor with a spicy tang and tender texture. Use for fresh eating and cooking.
10. Empire: Sweet-tart taste and extra crisp. Use for fresh-cut slices, candy and caramel apples, and baking. Excellent lunch-box snack.
Here are some Core facts:• Nutritious apples are fat-free, sodium-free and cholesterol-free.
• Apples are a great source of fiber. One medium apple has 5 grams, 20 percent of the daily recommendation.
• Whenever possible, don’t peel that apple! Two-thirds of the fiber and many of the antioxidants are found in the apple’s peel.
• Prepare apple dishes just before serving to minimize browning. You can also protect cut apples from browning by dipping them in a solution of one part citrus juice and three parts water.
• Fruit bowls are beautiful, but they’re not the best way to store apples. To maintain their crispness, keep apples refrigerated.
• Buy shiny apples. If they appear dull, they won’t be crisp and tasty.
• Nearly 100 varieties of apples are grown commercially in the U.S. but just 15 of them accounted for 90 percent of last year’s production.
On the outside of a Happy Meal box, (naturally my grandson wanted one), I was surprised to find:
“Did U Know?”1. An apple tree can grow as many as 350 apples in a season. That’s almost an apple a day!
2. 25% of an apple is made up of air – that’s why they float!
3. Apple trees can live up to 100 years. Who’s the oldest person you’ve ever known?
This year, our own fruit orchard gave us a huge harvest of Anna’s apples and we were busily making applesauce for the family. We would use our pole picker to harvest the fruit up on the tree tops because it has an attached bag on the pole that makes it easy to reach the high ones.
As the first day of Fall approaches with the crisp autumn air, I will be heading up to the mountains with my family to Julian, near San Diego to purchase some fresh apple juice, cider, apple pie, apple cake and apple butter. What a great time for an old-fashioned hayride and buying a basket of apples. ‘Tis the season for caramel apples, for sure!
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I have reviewed a couple of books that have tucked a family recipe in the back of the book. I think it's a clever idea and I love the smell of apple cake, apple bread and applesauce. It's so refreshing! Do you have a favorite apple to munch on?
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