Apples


Apple Information

Nutrition

An apple a day is perhaps one of the smartest sayings ever. Apples are a great source of antioxidants.

*   One small apple gives you a full serving of fruit for only about 77 calories.

*  Apples are rich in pectin which can help lower cholesterol levels.

*   Be sure to eat the peel, it is more antioxidant-rich than the fruit’s flesh.

Varieties

Apples are portable and available at the grocery store year-round. Apples taste sweeter and juicier when picked fresh from the tree.

*  Select in-season varieties. If not in season, they may have been in storage and will not be as flavorful and juicy as fresh-picked apples.

*    Look for firm, ripe apples with no bruises or bug holes.

*    Choose apples that look fresh, are bright in color and have a fresh apple aroma.

*    Apple varieties that are great for pies or baking are not always the best choice for snacking.

The Best Baking Apples

Apples chopped or sliced for cakes or sauce can be less-firm than apples used in pies. Choose the sweetest variety for the best flavor.

Selection
*    A ripe apple is firm, crisp, and sweet smelling. Red color alone isn’t a reliable indicator, as the optimal shade varies by variety.

*    Once picked, apples ripen six to ten times faster at room temperature than if they are refrigerated.

 Baking Apples

*   Select in-season varieties. If not in season, they may have been in storage and will not be as flavorful and juicy as fresh-picked apples.

*   Look for firm, ripe apples (no bruises or bug holes).

*   Choose apples that are bright in color and have a fresh apple smell.

*    Apple varieties that are perfect for baking are not always the best choice for snacking.

Storing

*   Apples will do best at a temperature of between 32º F and 40º F. and keep up to 2 weeks, refrigerated for full flavor and crunch.

*   Store apples in perforated plastic bags or containers that allow airflow to prevent them from drying out.

Preparation

*   A natural coating of wax is created to protect the high water content of apples and to prevent shriveling. The wax is also the reason apples shine up when polished.

*   Wash apples, most recipes call for peeled apples for baking. This is because the Apple skin becomes tough when cooked, but if you prefer, you can leave the peel on.

*   Prevent browning or rusting of cut apples by tossing the cut pieces with water mixed with a little lemon juice.

Uses for Apples

 Applesauce and Apple Butter: Use overripe or bruised apples for sauce.

Try dipping sliced apples in peanut butter for a great treat.

Apples as a snack are great when paired with cheese.  Try these delicious combinations:

*   Aged sharp cheddar stand up well to robust Granny Smith apples

*    Nutty, crumbly cheeses like Pecorino contrast beautifully with sweet, bright apples like the popular Honeycrisp.

Try Pork Tenderloin with Apples which adds a nice sauce of apples thyme and shallots to the delicious pork flavors.

Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Bisque is a delightful way to celebrate the big flavors of the fall harvest.

Helpful apple measurements:
2 to 2 1/2 cups chopped or sliced apples = 3 medium apples, or about 1 pound.
3 medium apples = 2 large or 4 small apples.