One of my favorite newsletters comes from an online foodie directory called Food411. Their most recent edition was all about apples! Check out some of this great apple-y info from Food411:
Fall is here and so are the apples! Apples are in season from late summer to early winter. Many varieties are available year round because they have been in cold storage or imported.
There are about 2,500 known varieties of apples grown in the US. The top states that grow apples are, WA, NY, MI, CA, PA, & VA. Washington state produces more apples than any other state in the U.S..
On average in U.S., we eat about 19 pounds of fresh apples a year — which amounts to only one apple per week. Of course eating one fresh apple is always good for you, but to get the full nutritional benefits you should eat at least one fresh apple every day.
Apples are wonderful for hydration. They are made up of approximately 83% water. The average small apple has only 60 calories. Approximately, 15% of an apple consists of carbohydrates from sugar and fiber. It is important to remember that this is natural, unprocessed sugar that will not cause the blood sugar spikes as refined white sugar can.
Fiber is perhaps the most important nutrient that apples provide. A small apple contains approximately 3 to 5 grams of fiber. However, most of the fiber is located in the frui! t’s skin. So, peeling an apple will remove most of this important nutrient. Remember, fiber fills you up, along with an apple’s high water content – making the apple a filling, healthy snack.
Many recent studies show apples may provide a “whole-body” health benefit. Lower blood cholesterol, improved bowel function, reduced risk of stroke, prostate cancer, type II diabetes and asthma and a potential decreased risk of cancer and heart disease. In addition to fiber, apples are loaded with antioxidants that are associated with lowering bad cholesterol levels. Apples also contain flavonoids and phytochemicals that may help protect organs like the lungs and colon. They are also a good source of boron, which is associated with improved bone density and a stronger heart. Apples also protect the heart by their high folic acid content.
Nutritionally, whole apples are a much better choice than apple juice. Whole apples are richer in fiber and the process of juicing seem to reduce the nutrient concentrations found in the whole fruit
Dentists also promote eating apples as a method of preventing tooth decay. Apples have nutrients known as tannins that can protect against plaque and gum disease. Also, eating a water-rich, solid fruit can help clean away bacteria from teeth. Chewing an apple helps stimulate the production of saliva. Saliva kills bacteria and helps prevent tooth decay.
Apple Tips & Tricks:
Choose organically grown apples whenever possible to avoid peeling the skin. Eat apples unpeeled. Two-thirds of the fiber and most antioxidants are found in the peel.
Buy apples that are bruise-free and firm to the touch. Bruised apples can decay quickly. “One bad apple spoils the whole bunch”!
Unbruised apples, handled and stored well, have a storage life of 90 days, and often more!
Two pounds of apples make one 9-inch pie.
Apples are sometimes called “nature’s toothbrush,” They help clean the teeth and massage the gums.
Apples float because 25 percent of an apple’s volume is air.
Apples ripen six to 10 times faster at room temperature than if they are refrigerated. For optimal storage, apples should be kept in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. (Storing them in a plastic bag prevents the ripening of other produce items nearby.)
It takes about 36 apples to create one gallon of apple cider.
To aid in the prevention of browning peeled apples, place in a mixture of 50/50 water and lemon juice
Add diced apples to fruit or green salads.
Make a quick apple salsa for use over chicken or pork. Diced apples, chopped pepper, onions and lime juice – salt/pepper to taste.
Sliced apples and peanut butter make a perfect snack.
Sliced apples (either alone or with other fruits) and cheese make an ideal dessert
Use Honeycrisp, Cortland, Golden Delicious, Gala, Newtown Pippin and Granny Smith apples for pies and other desserts.
Use Newton Pippin and Granny Smith varieties, which are more tart, in savory dishes.
Jonathans are good for making applesauce because they are tart, yet sweet.