Fall is the season for apples, despite the year-round availability, they are at their best when newly harvested.
More specific harvest times are strongly influenced by weather conditions; most are picked in September – October.
Whether shopping at your local grocery store, or buying from an orchard, buy firm, well-colored apples with a fresh fragrance.
Apples should not smell musty.
The skin should be smooth and free of bruises.
Choose apples by how you intend to use them, for eating raw or cooking.
What else you should know about apples…
10. Apple varieties now number well into the thousands and can range in color from lemony yellow to green to crimson red.
Color development varies with environmental conditions. Sunlight and temperature are key factors as well.
Immature fruits are green, as the fruit ripens, the green may fade.
Anthocyanin (which causes apples to be red) levels can be affected by environmental and growing conditions.
The same variety of apple, but grown in two different parts of the world can have two distinctly different colors.
9. Apples are know in the culinary world as a Pome fruit.
All fruits grow from a plant’s swollen ovaries, at the base of its flowers.
Pome fruits are those where they fleshy part is the enlarged tip of the flower stem, and the remains of the flower can be seen sticking out of the bottom of the fruit.
8. Apple seeds CAN BE poisonous
Don’t panic. Apples contain a compound that degrades into cyanide, but you would need to eat more than 100 crushed, ground apple seeds for a fatal dose.
7. Apples are antioxidants
Of course, we all know apples are a great source of fiber (at least the skins are), they are also a good source of vitamins A and C.
They contain the powerful flavonoid quercetin, which acts as an antioxidant and may prevent some cancers.
READ MORE ABOUT THE BASICS OF NUTRITION HERE!
6. Nutritional value decreases from the moment an apple is picked
Contribution factors include oxidation, heat, sunlight, dehydration and natural enzymes.
Vitamin C can be extremely vulnerable to degradation over time.
Chilling can delay or prevent nutrient loss.
Recently, I purchased six apples from my local supermarket.
Immediately upon arriving home, I placed them in the refrigerator (middle shelf).
I stood them upright, in a single row.
Those apples kept for 3 weeks.
I removed them to make applesauce; they were crisp and fresh.
5. Do NOT store apples next to bananas
Bananas naturally release ethylene gas.
This, in turn, triggers apples to release ripening enzymes.
These enzymes reduce the amount of hard pectin, making the fruit softer, and cause the apples to turn brown.
4. You can prevent apples from browning in your lunch box
Using an apple corer is an easy way to remove the core and cut the apple into wedges.
I personally like all stainless steel or metal slicers. I have broke two plastic ones.
To prevent the wedges from browning, you can do either of these methods:
add a teaspoon of lemon juice to a cup of water and dip the wedges in the water before placing in the lunch box
reform the apple and secure with a rubber-band, so the cut slices are touching each other
3. Recommended varieties for baking apples whole:
Rome Beauty, Braeburn, Gala, Gravenstein and York Imperial.
2. The apple tree is the most popular fruit tree planted, in the United States.
Standard apple trees can grow to 30 feet tall and wide, therefore plenty of space is needed.
A great alternative is a dwarf apple tree, which will only grow up to 8 feet tall and wide.
Although comparatively small, the fruit on a dwarf tree is full sized.
Plant apple trees I n the fall after the first frost or in early spring as soon as the soil can be worked.
Select a full-sun spot (8-10 hours) with well-drained soil, because an apple tree will not tolerate wet feet.
Leave sufficient room, depending on the type you are planting, so you can walk around the mature tree to spray or harvest.
Annual pruning is necessary to train apple trees, ideally mid-to-late winter.
Thinning of the fruit is necessary to produce a good crop each year.
1. My Easy Applesauce Recipe
Peel and core 6 red delicious apples
Place apple slices in a 2 quart pot.
Add ½ cup of Motts Apple Juice
Heat to boil on medium-high heat.
When it reaches a boil, turn heat to low.
Sprinkle in 1 Tablespoon of brown sugar.
Cover and allow to cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat, when liquid is absorbed.
Using an immersion stick blender, mash the apples to your desired consistency.
Place in a serving bowl and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
Ideal with any pork dish.
- 6 medium apples
- 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/2 cup Mott's apple juice or water
- Peel and core 6 red delicious apples
- Place apple slices in a 2 quart pot.
- Add ½ cup of Motts Apple Juice
- Heat to boil on medium-high heat.
- When it reaches a boil, turn heat to low.
- Sprinkle in 1 Tablespoon of brown sugar and stir in.
- Cover and allow to cook for 15 minutes,
- Remove from heat, once liquid is absorbed.
- Using an immersion stick blender, mash the
apples to your desired consistency.
- Place in a serving bowl and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
Do you have a favorite apple recipe. SHARE!