Food Focus: Apples

Autumn is creeping up on us, and with it comes apple season! Whether you go apple-picking or just stocking up at your local market, apples are a great choice for both taste and nutrition. Let’s learn about this perfect lunchbox snack!

What do they look like?

Apples are generally range in size between a baseball and a softball, are round, and come in a wide variety of colors (dark red, pink, yellow, green). Many grocery store apple are very shiny, because they are coated in food-grade wax, but apples off the tree can be shiny or matte.

What do they taste like?

Apples range in taste from very, very tart (Granny Smith) to very, very sweet (Golden Delicious) to everything in between. Most apple varieties are crisp, juicy, sweet, and have a slightly tart undercurrent.

Why are they good for me?

Apples are packed with dietary fiber, which helps keep things…moving…along. A diet high in dietary fiber can help regulate fat levels in the blood and keep the cardiovascular system healthy. Apples are also packed full of phytonutrients which can help regulate blood sugar, prevent cancer, and reduce the effects of asthma.

When and where do I get them?

Apples are available year-round in your regular grocery store, but fall is the best time to pick up a bushel or two of fresh apples from your local farmer’s market or u-pick farm. Why so many? Well, apples are one of the few fruits out there that store beautifully. Kept in the crisper of the fridge on a high humidity setting (or, with a damp kitchen towel draped over them), apples can keep for months and still be crispy, sweet and tasty come February. But beware, the old saying is true. If there’s one rotten apple in the bunch, they all turn.

How do I prepare apples?

Apples can be eaten raw, cooked, baked—the possibilities are endless! For max health benefits, don’t peel the apples (that’s where many of the good antioxidants and phytonutrients live) and eat them raw. Before digging in, you may want to to core or slice your apple. There are gadgets out there that core and slice this one movement. Or, you can easily slice the apple into quarters and then use a knife to remove the hard core and seeds.

What are some good recipes?

We’ve all had apple slices and peanut butter or an apple pie. But what about something a little more off-the-wall? Check out these inventive apple-packed dishes:

What’s your favorite way to eat apples?

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Cassie Johnston is an award-winning food writer and recipe developer living and working in Southern Indiana. Her work has been feature in national publications such as Gourmet Magazine and The Huffington Post. Cassie’s a big fan of strenuous hikes, cheese, watching sports, Brussels sprouts, and craft beer, and she’ll talk your ear off about her love of local food and seasonal eating. She’s obsessed with social media and loves connecting with new friends!

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