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All About Apples

October 1, 2014

Did you ever hear the saying an apple a day will keep the doctor away? Wonder what all the fuss is about? Often called one of the world’s most healthy foods, apples are unassuming but full of health benefits!

apple blossomsApples are a crisp, white-fleshed fruit with a red, yellow or green skin. The apple is actually a member of the rose plant family. Other members of this family include apricots, cherries, peaches, pears, plums, raspberries, and almonds. All of these plants depend on pollinators like the honey bee and mason bee for pollination. Click here to learn more about mason bees, their benefits and how you can be a part of the efforts to protect and help over winter these bees, ensuring fruit tree pollination and delicious apples for seasons to come.

There are many types of apples, over 7,000 varieties, but apples are generally categorized into three main groups: cider, cooking and dessert varieties. Apples have a moderately sweet, refreshing flavor and a tartness that is present depending on the variety. For example, Golden and Red Delicious apples are mild and sweet, while Pippins and Granny Smith apples are notably tart. Tart apples, which best retain texture during cooking, are often preferred for desserts like apple pie. Varieties like Red Delicious, Gala and Honey Crisp apples are usually eaten whole for snacking.

Speaking of snacking, when you eat a whole apple you are provided with vitamin A, C, fiber and antioxidants. Apples have been shown to lower blood sugar levels in the body, which is very important for proper digestion.

Here are some tips about apples. When looking for apples pick the apples that are firm with rich coloring. Yellow and green apples should have a slight blush when ripe. Keeping apples cool will preserve their moisture and nutrients. Apple skins are high in nutrients so consider leaving the skin on during snack preparation and don’t forget that squeezing a little bit of lemon juice on a cut apple will prevent it from turning brown.

ApplesSources for apples and farmer’s markets, including the one which happens on the front lawn at Phipps can be found here Farmers at Phipps, hosting organic farms such as Blackberry Meadows and Clarion River Organics.

Remember that organic produce is generally considered the best, especially when you are going to eat the skin!

Since fall is the season for apple harvest, check out some of the apple festivals happening all across the state.

Here’s a quick and tasty apple snack: 5 minute prep

Ingredients:

1 apple, sliced

3 tbsp of almond butter

1 cup granola

Cinnamon to taste

Directions:

  1. Spread one side of sliced apple with almond butter and sprinkle with cinnamon.
  2. Dip the apple slices into granola to cover the almond butter. Yogurt for dipping is optional-
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