An apple a day

Apples are perfectly packaged for easy snacking. They contain a protective skin for easy packing and storing which also protects us when we eat them by providing antioxidants and soluble, and insoluble, fiber.

Did you know:

  • Two pounds of apples makes one 9-inch pie
  • There are 2,500 varieties of apples are grown in the U.S.
  • One medium sized apple contains about 80 calories.
  • One apple has five grams of fiber.
  • Apples ripen six to ten times faster at room temperature than if they were refrigerated.
  • 2/3 of the fiber and lots of antioxidants are found in the peel.
  • Apples are fat, sodium and cholesterol free.

It is that time of the year and apples are abundant this season according to Michigan State University Extension. Apples are perfectly packaged for easy snacking. They contain a protective skin for easy packing and storing which also protects us when we eat them by providing antioxidants and soluble and insoluble fiber. The antioxidants, known as phytochemicals, have been shown, through research, to help reduce risk of some cancers, cardiovascular disease, asthma and diabetes. Compared to many other commonly eaten fruits in the U.S., apples were ranked second for their concentrations of phytonutrients. Insoluble fiber works to keep the walls of our arteries clear from debris and buildup while the soluble fiber works to absorb water in our intestines and keep our colon clean. Apples also contain Vitamin C as well as potassium if you leave the skin on.

Apples that fall apart when cooked are best to be made into applesauce; while the apples that keep their shape will be good for pies. Tart apples such as Granny Smith are best for cooking; and sweeter apples such as Honey Crisp are great for eating raw. Look for apples with smooth skin and very few bruises and look for bright and sparkly color. Apples keep best when refrigerated. Remove any rotting apples as they will cause rotting of the other apples.

Eat more apples by trying these recipes:

Apple-carrot salad
3 cup diced apples
1/3 cup salad dressing or mayonnaise
1 large carrot, shredded
1/3 cup raisins
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt

Combine ingredients and mix well. Makes 8 servings.

Baked Apples
6 baking apples
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon margarine
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Core apples without cutting through the bottom end. Peel about one third of the way down. Place in baking dish. Mix sugar, raisins, cinnamon and nutmeg and fill centers of apples. Dot with margarine and pour water into baking dish. Bake at 375 degrees F for about 50-60 minutes or until apples are tender.

MSU Extension has a wealth of information about fruits and vegetables on its Michigan Fresh page.

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