Autumn ushers in apple season

Fall is apple season; learn more about means of preservation and the health benefits of this fall fruit.

Fall is apple season! Crispy, mouthwatering and delicious, there is nothing like having a fresh whole apple in the fall. The smell of apple crisp baking in the oven or applesauce cooking on the stove top brings back fond memories of the fall season. Apples are the best economic value in the fall since they are in season. Apples prices this year are up about ten percent according to the United States Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service.

“An apple a day will keep the doctor away?” Apples are not only delicious; they are also good for you! They are a good source of fiber; one medium apple provides almost 20 percent of the daily recommended amount of fiber. One medium apple also has about 14 percent of the daily recommendation for Vitamin C and about 80 calories. For the most nutritional value with the least amount of calories, eat the apple with the skin.

Apples can be enjoyed in many ways. Other than eating the apple as is, they can be cut up and added to salads, baked, cut up and cooked until soft (applesauce), made into desserts such as apple crisp or apple pie.

To keep your apples crispy and tasting good, refrigerate them or keep in a cool place, between 32 and 40 degrees until you are ready to use them. Apples kept at room temperature will get mushy more quickly. Apples will keep for up to a month in cold storage. Always wash your hands before handling produce. Wash apples with cold, running water before preparing or eating them.

Apples can be preserved by freezing, canning or dehydrating. Recommended apple varieties for baking, cooking or preserving include: Jonathan, Empire, Ida Red, McIntosh, Golden Delicious and Northern Spy.

Helpful information on preserving apples can be found on the Michigan Fresh webpage and from the Michigan Fresh handout “Using, Storing and Preserving Apples.”

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