Apple Season 101

Apple season is just getting started. Here is your guide so you know exactly what to look for, and try new varieties!

September 9, 2013

Apples grow in every state in the (continental) US and apple season is getting started! All apples are rich in fiber and potassium. The skin, or peel of the apple contains polyphenols which are antioxidants known for their role in cancer protection and more. Apples contain quercetin, also found in onions, which is a flavonoid that has demonstrated an ability to lower the risk of pancreatic cancer as well as help our general immune Research has also found that consuming apples helped to prevent buildup of plaque in the arteries of animals.

Quite possibly the one piece of research that may have the biggest impact on apple consumption is all about our waistline. Research has found that those who eat apples on a regular basis were 21 percent less likely to have a large waist. The study also found that these apple lovers were 27 percent less likely to be diagnosed with metabolic syndrome; which consists of high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol levels and excess belly fat.

So get out those bushel baskets and start enjoying! New and old varieties can be found at your nearest grocery store. So whatever your taste profile – sweet or tart – there’s an apple out there waiting for you. 

This Apple Variety Guide is brought to you courtesy of The US Apple Association:

Braeburn: a sweet/tart flavor, this yellow with red stripe/blush apple is firm and great for snacking. Season October to July.

Crispin: a sweet flavor, this green-yellow apple is firm and great for snacking and pies. Season October to September.

Empire: a sweet/tart flavor, this solid red is crisp and great for snacking and salads. Season September to July.

Fuji: a sweet/spicy flavor, this red blush, yellow stripes/green apple is crisp and great for snacking, salads and freezing. Available year-round.

Gala: a sweet flavor, red-orange, yellow stripe apple is crisp and great for snacking, salads, sauce and freezing. Season August to March.

Ginger-Gold: a sweet/tart flavor, this green-yellow, sometimes with blush apple is crisp and best for snacking and salads. Season August to November.

Golden-Delicious: a sweet, yellow-green apple, it’s crisp and great as a snack, in salads, sauce and pies. Available year-round.

Granny Smith: tart and green, this apple occasionally has a pink blush. This crispy apple is great for anything – baking, snacking, sauces, pies and salads. Available year-round.

Honeycrisp: a sweet/tart flavor, this apple is mottled red over a yellow background. Crisp, it’s best for snacking, salads, pies, sauce and freezing. Season September to February.

Idared: sweet, tart and tangy, this light red apple is firm and best for snacking, baking, sauces, pies and freezing. Available October through August.

Jonagold: a sweet/tart flavor, this red with yellow/orange apple is crisp and great for snacking, salads, and sauce. Season October to May.

Jonathan: spicy and tangy, this apple has light red stripes over yellow or deep red. It’s less firm and good for pies and baking. Season September to April.

McIntosh: a tangy, red and green apple, it’s tender and best for snacking, sauce and pies. Available September to July.

Red Delicious: a sweet apple it can be striped to solid red and is crisp. Good for snacking and salads, it’s available year-round.

Rome: a sweet and a deep solid red apple, it’s firm and great for sauce, baking and pies. Available October to September.

As you can see, there is a lot to look forward to in terms of fall produce - some of the best tasting apples you can bite into! Remember apple juice is not a replacement for the whole fruit, it typically contains less fiber and in many cases has added sweeteners; and if you do your research carefully you'll find that much of the apple juice concentrate that is used in packaged juices is actually produced overseas. Think local and think whole fruit!

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