The seasons are changing and that is great news for apple lovers, as cooler weather signals a new crop of a delicious variety of apples.
We’ve all heard that an “apple a day keeps the doctor away” but most of us can’t remember why. Here is a little reminder: all apples are rich in fiber and potassium. The skin, or peel of the apple contains polyphenols, which are cancer-fighting antioxidants. Apples contain quercetin, which has demonstrated an ability to lower the risk of pancreatic cancer and help with allergies. Apples also have an ability to impact our waist.
Research has found that those who ate apples on a regular basis were 21 percent less likely to have a large waist. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Study (NHANES) data, also pointed to the fact that those who had eaten apples in any form over the past day were 27 percent less likely to have symptoms of metabolic syndrome than those who didn’t. Metabolic syndrome includes the combination of high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol levels and excess belly fat.
September signals a new crop for all tastes, so whatever your taste preference is– sweet or tart – there’s an apple out there waiting for you. Here are five seasonal favorites.
Empire: a sweet/tart flavor, this solid red is crisp and great for snacking and salads. Season September to July.
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.
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.
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.
As you can see, the fall season produces some of the best tasting apples you can bite into. Do keep in mind that there are about 2,500 apple varieties in the US with over 7,500 internationally, each with its own unique flavor and texture. In general, red apples offer a sweet flavor while green varieties are tart and tangy. 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!