Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Spotlight On Produce: Apples

If there is one sure sign that fall is here, it's the scent of baking apples. When I was a kid, my family used to camp in the mountains and stop for homegrown apples on the way home. The smell of crockpot applesauce is one of the strongest scent memories of my childhood, and now that I'm grown, I make my own applesauce every fall.

Apples are a white-fleshed fruit with red, yellow or green skin and a crisp texture. Apples range in taste from sweet to tart, depending on the variety. The apple is a member of the rose family.

Apples are an excellent source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, as well as antioxidants and Vitamin C. Apples contain fructose, a natural simple sugar, that helps stabilize blood sugar.

Apples are in season in the northern hemisphere from late summer to early winter, but are available year round due to importing fresh fruit or cold storage. Try adding diced apples to fruit salads or dipping raw apple slices in caramel sauce for a sweet treat. Add apples to breads and muffins, or pair apples with cheese for a European-style dessert. Bake an All-American apple pie, or use applesauce to replace most of the oil in baked goods for a healthy alternative.

When selecting apples, look for rich, vibrant color and firm flesh. Pass on apples that are soft, those that have broken skin or those with bruises. Whether you choose sweet or tart apples is up to your personal preference, but tart apples, such as Granny Smith, retain their texture the best when cooked.

What are some of your favorite ways to cook with apples?

1 comment:

Jen38 said...

Apples are related to Roses? How cool is that!

I love apples and everything apples, so like pumpkins, keep the apple recipes coming. I think we are going to try making the turnovers this afternoon. Very Yum!

P.S. If you have been noticing some freezing up issues while pulling up my blog, let me know if you notice any improvements. Thanks!