Fall Apple Season is Here!
Just as the days begin to cool and you’re settling the kids back into their school routine, apples are getting juicy and sweet. Now is the perfect time to pick up some healthy, delicious apples and test out a few new recipes!
Health Benefits of Apples
Apples are high in fiber with 17% daily value per small apple, they are also high in vitamin C with 14% daily value, all for just 94 calories – making them a perfect snack food to keep blood sugar levels regulated. Apples are also a source of polyphenols, which can act as an antioxidant to keep cells healthy, decrease cell fat levels, and increase the health of blood and cardiovascular systems. In addition, polyphenols help to regulate blood sugar levels by slowing down carbohydrate digestion, reducing glucose absorption, and stimulating insulin production. As a result, regular apple consumption can help maintain healthy blood sugar levels throughout the day. If that wasn’t enough, adding apples to your diet can reduce your risk of lung cancer.
Fresh Apples from the Orchard
So what can you do with apples besides eat them? If you live in an area where apples are readily available at orchards, consider taking the family for an apple-picking outing and enjoy some fresh air while getting locally grown apples for relatively little. Apples can keep for several months, as long as they are kept at a low temperature (30-40F). In the meantime you can come up with a whole variety of ways to cook and prepare them.
If you are slicing apples, remember that the flesh will brown relatively quickly. To prevent this, put the slices in a bowl of water with some lemon juice added. Fresh apple slices can be added to hot and cold cereals, salads, desserts, etc. while there are many ways to cook apples. Remember that you can enjoy apples in savory dishes as well. They add a sweetness that pairs well with other fall flavors like pumpkin and cranberries. A nice recipe to try is this fall-flavoredquinoa salad with kale and apples.
You can also make apple sauce, apple cider, and apple butter. Apple butter is an easy way to store apples over the winter; it is like a jam but requires very little added sugar and no additional gelatin. Don’t pass up the opportunity to get your hands on some delicious, in-season apples, or to enjoy the health benefits they offer – now’s the time! Photo:erin & camera