The apple harvest is in full swing. Now is a great time to make apples—in any form—a part of your daily diet. From cider or juice to sauce or fresh apples, the fall harvest presents the perfect opportunity to include more apples and apple products into your daily routine. Celebrate the changing of the season with America’s favorite homegrown fruit—apples!
The latest U.S. apple industry forecast estimates that this year’s total crop will be roughly 241 million bushels of apples. That is equivalent to about 113 apples per person and is 4% larger than last year’s crop.
“This year’s crop is abundant. With so many tasty, convenient and affordable ways to use apples, this is going to be a great year for apples and apple consumers,” says Allison Parker MS, RD, Director of Consumer Health and Education for the US Apple Association.
New Ideas for this Season’s Crop
New and old varieties can be found at your nearest grocery store or farmers market for an incredible value. Are you a tart and crunchy apple fan? Or do you favor sweet and juicy varieties?
No matter what your taste buds crave there is bound to be a variety that will satisfy you. Here’s a list of the top 10 varieties from across the nation:
1. Red Delicious - sweet, crispy and juicy; great for a snack or tossed in a salad.
2. Golden Delicious - mellow and sweet; a wonderful pie apple and also good in a salad.
3. Gala - crispy, juicy, very sweet; good for snacking or for applesauce.
4. Granny Smith - green flesh, very tart flavor; best for baking and pies.
5. Fuji - sweet flavor and firmness; try it in a salad, for sauce or just to snack on.
6. McIntosh - juicy, tangy, and tart with a tender, white flesh; a great applesauce apple.
7. Rome - mildly tart apple; primarily used for cooking.
8. Empire - crisp, juicy with a delightful sweet-tart flavor and creamy white flesh; a well known snacking apple.
9. Idared - tangy flavor and firm texture; good for snacking and baking.
10.Braeburn - crisp, juicy with a rich, spicy-sweet flavor; great for baking and on salads.
Fresh apples make a convenient, nutrient-rich, on-the-go snack. But did you know apples and apple products can be a great accompaniment to the center of your plate? This versatile fruit can be chopped up and tossed into salads, stir-fry’s, casseroles, and of course be served as a sweet, after-dinner treat.
Make sure to check out the US Apple Association website for more recipe ideas and tips, and stay tuned for more as we move into the holiday season.
Healthy to the Core
The old saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” continues to hold true. Apples are packed with soluble fiber and have high water content—both of which help keep you fuller, longer and may help you maintain a healthy weight.
In addition, fiber helps promote heart health, decrease your risk for developing cancer and aid in good digestion. Furthermore, apples are a significant source of boron in the diet; a mineral important for bone health.
Want more “a-peeling” apple health benefits? Recent apple research out of Cornell University suggests that apples (especially the peel) contain powerful, naturally-occurring substances called phytochemicals that help inhibit breast cancer formation1.
Another recently published study from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell indicates that the regular consumption of apple juice helps keep our minds sharp and may even delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease2.
So how will you get your “Apple-a-Day?” For more tips on finding a good apple, apple health, nutrition or recipe information, visit us at www.usapple.org.