Does an apple a day really keep the doctor away? The origins of this phrase date back to Roman Times. According to the ancient Romans, apples had magical powers to heal. Below are some reasons why this might be true:
-Apples are high in anti-oxidants and Vitamin C, which boost immunity and overall health.
-The fiber in apples helps to regulate cholesterol and maintain a healthy digestive system.
-Apples contain flavonoids, or plant pigments that have rich anti-oxidant effects thought to prevent heart disease.
-Phlorizin, a flavonoid, is unique to apples and thought to be a supporting factor for the lungs and asthma.
-Apples contain phytonutrients which help prevent diseases of the brain.
-Apples act as a toothbrush – cleaning teeth and killing bacteria in the mouth.
How to choose an apple:
Did you know that there are more than 7000 varieties of apples? We took the kids apple picking last weekend, and clearly the new trend is more variety. Seven Ponds Orchard in Watermill, NY offered 14 different varieties of apple trees. No wonder most of us are confused.
To clear up some of the confusion, here’s what I discovered. If your favorite apples aren’t listed below (I’m covering only a handful of the most popular), read the descriptions at the market to help guide you. You can also go to www.pickyourown.org for more information about where and what to pick based on your preferences.
Apples for sauce:
Apples for juice:
Apples to eat:
Use personal preference to guide you
Red, Golden Delicious, and Gala are sweet
Braeburn and Fuji are slightly tart
Granny Smith, Gravenstein, Pippin are the most tart
Popular choices: Gala, Honeycrisp, Fuji, Golden Delicious
Apples for pie:
Mix it up! See this month’s recipe for the Perfect Apple Crisp using a combination of Gala, Honeycrisp, and Ginger Gold.
Traditionally used in pie:
Granny Smith (crisp and tart), Golden Delicious (crisp and sweet)
Important to know about apples:
The environmental working group annually publishes a shopper’s guide to pesticides in produce. Apples are the worst of the dirty dozen, ranking #1 in 2012, making them an important item to choose organic.
Quick ways to enjoy:
-The skin of the apple is very high in nutrients, try leaving it on!
-To prevent browning, sprinkle with lemon juice or cinnamon.
-Cinnamon apples are a fun alternative for kids snack bags.
-Add to salads
-Add to smoothies or juice
-Make an apple and nut butter sandwich: Slice an apple into rounds, cut out the center, and create a sandwich with the nut butter and two slices of apple “bread”.
-Prepare sliced apples and eat with cheese (the European way)