Apples: From Picking to Plate

The popularity of apples isn’t limited to America – all across the world, people love eating this delicious fruit!  With great taste and versatility, apples are the perfect addition to many dishes, from appetizers to desserts. Plus, apples have zero cholesterol (no heart disease here!), no sodium (no hypertension!), are high in fiber (so much digestion promotion!), and are full of Vitamin C (fight those colds!)  Let’s learn more about picking, preparing, and eating fall apples!

apple6

 

Apple Picking
While almost all 50 states can grow and produce apples, most American apples come from Washington, New York, or Michigan. If you ever shop at a Farmer’s Market, you can probably find local apples through November. Apple harvest time begins in July and usually lasts through November.  The best grocery store apples are usually found in that time frame as well.

apple1

But for the best apples, find a local orchard! Visiting an orchard will give you the opportunity to talk to farmers and get the real deal on growing and harvesting apples. Plus, you can pick your own apples!

Apple Purchasing
With over 80 varieties of apples in existence, purchasing apples can be an intimidating task!  While you won’t find all 80 varieties in your grocery store, you will find quite a few of them. Learning which types you like best is, unfortunately, a trial and error process, but you can pick the freshest apples by following these two tips:

1. Apple should be firm to the touch.

2. Apple should be free from bruises (soft spots) or cuts.

 

Apple Storing
While it’s hard to stop yourself from eating a fresh apple immediately after buying it, there are a few ways to make apples last a little longer. If you know you will be eating your purchased apples in a few days, it’s fine to leave them out on the counter or in a fruit bowl. But if you need to make them last longer than that, place them in the crisper in the fridge. There, they can last up to 6 weeks.

You can also cut your apples up and put them into a container with water, which will keep them from browning. This method works well for quick, bite-size snacks. Apples can also be frozen. Just slice and dice them however you like and freeze them in a freezer bag. Frozen apples make a great base for apple sauces or use in pies, cakes, muffins, and breads.

apple4

Apple Eating
Now that our apple game is on point, it’s time for the real party: recipes.  I’ve included recipes to help you enjoy your apples whether you’d like to bake them or eat them raw.  Enjoy!

The Most Delicious Dip
Ingredients:apple5
1 cup plain yogurt
2 Tbs peanut butter
1 Tbs honey
1 Tbs flaxseed
¼ cup milk
Apples (sliced for dipping- any type! All are great for snacking)

Directions:
Throw it all together and mix around until smooth. And remember, the quantities listed are suggested amounts. Feel free to start with this combination and add/subtract any ingredients to create your ideal dip!

 

Apple Muffins apple3
Ingredients:
2 cups flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
2 cups diced apples (Braeburn, Fuji, and Pink Lady are good varieties for baking)
1 stick unsalted butter
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
½ cup milk

Topping (optional)
½ cup butter melted
½ cup sugar
1 tbs cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375º F. Spray muffin tins with bakers spray or coat well with shortening or butter and flour, making sure to discard any excess flour from the tins after coating.
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. Toss together diced apples and 2 teaspoons of flour to coat apples in a separate bowl. Set aside.
  4. Cream together butter and sugar until lightened in color, about 3 minutes. Add an egg, one at a time, taking care to fully incorporate before adding the other. Mix in vanilla.
  5. Gently fold in flour mixture, alternating with milk. Stir until just combined. Fold in diced apples and scoop mixture into prepared muffin tins, filling about ⅔ to ¾ full. Bake until a toothpick or skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
  6. Prepare topping for muffins while the muffins are baking by melting the butter and allowing to cool slightly. Pour butter into a separate bowl sized easy for dipping tops of muffins. Mix together granulated sugar and cinnamon in a separate bowl and set aside.
  7. Once muffins have baked, remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly in the muffin tin. Then, remove each muffin and dip first into the melted butter and then into the cinnamon sugar mixture. Place onto a plate to finish cooling.

How you like them apples?

-Katy

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s