Tuesday, January 15th, 2019

Everything You Need To Know About Buying And Eating Apples?

Published on September 16, 2017 by   ·   No Comments Pin It

Waking up in Philadelphia to the low 60’s, tells me that fall is in the air. The real harbinger though is the bag of first apples my daughter brought me from the Solebury Orchards. I absolutely love apples, and I eat one almost everyday throughout the year. I do buy apples from the U.S., and organic at that, since apples are on the Dirty Dozen list, but storage or summer apples have nothing at all in common with the fresh and lively-tasting first crop fall ones.

Everything You Need To Know About Buying And Eating Apples

Everything You Need To Know About Buying And Eating Apples

There are so many varieties of apples, but not close to the number of varieties of apples that used to be grown. If you are a Farmers’ Market shopper like me, you will have noticed more heirloom apples, more of the less-than-cosmetically-perfect ones. I bring bags with me, and a sharpie too, so I’ll know which is which when I get home. My preference is for crisp and tart apples for eating out of hand, but for baking, the kind you pick matters. Still, I think a mix of apples tastes best most of the time.

The Spectrum Of Apple Flavors

The Spectrum Of Apple Flavors

As I said, I like just eating apples out of hand, but I do like Baked Apples, Apple Crumb Pie, Apple Cobblers and Crisps, Pandowdy, and making applesauce and apple butter. Many of these recipes are in my cookbooks.

The irony for my daughter, who lives for apple season, is that a few years ago, she suddenly developed an allergy to them. Her mouth and lips got itchy. She was told that she had an oral allergy syndrome, which is an allergic reaction to proteins in certain fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Symptoms include itchy mouth, scratchy throat or swelling of the lips, mouth, tongue and throat. In her case, it was only apples and as quickly as it showed up one season, it is now gone. We learned that apples are in the rose family, and she does have a mild allergy to roses. I think she willed it away, but allergies to foods are no joke.

Apple Pro Tips

One bad apple can spoil the bunch, an old saying that’s true. Look at your apples when you get them home, and check them for bruising. Remove those from bunch and set aside separately. Cut the bruises off and eat these apples, or cook with them, but don’t let them spoil the others.

How to Store Apples

Apples are picked ripe. I keep a few in a bowl on my table, simply because I like the way that looks but I make sure to eat those within a couple of days. Refrigerating apples, ensures freshness, as is the case with all ripe fruits. Before refrigeration, apples were stored in a cool, dark cellar.

Health Benefits of Apples

Apples have so many health benefits! There are just a few:

  • The soluble fiber in apples helps to regulate blood sugar, making it less likely to develop diabetes.
  • The antioxidants found in apples, along with the fiber, help lower LDL cholesterol and inhibit inflammation, which in turn protects the heart.
  • Apples’ antioxidants can also lower the risk of developing asthma.
  • The high levels of flavonoids, quercetin, and naringin in apples can help prevent lung, breast, colon, liver cancers, and other cancers.
  • Apples are loaded with vitamin C, which helps to boost the immune system.

Apple Trivia

  • More than 2,500 varieties of apples are grown in the United States, but only the crabapple is native to North America. Johnny Appleseed’s apples were used to make hard cider.
  • Apples are a good source of fiber.
  • Apple trees take four to five years to produce first fruit.
  • Apples harvested from an average tree can fill 20 boxes that weigh 42 pounds each.
  • Apples are a member of the rose family. If you are allergic to roses, you might be allergic to apples.
  • The top apple producers around the world are China, United States, Turkey, Poland and Italy. Apples account for 50 percent of international deciduous fruit tree production.
  • A peck of apples weighs 10.5 pounds. A bushel of apples weighs about 42 pounds.
  • It takes about 36 apples to create one gallon of apple cider.
  • Hard apple cider is becoming a real trend.

Check out my Super Stuffed Baked Apples recipe.

How do you like them apples?


Fran Costigan is internationally recognized culinary instructor, recipe developer, and innovative vegan pastry chef, and the author of three cookbooks.

Fran Costigan is an internationally recognized culinary instructor, recipe developer, and innovative vegan pastry chef, and the author of three cookbooks. A graduate of the New York  Restaurant School and the Natural Gourmet Institute, Fran was a pastry chef in both traditional  and vegan restaurant kitchens. Today Fran teaches her distinctive courses (including her Vegan  Baking Boot Camp Intensive®) throughout North America and Europe.

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