Season for Apples September – November

Apples Described

America’s beloved fleshy fruit belonging to the Rose family, Apples flourish in varieties numbering into the thousands with tastes and textures that range from soft & sweet to crisp & sour and everything in between, colors spanning the red-orange-yellow-green spectrum with wild variance, especially upon the revival of heirloom/heritage strains from apple orchards near and far. You’ll find apples falling into two categories: apples for eating, or apples for cooking (and then eating!), called culinary apples, though we think most are multi-talented.

How to Buy and Store Apples

When choosing your apples, choose wisely. For one bad guy will indeed spoil the bunch. A bruised apple will release ethylene gas that can quickly ruin its neighbors. Otherwise, apples hold up quite well. You can store them for 3-4 months in refrigeration, although they will lose some nutrients over time (the lower the temp, the less nutrients will be lost).

What type of apple you select will depend upon what you’re using it for. For example, if you’re cooking or baking with them, use apples that retain flavor and stay firm, like Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, Melrose, Winesap, Braeburn, Rome Beauty, Golden Delicious and Cortland, to name a few, all of which taste delicious raw as well, depending on your preference. When in doubt, ask your farmer, or ask us!

How to Cook Apples

Besides enjoying apples in their natural raw form (if you slice apples and put them into cold water with a lemon squeeze you can stave off unsightly browning), many a dish capitalizes on the apple wow factor. Just check out our Organic Tarte Tatin to get clued in on how apples can delight. Simply, apples are great just tossed into your purse to ensure a healthy midday snack and pair well with nut butters and local cheeses. We say, when cooking apples, even if the recipe states otherwise, leave the skins on. Your body will thank you.

Health Benefits of Apples

Apple are loaded with a variety of phytonutrients that offer an array of awesome health benefits, particularly packed into the skin. Studies have found the polyphenol combo found in apples offers bone protection, asthma relief, alzheimer’s prevention, lower cholesterol, some cancer prevention, and diabetes management. Go antioxidants. Apples are also a good source of fiber – including the soluble fiber pectin – and vitamin C.

Why Buy Natural and Organic Apples

Apples are a mainstay on the Dirty Dozen list, making it imperative you go organic on this one. Conventionally grown with the use of tons of poisons (42 pesticides were detected as residue), apples won’t be pure even if you scrub or peel them, plus you’ll be peeling away a lot of the nutrition. When it comes to apples, this is not the place to skimp on organic.

Also, the health benefits of processed apples made into things like juice or applesauce pale in comparison to whole fruit consumption – compacted with the fact they probably aren’t using organic apples in the first place.

image: Muffet