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It’s Apple Time!

It’s Apple Time!

Although you can get apples year-round at the supermarket, the quality and variety of apples is best in Autumn and they are best fresh from the farm or farmers market. Apples are an excellent source of vitamins A and C, are high in fiber, and have no fat, cholesterol, or sodium.

One of the most enjoyable things about autumn is going to pick-your-own apples. And, since many pick-your-own farms are organic, you can pick your apples without worrying about pesticides.

While not everybody is lucky enough to live near pick your own farms or ranches, you can check Pick Your Own or search Local Harvest to see if there is one near you. If not, there are also plenty of apple festivals going on across the United States and Canada, check out Pick Your Own’s Festival Page to find one near you.

There are many apple varieties available from September through October, and in warmer climates, like California, even through December. While there are plenty of apple varieties to choose from, you want to pick the type of apple that best suits your need. What do you want to use the apple for: fresh eating, baking that perfect apple pie, making apple cider, cooking or storing?

Early varieties include the classic Red Delicious, which are striped to solid and red, and have a sweet taste; and the Jonagold, a cross between a Jonathan and a Golden Delicious, and are bright red and can be sweet or slightly tart.

Later varieties include Rome, Fuji, Granny Smith, and Jonathan. Romes are a deep red and are slightly sweet. Fuji’s range in color from gold to red and often have red striping, and are great for snacking. Granny Smith apples are green, tart apples that are perfect for baking. Jonathans have light red stripes over deep red or yellow and are slightly tart.

Whether you pick-your-own or buy them at the farmers’ market, choose apples that are free of bruises because bruised apples will decay quickly. Select apples that are firm to the touch and have good color.

Store apples in a cool, dark place. They do well placed in a plastic bag and stored in the refrigerator. Store them away from foods that have strong odors because they absorb odors easily.

Some quick and easy serving tips:

  • For cooking and baking, use apples that will remain flavorful and firm, such as Granny Smith.
  • For a fat-free substitute for oil, use applesauce when baking cakes, muffins and other moist, cake-like items. Substitute the same amount of applesauce for the oil.
  • Add apple juice instead of broth to your favorite stuffing recipe.
  • For a quick and easy simmered Fall punch, combine 2 cups apple juice, 1/2 cup orange juice, 1/4 tsp. cinnamon, and 2 or 3 cloves. Simmer on the stove for 20 to 30 minutes. Remove cloves before serving.

Read more: Conscious Consumer, Eating for Health, Family, Food, Nature, Outdoor Activities, , , ,

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Judi Gerber

Judi Gerber is a University of California Master Gardener with a certificate in Horticultural Therapy. She writes about sustainable farming, local foods, and organic gardening for multiple magazines. Her book Farming in Torrance and the South Bay was released in September 2008.

50 comments

+ add your own
6:36AM PDT on Mar 26, 2013

An apple a day keeps doctors away

11:14AM PDT on Sep 13, 2012

HONEYCRISP for me, developed in Minnesota

1:47AM PST on Nov 14, 2011

Thanks for sharing.

7:13PM PST on Nov 12, 2011

I Love apples!

3:08PM PDT on Oct 18, 2011

My family live near the best apple orchard & can't wait to get the bushels of apples that we eat raw or make into great apple pies. We get so much good from eating them.

9:12AM PDT on Oct 10, 2011

Thank God we have apples.

8:13AM PDT on Oct 3, 2011

luv gala apples :)

8:25AM PDT on Sep 30, 2011

Only organic.
EWG lists apples as one of the fruits with big pesticide loads.

12:01AM PDT on Sep 29, 2011

Interesting article - thanks for posting.

10:31AM PDT on Sep 28, 2011

just read that there are 7500 varieties!!! wow!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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Thanks for the good info.

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