Late August marks the beginning of apple season around the country and while a lot of farms in your home state might offer apple trees ripe for the picking, Washington, New York and Michigan are the top three apple-producing states in the nation.
Even if you know your apple types, you might still find yourself confused by the apple varieties on the market and hanging from the trees at your local farm. While different types of apples have different culinary applications, most apple varieties work in sweet or savory recipes.
According to the Michigan Apple Committee, the Honeycrisp variety, which is only available in September and October, is continually growing in popularity. Honeycrisp has a crisp, juicy bite and a sweet flavor, perfect for eating or adding to salads.
Overall, the apple industry in Michigan alone contributes about $700-900 million annually to the state’s economy. The average apple harvest is about 20 million bushels (or 840 million pounds per year). While almost 40% of crops are grown ready-to-eat, 60% of apple crops are processed into cider, applesauce and fresh-cut slices.
An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away
We’ve all heard the old adage, but with approximately 90 – 120 calories and 4-6 grams of soluble fiber per serving, apples are the perfect, healthy snack whether you’re craving something crunchy or sweet.
Apples provide up to 14% of your daily Vitamin C and according to a recent study by Florida State University, may be associated with a lower risk of death certain types of cardiovascular disease.