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Meet Mr. Honeycrisp, the Man Behind Fall’s Most Popular (and Most Expensive) Apple

I walked in to the grocery store a couple of weeks ago to grab a few things and ended up grabbing a few things not on my list. Who doesn’t? I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw the front fruit display had traded peaches for Honeycrisp apples. After months and months without eating any apples, I was beside myself with excitement as I loaded up four softball-sized apples at $2.99 per pound.

Yep. I paid a three dollar per-pound price for a piece of fruit. And so have millions of other people. I am part of the reason the Honeycrisp craze has grown in to a full blown obsession rivaling only those who camp out for the first pumpkin spiced coffee of the season. I don’t eat any other kind of apple, and until a few years ago it had been several years since I’d even touched one. Honeycrisps are unlike any apple you’ve ever tried.

The Honeycrisp was developed at the University of Minnesota’s apple breeding program in 1960. It was a cross of the Macoun and Honeygold, a hybrid of the two apples that took more than 30 years to move to market. Between 1960 and 1991, the apple that is now known as the Honeycrisp was identified, tested, and introduced to market in 1991. That was 20 years ago. So where has this divine piece of fruit been hiding? I asked David Bedford, a research scientist and lead apple breeder at the University of Minnesota. This is Mr. Honeycrisp.

Once the Honeycrisp was released in 1991, Bedford explained it was a very grassroots effort to get the apple out there. They had to sell the seeds to the nurseries, who then sold saplings to the orchardists, who then had to plant and grow the trees. These aren’t like tomato vines, they take time, years in fact. Once the Honeycrisp trees were planted they had three to five years before they were fruit bearing.

An apple with no marketing budget and just some excitable word of mouth has grown to be the fifth most grown apple in the U.S, according to Bedford. “It’s a hometown kid without much promotion.” The apple really took off and joined the mainstream, Bedford explained, after Washington state growers got a hold of it. “Sixty percent of apples in the country are grown in Washington,” he said. “When they get behind something, you see it go mainstream.”
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5 Healthy After-School Snacks for Your Kids

By Kiera S. Campbell, author of “Yummy Healthy Tummy”

You finished survived your back-to-school shopping for your kids. Now that they’re completely school-bound, why not plan on nutritious and easy-to-make snacks when they get home from school?

The temptation to serve packaged snacks can be overpowering when your youngsters beg for sugary treats with their pleading eyes, but do not succumb. Here are five healthy after-school snacks that your kids will love.

Frozen Bananas. No kid can resist the sight of a Popsicle-skewered frozen banana (pre-rolled in yogurt and rice cereal or any crunchy cereal). Have these awesome treats ready for your tot to satisfy his sweet tooth. The idea of sweet treats at the end of his kiddie-sized version of a “grueling school day” may look appealing to him. Serve frozen bananas instead of the traditional processed chocolate chip cookies.

Also Try: One Ingredient Banana Ice Cream
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A Festive Fruit Salad To Ring in the 2012 Olympic Games

The 2012 Olympic Games are fast approaching and we’ve dished out just about every ounce of inspiration we have for the upcoming event.

You’ve seen our top picks for the most enviable Olympic bodies, delicious smoothie recipes straight from the Olympic kitchen, and even insight into your favorite athletes’ diet and training regimens. But, we have one more trick up our sleeve before the games arrive in the form of a healthy and delicious recipe that will ‘wow’ your guests at all of your Olympic-themed parties.


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Fear Of Gaining Weight After Quitting Smoking is Legit

Quitting smoking leads to more weight gain than originally thought, discovered a recent study, with an average gain of eight to eleven pounds in the first year.

Researchers analyzed data from earlier studies that were conducted between 1989 and 2011 in the United States, Europe, Australia and east Asia. They looked at weight changes of people who had successfully quit smoking.

They discovered the majority of the weight is put on during the first three months. For quitters who did not use nicotine replacement therapy they gained an average of 2 pounds the first month, 5 pounds the second month, 6 pounds during the third month, 9 pounds at six months and 10 pounds after a year.

Previous experts estimated people only gained an average of 6 pounds when quitting. This new research shows that the weight gain is more than most women are willing to tolerate when it comes to attempting to quit.

However, you shouldn’t let the fear of gaining weight discourage you from quitting. Experts continue to stress that the health benefits of quitting far outweigh the risks of weight gain.
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Throw a Stone at Obesity: How Stone Fruits Support Weight Management

By Kati Mora, MS, RD

Summer is the perfect time to explore fresh produce. Whether you are purchasing it at a local farmers market, your favorite grocery store, or receiving it as part of a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), you don’t want to miss all of the fabulous flavors, aromas, and textures that summer brings through its in-season produce.

Yet some fruits may garnish more of your attention than others, and it can be easy to forget just how many fruits there are to choose from. Nevertheless, it is important to keep an open mind and an open eye out for a variety of fruits to adorn your table with. Why? Because each type of fruit has its own unique nutritional benefits to offer.

For example, let’s talk about stone fruits – or drupes as they are sometimes called. Not sure what a stone fruit is? The best way to remember or identify a stone fruit is to recall if it has a pit or not. Apricots, prunes, cherries, nectarines and peaches would all belong in this category because each of them have a pit or a stone surrounded by a fleshy outside.
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