An Apple a Day: Healthy Recipes and Cooking Tips for Fall’s Favorite Fruit

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.

Apple Popularity

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.

In addition to eating heart-healthy foods, exercise can lower your risk of developing certain diseases and a recent article on Huffington Post suggested that eating an apple before you work out may boost your exercise endurance.
Cooking With Apples
While apples are versatile and delicious in many recipes, they bruise easily, so when you’re selecting your apples, choose varieties with shiny, firm skin. Because apples lose crispness the longer they are stored at room temperature, keep them in a perforated plastic bag in the crisper until you’re ready to use them in one of your favorite sweet or savory recipes.
If you’re looking to experiment beyond pies and applesauce, try one of our favorite apple recipes:
Apple Carrot Salad from Diets In Review
Creamy Apple Dip from A Nutritionist Eats
Easy Maple Apple Bread from Diets In Review
Caramel Apple Milkshake from Diets In Review
Quick Apple Quesadillas from Diets In Review
White Bean & Apple Chili from In Good Taste

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