Healthy Fall Apple Harvest
With the fall comes many healthy seasonal fruits and vegetables. Apples are one of the most healthy and versatile of the fall fruits to eat. The aroma of hot apple cider with cinnamon sticks steeping on the stove, smells of an apple pie in the oven and a bowl of fresh apples on the table create inspiration for a healthy fall menu. Fixing apples for healthy eating is the ultimate comfort food.
You’ve heard, “An apple a day will keep the doctor away.” While it will certainly take more than a daily apple to keep you healthy, it is a step in the right direction. Apples are delicious, easy to carry for snacking, low in calories, a natural mouth freshener, and they are still very inexpensive.
Apples are a source of both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber such as pectin actually helps to prevent cholesterol buildup in the lining of blood vessel walls, thus reducing the incident of atherosclerosis and heart disease. The insoluble fiber in apples provides bulk in the intestinal tract, holding water to cleanse and move food quickly through the digestive system.
It is a good idea to eat apples with their skin. Almost half of the vitamin C content is just underneath the skin. Eating the skin also increases insoluble fiber content. Most of an apple’s fragrance cells are also concentrated in the skin and as they ripen, the skin cells develop more aroma and flavor.
There are hundreds of varieties of apples on the market today, although most people have only tasted one or two of the most popular such as Red Delicious or Granny Smith. Apples can be sweet, tart, soft and smooth or crisp and crunchy, depending on the one you choose. There is an apple to suit almost everyone’s taste, so why not choose one. Have an apple today!
Apple Nutrition Facts
(*One medium 2-1/2 inch apple, fresh, raw, with skin)
- Calories 81
- Carbohydrate 21 grams
- Dietary Fiber 4 grams
- Soluble Fiber
- Insoluble fiber
- Calcium 10 mg
- Phosphorus 10 mg
- Iron .25 mg
- Sodium 0.00 mg
- Potassium 159 mg
- Vitamin C 8 mg
- Vitamin A 73 IU
- Folate 4 mcg
|*||Apples are grown in all 50 states.|
|*||The pilgrims planted the first United States apple trees in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.|
|*||Apple trees take four to five years to produce their first healthy fruit.|
|*||Most apples are still picked by hand in the fall.|
|*||Apples are a member of the rose family.|
|*||The largest apple picked weighed three pounds.|
|*||Don’t peel your apple! Two-thirds of the fiber and healthy antioxidants are found in the peel.|
|*||Some apple trees will grow over 40 feet high and live over 100 years.|
|*||It takes the energy from 50 leaves to produce one apple.|
|*||Apples are the second most valuable fruit grown in the United States. Oranges are first.|
|*||One of George Washington’s hobbies was pruning his apple trees.|
|*||Archaeologists have found evidence that humans have been enjoying apples since at least 6500 B.C.|
|*||It takes about 36 apples to create one gallon of apple cider.|
|*||Many apples after harvesting have commercial grade wax applied made from natural ingredients.|
Apple Recipe – How to Make Autumn Apple Salad for Healthy Eating
Apple Shopping Tips
By some estimates there may be over 10,000 different apple varieties. Apples have been in cultivation for centuries and new varieties have continually arisen or been developed. Modern supermarket shoppers sometimes struggle with the 7 or 10 varieties typically offered, and wind up getting in a rut of buying mediocre apples. This is a real shame, since there is so much to explore and enjoy. These simple guidelines can help.
Buy in Season
Modern refrigeration has caused one unintended and unfortunate consequence, that being that the average urban consumer has lost a sense of season. Everything looks good on the shelf, everything is available at any time in any area, and it is easy to forget that fruit is seasonal and is actually being grown somewhere. All fruit has an optimum season when flavor, freshness and nutritional value are at their peak.
Shipping and storage both can have adverse effects on fruit quality, even under the best of circumstances. Every region has its own distinctive varieties, and a visit to the orchard will help you discover which ones are best in your area. When you buy local produce there are many benefits. Local growers are a great source for suggestions, recipes and harvest information. Supporting local growers helps preserve family farms. Strong local agriculture is a check on sprawl. Buying locally is the best way to be sure you are putting the most nutritious food on your table. Buying fruit at the orchard is a lot more fun than pushing a shopping cart.
Don’t be afraid to experiment. You have nothing to lose but boredom. Try some new varieties. You may not like them all, but you are sure to make some new discoveries that will become life-long favorites.
Keep Apples Cool
Apples continue to ripen after they have been picked. Keeping them cool retards this process. Never leave apples out at room temperature. Nothing can ruin an apple’s flavor more than letting it sit out at room temperature.