Apples are one of the few fruits you can find fresh any time of the year. However, fall means lots of fresh apples of all kinds.
An apple is a colorful and delicious package of nutrition and good eating. A medium-size apple has:
- fiber, nearly 20% of what you need each day
- vitamins including C and beta carotene (if you leave the peel on)
- minerals including potassium
- and only 80 calories
Choose kinds of apples that suit family tastes and the uses you have in mind. There are many good all-purpose apples. Others are best for using in certain ways. Apples that turn to sauce when cooked are best for recipes that call for applesauce and those that hold their shape are best for baking whole or cut in chunks. Tart apples are good for cooking like granny smith and sweeter apples like gala and red and yellow delicious are best for eating raw.
Use this list to help you choose the type you want.
- Look for smooth skin with few bruises. Too many bruises mean the apple may rot.
- Choose apples with a bright and sparkly color.
- Apples keep best when refrigerated. Store them in a plastic bag or the drawer to keep them fresh.
- Check them often. Remove any decayed apples. One rotten apple can indeed spoil the whole barrel!
- Raw, cut apples may darken. Prevent this by dipping them in a fruit juice – lemon, orange, grapefruit, or pineapple – before adding other ingredients.
- Wash apples always before eating by running cold water over the surface and then wiping with a clean paper towel.
- Keeping apples crisp means keeping them cold. All apples should be refrigerated to prevent quick ripening.
- Apples ripen 8 to 10 time faster at room temperature.
- Store apples in a ventilated plastic bag or hydrator drawer to prevent absorbing other food flavors.
- Storing these fruits in close proximity to each other may hasten the ripening process. Oranges, pineapples, and tangerines make good storage companions for apples because they do not produce ethylene gas and are not sensitive to it.
Due to the many variables such as moisture content, size, and variety, it is impossible to give specific recommendations as to quantities to buy. The recommendations below are approximations only.
- 1 pound = about 3 medium apples
- 1 pound = approximately 1½ cups applesauce
- 2 pounds (6–8 apples) = a 9 inch pie
- 1 bushel (48 pounds) = about 16–20 quarts canned or frozen sauce (an average of 2¾ pounds per quart)
Eat more apples by using some of these ideas:
3 c. diced apples
1/3 c. salad dressing or mayonnaise
1 large carrot, shredded
1/3 c. raisins
1 T. lemon juice
1/8 t. salt
Combine ingredients and mix well. Makes 8 servings.
6 baking apples
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/2 c. sugar
1 T. margarine
1/2 c. raisins
1 c. water
1/2 t. cinnamon
Core apples without cutting through the bottom end. Peel about one third of way down. Place in baking dish. Mix sugar, raisins, cinnamon and nutmeg and fill centers of apples. Dot with margarine and pour water into baking dish. Bake at 375°F about 50-60 minutes or until apples are tender.
Applesauce Nugget Cookies
2 c. flour
1/2 c. shortening
1/2 t. salt
1 c. brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
1 t. baking soda
1/4 t. ground cloves, optional
1 c. applesauce
1 egg, well beaten
1 c. chopped nuts
1 pkg. (6-oz.) butterscotch bits
Cream shortening and sugar. Add egg, applesauce and baking soda and stir well. Add dry ingredients and mix again. Stir in nuts and butterscotch bits. Drop by teaspoons 2-3 inches apart on greased baking sheet. Bake at 375°F for 12-15 minutes. Makes about 4 dozen.
**Some info was taken from the Illinois Extension Service.
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