One of the things I enjoy most about this time of year is biting into a sweet, crisp apple. Since we’re just coming into their peak season, I thought I’d offer a little info** about the various varieties and a few ways I like to enjoy them.
Apples are a great source of fiber with 5 grams of dietary fiber in one large apple (that’s 20% of your recommended daily requirement!). Plus, this time of year apples are in season, which makes them very budget-friendly. Since there are around 2,500 varieties grown in the U.S., I’ll focus on some of the more popular.
Gala – Gala apples are small to medium in size and have a firm, crisp texture. They tend to be pale golden yellow in color with a red blush. These apples are perfect for snacking and ideal for using in salads. They can also be used in pies or other baked goods.
Granny Smith – Medium to large in size, Granny Smith apples are known for their tart flavor. They are green in color and they resist browning more than other varieties when cut. These apples are popular for baking.
Red Delicious - These are the “classic” apple with their shiny, red appearance. They tend to be medium to large in size and their texture is firm and crisp, which makes them ideal for snacking and salads.
Fuji – Fuji apples are medium to large in size with a red blush or red stripes over a yellow background. They have a firm texture, but what makes this variety stand out is how juicy they are. Fuji apples are good for snacking, in salads, for baking and freezing, which makes them a perfect all-around variety.
I love apples prepared so many ways–applesauce, in baked goods, fresh for snacking, but my big weakness are caramel apples. Yes, they are a treat, but if you make them at home you can control how much caramel coats the apple. Lightly dip an apple in some melted caramel, add a few chopped nuts for protein and you’ve got a healthy treat that’s around 150-160 calories. It only tastes sinful!
Stop by your local supermarket, produce stand or orchard this weekend and pick up your favorite variety. In case you run out of ways to prepare them, we’ve got our top 10 ways to enjoy. Comment on this blog and tell us what your favorite variety is and how you like to prepare apples!
**More information can be found through the U.S. Apple Association.