That crisp weather that signals fall in many parts of the country also signals that apples are in season.
Grown in every U.S. state, it's easy to get your hands on a basket of local apples at your favorite store or farmers' market. Following are 20 things to help you get the most out of this season's apple bounty.
- Many farms open their orchards now for pick-your-own apples, which makes for a fun activity.
- At farmers' markets, ask for bruised fruit discounts for canning apples or baking lots of pies.
- Keep your eyes open for interesting apple varieties, such as Arkansas Black, Grimes Golden, and heirloom varieties like Wolf River and Ashmead's Kernel.
- Apples prefer it cool, so store them in the basement or fridge.
- Conventionally grown apples have more pesticide residues on the than any other fruit—buy organic apples.
- You can store apples for months in a cool basement. Wrap them individually in paper (if they touch, they can rot) and place in a lidded cardboard box in a cool, but not freezing, location.
- Toss apples with cinnamon for an easy snack that kids think is special.
- Apples contain disease-fighting chemicals called phytochemicals that may prevent the risk of cancer.
- Click here for a delicious and healthy recipe for Raw Salted Caramel Apple Dip.
- Apple tree flowers need bees to pollinate them to turn into apples; supporting organic apple farmers supports bee populations.
- A large body of research shows that regular apple consumption can prevent risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Make homemade apple butter by cooking down peeled apples with cinnamon and some allspice until very mushy. Puree with a blender, then continue cooking until dark brown and thick. Can large batches; small batches can be kept in the fridge in a jar.
- One medium apple contains 4.4 grams of fiber—that's 17 percent of the recommended daily intake.
- 7,500 varieties of apples are grown around the world.
- An apple contains about 13 percent of your recommended daily vitamin C.
- Flavonoids found in apples can slow down carbohydrate production, thus helping to regulate blood sugar levels.
- Got extra apples on hand but not enough time to can? Try freezing sliced apples.
- Try adding crisp green apple slices to salads.
- Apples ripen 10 times faster at room temperature than if they're stored in a cool basement or refrigerator.
- Buy a selection of apple varieties and have an apple-tasting party for a fun fall event.
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