Does eating an apple every day really keep the doctor away? Apples are among the top three fruits produced around the world. One serving, or one medium apple, provides about 95 calories, 0 gram fat, 1 gram protein, 25 grams carbohydrate, 19 grams sugar (naturally occurring), and 3 grams fiber.
Apples and Health
Fresh, whole apples offer the most nutrients. Discarding the skin removes much of the fiber. Dehydrating or drying the apples removes vitamin C, which is predominantly in the flesh. In addition, sugar (along with extra calories) is often added to dried apples. Overall research shows a benefit when adding apples to the diet.
- To prolong freshness, store in the refrigerator in the crisper drawer. They will usually remain fresh for at least 1-2 months, if not longer. Apples are a climacteric fruit, meaning that they continue to ripen after harvesting due to emitting a gas called ethylene. Cold temperatures slow down the production of ethylene. Even so, apples will still emit some ethylene when refrigerated and can speed the ripening of other produce stored nearby. Store apples in their own drawer apart from other produce to prevent this from happening.
- If stored at room temperature, the enzymes and ethylene gas in apples quicken ripening. They will last on your counter for about 1-2 weeks but the texture can change during this time.
There are at least a dozen types of apples. Check out local farms and farmers markets for more varieties. Some are best for cooking and baking, and others are enjoyed raw for snacking. They range from sweet to tart, and may produce a hearty crunch or a light crispy bite.
- Tart, mildly sweet apples with firm crisp flesh that don’t become mushy at high temperatures are best for baking: Jonagolds, Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Melrose, Cortland, Braeburn.
- Juicy and sweet flavors are often chosen for eating: Gala, Red and Golden Delicious, Fuji, McIntosh. If you prefer tart over sweet, baking apples can certainly be eaten as well!
- Some fun ways to enjoy apples:
- Cut one apple into thin slices and spread with nut or seed butter.
- Apple sandwich: Remove the center and seeds of an apple with a corer and slice the apple into rounds about a ½-inch thick. Spread one apple slice with nut or seed butter and sprinkle with granola or trail mix. Then place another apple slice on top.
- Oven-baked apple chips: Core apple and slice very thinly. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet or parchment paper. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake them for one hour (higher temperatures can burn the apples). Flip apple slices and bake for up to 1 hour more or until apple chips feel dry. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.
- Apple, fennel, and endive salad: Thinly slice 2 large apples, 1 bulb of fennel, and 3 small endives. Squeeze over half of a lemon and add white balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Add chopped pecans for an additional crunch.
Did you know?
Apple juice and apple cider are different!
- Cider is produced when raw apples are mashed and pressed to extract the liquid. It is not filtered and sold either pasteurized or unpasteurized. This causes cider to appear cloudy, as it contains pulp and sediment. It is more acidic and contains more flavonoids than apple juice.
- Apple juice has been filtered to remove solids and pasteurized so that it remains fresher longer. Sugar is sometimes added. During filtration, the tart and bitter flavors from the natural apple flavonoids may be removed, so apple juice typically has a uniform sweet flavor.
Source : Harvard T.H. Chan