Johnny Appleseed was a real person born in 1774 as John Chapman. His dream manifested into a lifelong mission to ensure that no one in this country went hungry. He recognized the benefits of apples and the fertility of this great land. For nearly 50 years, beginning in his 20s, Mr. Appleseed roamed the land planting apple orchards out of the wilderness of Pennsylvania, Ohio, W. Virginia, Indiana, Kentucky, and Illinois. His dream changed the landscape and today those regions yield millions of apples a year.
Washington state is technically the apple state, but almost every state has apple orchards. Apples are America's favorite fruit and Fall is the season for fresh apples. Though many apple varieties are sold in supermarkets all year round, the freshest apples are available from September through November.
An Apple A Day Keeps the Doctor Away
Apples are good for you! Research tells us that apples really do promote good health. They contain numerous essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. They're beneficial to your teeth, your skin, your digestive system, your nerves and your overall good health. An apple every day really can help prevent heart disease by reducing cholesterol levels. Eating apples not only lowers cholesterol, it also improves the ratio of beneficial HDL to harmful LDL. They contain compounds that act as antioxidants against LDL, the "bad" cholesterol that clogs arteries. Studies have also shown a link between apples in your daily diet and a lower risk of other illness, including certain cancers.
This is the time of year to drive to an apple orchard for just picked local varieties. If you have apples in your refrigerator, you have tasty nutritious snacks plus a main ingredient for creating anything from healthy appetizers to delicious desserts. When selecting apples, press gently with your fingers to check for firmness. Choose apples that are firm, with no soft spots or blemishes. There are many varieties of apples to chose from. Some are best for eating fresh while others are best for cooking and baking. Click Here for more information about the different varieties of apples and their uses.
Handle apples gently to prevent bruising. To maintain quality, juiciness and crispness, store fully ripe apples in the crisper section of your refrigerator. Store them away from onions and other foods with strong odors. Never store them next to broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumbers, or spinach. Apples emit ethylene gas which will speed the ripening of other fruit, so keep them away from kiwi fruit, peaches, plums, pears. and other produce which over-ripen quickly. (To ripen green bananas, place them in a paper bag with an apple) When stored properly, most apples will keep for about 6 weeks.
Cooking and Baking With Apples
When peeling is necessary before cooking, peel whole apples before cutting. Use a sharp paring knife or a fruit and vegetable peeler. Cut or peel the skin from the apple in strips or in a continuing spiral.
There are crank-type apple peeler, corer, slicer gadgets. These are a great convenience if you have a lot of apples to use. They work best with firm apples that are uniform in size and free of blemishes
Use an apple corer
for apple dumplings, baked apples, or before cutting apples into rings. On a cutting board, insert the corer directly into the center of the apple. Push straight down and twist slightly with even pressure and to remove the core and push it through. This can be done before or after an apple has been peeled, but a hollow-core apple might break easily while peeling.
Halve, quarters and slice
Halve, then quarter the apple lengthwise and slice away the core. For thinner slices, cut quarters lengthwise again. Or, use a corer-slicer gadget to core and slice apples into uniform wedges in one step.
To prevent browning
When cut, apples turn brown quickly. To prevent browning when cutting apples into slices or wedges to serve on a fresh fruit tray or to use raw in a fruit salad, dip freshly cut apples in lemon juice and water or in a solution made with a fresh fruit preservative
Typical Apple Yields
One pound of apples equals 2 large, 3 medium or 4 small apples.
One pound of apples yields 3 cups of diced fruit or 2 1/2 cups of peeled, sliced fruit.
Two pounds of apples is enough for an average 9" pie.
For a deep dish 9" or 10" pie, figure about 3 pounds or 8 to 9 medium size apples.
Click The Pie For The Best Fall Recipes