By christinesteendahl | Category: Recipes & Kitchen Tips
I don’t know about you, but I adore fall – I love the weather, the beautiful colors, the smell – just everything about the autumn season. One of our favorite family traditions is a visit to the apple orchard. I grew up in Washington State – which is apple country, so maybe that is part of it… Now that we are in the Midwest finding a fun orchard is a bit more challenging, but still worth the effort.
Apples are the single most versatile fruit today . There are thousands of varieties the world over that vary in taste, color, and crispness. The best part is you can find them in the grocery store the whole year long!
Being that there are over a thousand varieties of apple, we can’t name them all. However, there are a few that are better known than others. Some of the more popular apple types are: Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, Braeburn, Jonagold, McIntosh, Rome, Gala, and Jonathan.
All apples are not created equal. Each has its own unique characteristics and uses. Take the Red Delicious apple for instance. It is the most widely known apple. Its shiny, deep red skin has become the unofficial symbol for apples everywhere. Its taste is sweet and crisp. But beware—its skin stays the picture of health long after the fruit has become mushy. These apples are good for salads or eaten fresh, but break apart quickly when baked.
Golden Delicious apples are no relation to the Red Delicious. Their skin is yellow and thin, hiding a sweet but tender fruit. This apple has a sweetness that is perfect for pies or as part of an applesauce. The apples keep well in the refrigerator, but not so good at room temperature.
Granny Smith is the premier green apple. Its taste is extremely crisp and tart. It is an overall excellent apple with many uses. When making a pie, using other apples in conjunction with Granny Smith will mellow the tart taste. They hold up well when baked whole, but require quite a bit of added sugar when used in an applesauce.
Gala apples are pinkish in color and small. This in no way dulls their taste. They are very sweet and crisp. Eaten fresh, they satisfy the sweet tooth. They are also good in conjunction with other apples in an applesauce or an apple pie.
McIntosh is a winning choice in the apple world. They are tart but tender and full of juice. It is the main apple used to make apple cider. These apples are also great for making applesauce. They don’t bake well, usually falling apart rather quickly.
Jonagold apples are a cross between Jonathan and Golden Delicious apples. It is a crisp apple with a tangy-sweet taste. These apples are a European favorite and excellent for baking, pies, and salads.
All apples are a good source of dietary fiber. The average apple contains five grams of fiber per serving. They are also ideal for lowering cholesterol and promoting digestive health.
So what is your favorite use of apples? Caramel apples, apple pie, applesauce, apple bread, a plain fresh juicy apple? Share what your favorites are and if you have a favorite recipe, we’d love for you to share that as well!
For a complete culinary apple exploration, jump on over to www.menuplanningcentral.com/main.html where you will find even more info. and all kinds of yummy apple recipes!
Mom of 3 and owner of www.themenumom.com