Nothing says fall like fresh apples that show up at our local grocery store during November.
They are high in fiber and vitamin C, and they are low in calories. With only a trace of sodium, and no fat or cholesterol, apples are healthy and easy to take on the run for a quick snack.
Apples come in many varieties and colors. Whether eating fresh or selecting for baking in an apple pie, some varieties are better than others.
Varieties good for eating fresh include gala, honey crisp, red delicious, brae burn and Fuji. If you are cooking apples in pies or making applesauce, select Winesap, Granny Smith or Rome Beauty.
Apples may be stored in the refrigerator for longer storage or if you want them to ripen more, leave them on the counter. Eat or use unrefrigerated apples within one to two weeks. Stored cold, apples can last six to eight weeks.
Besides eating fresh, cut apples and add to your salad, slaw or as a crispy addition to a peanut butter and apple sandwich. Also, add fresh apples to your morning oatmeal, pancake batter and as a topping on ice cream. Apples add nutrition and crunch to many common foods. Be creative and try your hand at coming up with ideas to add apples to your diet.
When it comes to baking with apples, it may be helpful to know the following:
•1 pound of apples = 2 large, 3 medium, or 4 to 5 small apples
•1 pound of apples = 3 cups peeled and sliced apples
Fun apple facts:The Red Delicious variety is the most widely grown apple in the United States, with 62 million bushels harvested annually. Apples ripen six to 10 times faster at room temperature than when refrigerated. Apple varieties range in size from a little larger than a cherry to as large as a grapefruit. The largest apple ever picked weighed 3 pounds. A peck of apples weighs 10.5 pounds. A bushel of apples weighs about 42 pounds. It takes about 36 apples to create one gallon of apple cider. It takes two pounds of apples to make one 9-inch apple pie.
Apples float because 25 percent of their volume is made up by air. Pomology is the science of apple-growing. The most popular varieties of apples in the U.S. are the Red Delicious, Golden Delicious and the Granny Smith.
Pamela H. Allen is the interim county director and an agent at the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension office in Crestview.