The average U.S. consumer eats about 19 pounds of fresh apples a year – about one apple per week.1 That is not a bad start, but why not an apple a day?
Why are apples such a good choice?
• They can be part of a good weight-management plan since they are low in calorie density, low in fat and high in fiber. Apples, along with other fruits and vegetables, help you fill up on fewer calories as compared to many processed, higher-fat foods such as packaged snacks and cookies.
• They may help lower your risk of heart disease as part of a heart-healthy diet and lifestyle plan. Apples are a good source of soluble fiber which helps keep cholesterol low. They contain many beneficial plant chemicals that act as antioxidants.
• Apples can help people with diabetes manage their blood sugar better because of their fiber content.
• Apples may help lower the risk for certain cancers. The National Cancer Institute has reported that foods containing flavonoids, or antioxidants like those found in apples, may reduce the risk of lung cancer by as much as 50 percent.2
• Apples help keep your gums healthy because of the tannins they contain. Tannins can also help prevent urinary tract infections.
How do I select the best apple?
• Choose an apple that is shiny, firm and without bruises or other blemishes.
• Waxed apples have been shown to stay fresh and crisp longer than unwaxed apples. The wax is not harmful to humans and usually only one or two drops is used per apple. Apples are cleaned of all debris and pesticides before they are waxed.
Which apples are best for cooking and baking?
Generally, you want a firm apple with a tart taste such as Pippin, Granny Smith, Jonagold or McIntosh. More mealy apples, such as Delicious varieties, do not hold up as well during baking but they are often acceptable in a pinch.
Which apples are best for eating fresh?
Almost all apples are good for eating fresh, either out of hand or in salads, except for more tart, firm varieties such as Pippin or Granny Smith. Many apples, such as Cameo, are good for cooking, baking or eating fresh.
How should I store my apples?
Apples should be stored in a drawer or other container in your refrigerator. While fruit bowls look really pretty, this is not a long-term storage solution for apples.
Keep the peel!
Leave the peel on. It contains a gram of fiber and half the vitamin C found in an apple.
An apple is already packaged neatly in its own skin, ready to go where you go. Wash your apple under cool running water and then wrap it in a napkin. Here are 7 places to take them:
1. Gym. An apple makes a refreshing, low-cal treat after your workout.
2. Lunch box. Pack an apple with your lunch.
3. Mall. Take them with you to the mall so you are not tempted with higher-calorie snacks.
4. Party. Take a basket of apples to a party. It makes a nice centerpiece and becomes a guilt-free dessert.
5. Friend’s house. Take 2 apples and share one with a friend.
6. After-school activities. Kids are hungry when they get out of school. Keep apples ready to go for soccer games, doctor’s appointments and choir practice.
7. Refrigerator. Keep them on hand in your refrigerator at home or work for snack attacks. They are a better choice than foods from a box or bag!!
1. www.bestapples.com Washington Apple Commission 09/2002.
2. J National Cancer Institute; January 2002.
Judy’s passion for cooking began with helping her grandmother make raisin oatmeal for breakfast. From there she earned her first food service job at 15, was accepted to the world-famous Culinary Institute of America at 18 (where she graduated second in her class), and went on to the Fachschule Richemont in Switzerland where she focused on pastry arts and baking. After a decade in food service for Hyatt Hotels, Judy launched Food and Health Communications to focus on flavor and health. She graduated with Summa Cum Laude distinction from Johnson and Wales University with a BS in Culinary Art, holds a master’s degree in Food Business from the Culinary Institute of America, 2 art certificates from UC Berkeley Extension, and runs a food photography studio where her love is creating fun recipes.
Judy received The Culinary Institute of America’s Pro Chef II certification, the American Culinary Federation Bronze Medal, Gold Medal, and ACF Chef of the Year. Her enthusiasm for eating nutritiously and deliciously leads her to constantly innovate and use the latest in nutritional science and Dietary Guidelines to guide her creativity, from putting new twists on fajitas to adapting Italian brownies to include ingredients like toasted nuts and cooked honey. Judy’s publishing company, Food and Health Communications, is dedicated to her vision that everyone can make food that tastes as good as it is for you.