An apple a day . . .

Warm sweaters, long walks on crunchy leaf colored paths, bonfires and picking apples right from the tree.Apple Picking at Autumn Hills Orchard, Groton September 2011

Aren’t these all the definitive signs of Fall?  I know they are for me.

Aside from being a fun fall tradition, there are other excellent reasons to enjoy fresh apples for the next few months.

Fall is traditionally the time of year apples are ready.  They are at their peak right now, juicy and firm, the perfect snack.

Turns out that the old proverb “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” has some solid evidence backing it up:

Apples are full of fiber & contain pectin (both of which help you feel full longer).  Most varieties also are high in antioxidants and contain 14% of your daily Vitamin C requirements.  Ready for some answers to some common apple questions?

Q:  What about the skin?  Is my mother right that all the nutrients are in it and I should not peel it?

A:  As usual, mom is right.  An apple without the peel only has 2 grams of fiber, while an apple with the skin has 4 – so double!  In addition, the peel contains the majority of the antioxidants.  However, there is one caveat to eating the skin:  apples are highly sprayed with pesticides so if you can’t wash them well and can’t afford organic, it may be worth it to peel them and avoid some of the health benefits to save yourself from ingesting extra poisons.

Q: Are there differences in apple varieties?

A:  Of course.  Not only do the different varieties taste different and have different textures, some of them actually contain more nutrients than others – crazy right?  Turns out that the good old red delicious has the highest amount of antioxidants, followed by Northern Spy and then Ida Red.  Empires have the lowest.  Interesting, right?

So after all this talk about apples, are you craving one?  I know I am, so I’m off to make one of my favorite little apple snacks.

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