If you've never cooked with them, now's a great time to try some recipes for apples and see how easily this everyday snack can be a scrumptious part of any meal. Though many apples are available year-round, orchard-fresh apples abound in autumn, the beginning of apple season—and that's when you find the biggest range to chose from and the best flavors. A good source of fiber and vitamin C, apples are also a major source of health-boosting antioxidant flavonoids, and studies have shown that apples help fight diseases, including heart disease, lung cancer, and type 2 diabetes. Red Delicious, Northern Spy, Cortland, Ida Red, Golden Delicious, and McIntosh apples have demonstrated the highest concentration of antioxidants, according to a Canadian study.
But there are tons of apple varieties to suit any taste and any cooking purpose, and plenty of recipes for apples that will change the way you think about the fruit. If you only stick to familiar Red Delicious or McIntosh types, you haven't really tasted everything apples have to offer.
Come to the Rodale Institute Organic Apple Festival, Saturday September 11, 2010!
Here’s a breakdown of some popular apple types and how to enjoy them:
Braeburn: Crisp, aromatic, sweet-tart; good for both cooking and snacking
Cortland: A white-fleshed slightly tart, all-purpose apple
Empire: Juicy, sweet, and great eaten out-of-hand
Fuji: Sweet and crisp
Gala: Sweet with crisp, yellow flesh, and good for salads and snacking
Golden Delicious: An all-purpose variety with mild, crisp flesh
Granny Smith: Firm, juicy, with a distinctly tart flavor
Jonagold: Tangy-sweet and good for salads or baking
Idared: Firm and good for desserts and cooking
McIntosh: Slightly tart, very juicy, and good for all purposes
Red Delicious: Sweet, juicy, familiar, and best fresh and in salads
Rome Beauty: Best for baking
Winesap: All-purpose, spicy, tart, and juicy
Remember to buy apples grown with organic methods whenever possible. Organic apples are grown without synthetic pesticides, so you'll avoid exposing yourself to those chemicals. Organic agriculture doesn’t dump toxic chemicals into the soil and water, plus, it traps carbon that might otherwise contribute to global warming.