Tuesday, October 6, 2009

North Carolina Apples

Apples help me forgive the autumn for interrupting my beloved summer. Lucky for us, we live in a region dense with apple orchards. Western North Carolina apples are the best and the Farmers Market is brimming with them at very reasonable prices.

The health giving benefits of apples are legendary. What other food shares the general truth of common wisdom set forth in an adage, "A_______a day keeps the doctor away"? Apples have no fat or sodium, are high in fiber, low in calories and carbohydrates. They are a significant source of potassium which helps regulate blood pressure and promotes heart health. Additionally apples are rich in antioxidants, flavonoids, pectin, phytochemicals, quercetin, and tannins (which helps prevent gum disease).

Did I mention delicious and versatile. The abundant varieties on the market nowadays is also exciting. So far I have experimented with seven.

Left to right, Gala has a striped red color and a snappy, sweet flavor. Mutzu, which is also known as Crispin, is a green fruit which ripens to yellow. It is a good eating apple and makes a first class cider. Rome is very round and handsomely striped to almost solid red. It has a thick skin and is a favorite for baking and drying. Honeycrisp is a mottled red color over a yellow background and really does have a honey-like taste. Golden Delicious is a standard all purpose apple. It has a golden yellow color and is firm, crisp, juicy and flavorful, but it does bruise easily so should be handled with care.

Cortland, left, with it's very white, crisp flesh, makes one of the best salad apples because it doesn't brown quickly. And that brings us to the Granny Smith everyone knows, which is green, crisp, tart, and stores very well.

I can't think of another food which can be used in so many ways: Apple Pie, Apple Cake, Baked Apples, Apple Butter, Apple Jelly, Applesauce, Candied Apples, Apple Cider, Apple Juice, Vinegar, the list goes on and on. Apples are delicious with pork and ham, cheddar cheese, autumn vegetables.

I have a lot of apple plans over the next few weeks.

1 comment:

  1. Oh I love the little tutorial on apples. You have a fabulous site and I'm so glad to have found it.
    Happy Twirls