Apples, Apples Everywhere
Sep 27, 2016
Apples, Apples Everywhere
Apples are one of America’s favorite fruits and the best time of year to buy apples is typically Fall through the Spring time. Most varieties of apples are available all year long and should feel firm to the touch, not wrinkled or bruised.
Apples can take on the smell and flavor of other foods such as onions, so it is best to store them in the crisper drawer in the fridge with other fruits. This sweet and sometimes tart fruit can be kept for up to 3 months in the refrigerator.
One of the best things about this fruit is that they are packed with fiber, have a good source of vitamin C, and are less than 100 calories for a medium-sized apple.
Here are some tips for using any type of apples in your recipes this Fall:
- Blended in a smoothie for an apple pie flavored, seasonal breakfast drink with cinnamon, nutmeg, and apple pie spice.
- Diced as a topping on an autumn inspired salad with crushed nuts, olive oil and apple cider vinegar based dressing.
- Cored, left whole and baked in a crock pot for 2 ½ to 3 hours on high with a little butter, cinnamon, brown sugar, and chopped walnuts for a healthier spin on apple crisp.
- Pureed and added to a soup made with cooked sweet potatoes, onions, squash, and broth for a savory and filling soup.
- Chopped up and mixed in with you oatmeal along with some cinnamon and a little brown sugar.
Here are three very popular apples that are all similar in nutritional content, but unique in their flavors:
- Honey crisp apples are the Minnesota state fruit and are super sweet, crunchy and delicious! This apple is delicious all by itself, used in baked recipes, or chopped in salads. Try making this apple into fruit nachos by using thinly sliced honey crisp apples sprinkled with crushed pistachios and dried cranberries or raisins and then drizzled with melted dark chocolate and natural peanut butter!
- Fuji apples are available all year long and are a perfect combination of tartness and sweetness. They are great when paired with cheese and whole grain crackers for a filling and healthy afternoon snack.
- The Granny Smith apple tree was a happy accident that was seeded by a grandmother sometime around 1868 in Australia and you guessed it – her name was Mrs. Smith. Granny Smith apples are one of the only green apples you will find in the produce section and it is available year round. It is quite firm to the touch, crisp and juicy with a tart bite! This apple is often used in pies due to its’ tart flavor and firm structure that can withstand the hot oven temperature without becoming too mushy.
Here is a new spin on the typical grilled cheese sandwich that uses Granny Smith apples:
Grilled Apple & Cheese Panini
Minutes to Prepare: 15 minutes Number of Servings: Makes 4 Paninis
- Sour dough bread, 8 slices
- Mild or regular sliced cheddar cheese, 4 slices
- Dijon dressing, (enough to spread a thin layer spread on each slice of bread)
- 1 Granny Smith Apple, thinly sliced, seeds removed
- Non-stick cooking spray
- Optional: thinly sliced lean deli turkey or ham
- Lay out the 8 slices of sour dough bread on a clean, flat surface and thinly spread Dijon dressing on each of the 8 slices of bread.
- Then top 4 of the 8 slices of bread with cheddar cheese followed by an even layer of thinly sliced Granny Smith apples.
- Place the other 4 slices of bread on top of the bread slices with the apple and cheese to make 4 sandwiches.
- Spray the panini press or skillet with non-stick cooking spray.
- Grill the sandwiches on medium heat until they are lightly browned and the cheese is melted. Repeat until all sandwiches are done.
- This panini pairs nicely with any seasonal soups such as tomato soup, French onion, or black bean.
Note: If using a skillet instead of a panini press then press the sandwiches down with a brick covered in foil or another heavy object to press the two slices of bread and cheese together.
Nutrition Facts (per serving):
Calories: 348 Protein: 13gm Total Carbohydrates: 50gm Fiber: 3gm Total Fat: 10gm Cholesterol: 20mg
Sodium: 660 mg
Hope Danielson, Director of Health and Wellness for County Market