If you’ve never gone apple picking, it is the perfect time of year to do it: it’s still warm, leaves are changing, and the smell of fall is in their air.
Apples are an easy fruit to pick, requiring no hands-and-knees work that berry picking does. In addition, most modern apple orchards have smaller trees that are close tot he ground, making it easy to pick apples without standing on a big ladder.
When you’re selecting your apples, look for ones that are free of bruises and firm. They range from green to pink to orange to red to yellow to swirls to everything in between, depending on the variety. Regardless of the color, they should feel firm and crisp. If you’re not sure, ask the farmer to steer you towards the ones that are ready to go.
Because apples ripen from the outside of the tree towards the centre, look for apples on the outside first. To pick it easily roll the apple upwards off the branch, twist, and it will come off — pulling it straight from the tree will require some work, often leading to breaking a branch.
When choosing which apples you want to pick, think of what is best suited for why you want to use them. Apples differ in their uses; while some are great for baking, others are preferably for applesauce. Most can be eaten fresh out of hand, and plenty are able to be stored for long periods of time.
Once your apples are picked, avoid bruising them by placing them gently in your basket–not tossing them in. When you get home, increase their shelf life by keeping them cool, such as in a cool basement, and don’t want them until just before consumption. Cool, fresh-picked apples can generally keep for weeks, though different varities have different shelf lives.
Apples are a deliciously healthful fruit to have around. It weighs in at about 65 calories for a medium fruit, has no fat, sodium, or cholesterol, and are high in fibre, vitamin A, and niacin, along with a good source of iron and vitamin C.
Fun Apple Facts
- Apples were the favorite fruit of ancient Greeks and Romans.
- Johnny Appleseed is, indeed, real. Named John Chapman, he was born on September 26,1774 near Leominster, Massachusetts.
- There are over 2500 varieties of apples grown in the United States and7500 varieties of apples grown throughout the world.
- Americans ate an average of 45.2 pounds of fresh apples and processed apple products last year, with 61 percent of them eaten as fresh fruit.
- France, Italy and Germany are the leading apple producing countries.
- If you’ve ever bobbed for apples, you know that they float; that’s because twenty-five percent of an apple’s volume is air.
- Just on the tail of oranges, apples are the second most valuable fruit grown in the United States.
- They weren’t always called apples; in colonial times, apples were called winter banana or melt-in-the-mouth.
- Love apple cider? So do we… and it takes about 36 apples to make a gallon of the good stuff.
Recipes and More Tips
Apple pie must be the most popular recipe featuring this healthy fruit. Oven-baked apples are also delicious, especially when sprinkled with cinnamon for a cozy touch. If you’re hosting a party, you can offer apple pie moscow mule, a delicious coctail that can be easily turned into a mocktail. And for a comforting breakfast, the delicious combination of apples, walnuts, maple and cinnamon is highlighted with hearty oats in this yummy Maple Apple Oat Casserole.