I Love You A Bushel And A Peck

Did you see that gorgeous harvest moon last night? Mmmmm, what a beauty. Autumn has arrived in all her glory. The colors are just breathtaking as the leaves are almost at their peak here. And when the trees explode with color that means it's apple-picking season! I do love this time of year, and I looooooves me some apples.

Betcha didn't know that apples are the most varied food on the planet, with more apple varieties on record than for any other food. The last time someone counted, the list topped 7,500! More than 2,500 varieties are grown here in the United States.

What's Not To Love?

Apples are:
  • fat free
  • sodium free
  • cholesterol free
  • a natural source of health-promoting phytonutrients, including plant-based antioxidants
  • a rich source of the mineral boron, an essential trace element that helps harden the bones
  • loaded with pectin, a soluble fiber that aids in digestion and may help reduce cancer and heart disease.
Apples contain natural fruit sugars, mostly in the form of fructose. Because of their high fiber content, the fruit's natural sugars are slowly released into the blood stream, helping maintain steady blood sugar levels.

Whenever possible, don't peel that apple. Two-thirds of the fiber, and many of the antioxidants, are found in apple's peel.

Each apple variety has its own unique flavor, and best uses:

A relative of the McIntosh, the Cortland apple has a tart-spicy taste. It is excellent for eating raw and cutting up in salads.

The Crispin apple, also known as the Mutsu, is a relative of the Golden Delicious apple. The Crispin apple has a spicy flavor and firm texture.

Golden Delicious
This sweet yellow apple has no relation to the Red Delicious apple. This beauty has a sweet taste and a firm texture. It is recommended for eating raw or for cutting up in salads.

Red Delicious
The Red Delicious apple is the most widely grown apple in the world. This sweet-rich apple is best eaten raw or cut-up in salads.

The Fuji apple, a relative of the Red Delicious apple, was developed in Japan during the mid-1930s. This popular, very round apple has a sweet flavor and a hard texture.

The Gala apple is a hybrid of the Golden Delicious apple, developed in New Zealand during the 1920s. This small, two-toned apple has a sweet flavor and a firm texture.

Granny Smith
This green apple was discovered by Maria Smith (a granny) in Australia in the mid-19th century. It has a tart flavor and hard texture.

The Jonagold apple is a cross between the mellow Golden Delicious apple and the tart Jonathon apple. It is excellent eaten raw.

First discovered by John McIntosh in 1811, this is a very juicy, sweet apple with a tart tang. My personal favorite!

The Rome variety is a very smooth red apple with mildly tart, greenish-white flesh.

Whatcha Gonna Do With All Them Apples?

Take a bite out of life, I say! Eat a juicy, just-plucked apple.

Here's a tip for all you folks who still haven't acquired the taste of freshly juiced greens: throw in a couple of Fuji apples and that juice will sweeten right up.

For the ambitious, culinary inclined, here's some recipes to keep you busy:

Holiday Fruit Salsa

2 limes
2 Red or Yellow Delicious apples, unpeeled and chopped

2 large ripe peaches, unpeeled and finely chopped
2 large ripe red or purple plums, unpeeled and finely chopped
2 large ripe apricots, unpeeled and finely chopped
1 C seedless green grapes, finely chopped

stevia, agave nectar or raw honey to taste (your choice)

Grate 1/2 teaspoon lime peel into the juice of two limes. Add chopped fruits and mix well. Use sweetener of choice to taste. Makes about 7 cups.

Autumn Apple Grawnola

1 McIntosh apple grated
1 banana chopped

handful shredded coconut
1/4 C almonds, soaked & chopped

1/4 C sunflower sprouts

1 tsp local raw honey

dash of cinnamon or nutmeg
splash of almond milk or coconut water

Mix in a large bowl and enjoy!

Raw Applesauce

6 Jonagold apples, cores removed
1 lemon, juiced

8 dates

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Combine ingredients in a food processor. Serves 4.

Cinnamon Apple Walnut Cookies

pulp from 3 Fuji apples (enjoy a lovely glass of apple juice and save the pulp)
1 C soaked walnuts

1/8 C local raw honey

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Combine apple pulp, walnuts, raw honey and cinnamon in food processor until well blended. Roll into small balls and then flatten on teflex sheet. Lightly sprinkle with cinnamon. Dehydrate for 8-10 hours at 105 degrees.

Apple Kiwi Banana Fruit Leather

5 Gala apples
3 kiwis

1 banana

1 Tbsp local raw honey

Combine all ingredients in food processor until pureed. Pour mixture onto teflex sheet and spread evenly. Dehydrate for 12 hours at 105 degrees, or until able to easily peel off sheet. Store in an airtight container.

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