Everyday Wellness: Amazing apples

October 18, 2012  

The apple, the age-old favorite. could become the next "super fruit."

Move over blueberries and pomegranates. In addition to being the perfect portable snack (no refrigeration or peeling required) apples are:

* Sodium-free.

* Fat-free.

* Cholesterol-free.

* A natural source of health-promoting antioxidants and other nutrients.

* Packed with soluble fiber -- the type that can lower bad cholesterol and help maintain steady blood sugar levels.

* A budget-friendly food, both for calories and your pocketbook.

Here are the core facts on some popular favorites, including each variety and its qualities and best uses:

Braeburn -- Firm and hard with a tangy-spicy flavor. Good for all types of uses.

Empire -- Crisp and juicy, sweet flavor. Also a multipurpose variety.

Fuji -- Firm and sweet. Named for Mount Fuji in Japan, where it was developed. Good for snacking and sauces. Stores very well.

Golden Delicious -- Firm and juicy. Best flavor may develop in cooking. Pies made with this variety need less sugar.

Granny Smith -- Hard and very tart. Adds a zing to salads. Delicious in sauces and pies.

Honey Crisp -- Crisp, juicy and sweet, but not too sweet. This new variety is great for snacking and salads and also stores well.

Jonagold -- Blend of Jonathan and Golden Delicious. Sweet-tart flavor makes it perfect for baking whole.

McIntosh -- Very aromatic and spicy. Soft flesh cooks down easy for sauces. Does not keep well.

Pink Lady -- One of the newest varieties on the market. Soft pink color, sweet, tangy and versatile.

Red Delicious -- Most well-known apple in the United States. Slightly firm flesh and sweet taste make it an ideal snack.

Rome Beauty -- Crisp, tart, with very thick skin. Best for baking whole, but not recommended for pies.

Most types of apples are now available year-round, but fall is the peak time to enjoy locally grown apples in their myriad varieties -- 2,500 different types are grown in the U.S.

Sources: U.S. Apple Association; Washington State University Cooperative Extension

How Purdue can help

Looking for apples? The Purdue Farmers Market (www.purdue.edu/physicalfacilities/farmersmarket.htm) runs through Oct. 25 and takes place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Centennial Mall between Wetherill Laboratory of Chemistry and Stanley Coulter Hall.

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