It's All About the Apple 11

 How to Choose, Store, and Use Apples

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away”.  We all know that apples are healthy and cheap fruits we can consume every day. Its health benefits are already proven by research because of its nutritive properties. Today, let’s learn more about it and how we can maximize its usage.

There are a lot of apple varieties we can choose from like Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, Red Delicious, Fuji apples, Honeycrisp apples, Gala apples, Pink Lady apples, and the  Pinata.

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 Apple Storage Tips

  • Store your unwashed apples in the coldest part of the refrigerator.
  • Keeping your refrigerator at 33 to 35 degrees with some humidity can bring best results to reduce shriveling.
  • Don’t forget to sort your apples often and remove any damaged ones to use for juice or sauce. Remember that a bad apple can spoil the bunch!
  • Don’t store apples with strong-smelling foods like onions and garlic. Apples can easily take on the odor of these foods.
  • You’ll also want to keep apples away from potatoes. They release gas as they age which causes apples to spoil.
  • To store an entire box of apples, consider having a second refrigerator. You can also keep the box in a cool, dark place. Wrap each apple in a paper to provide additional protection and to delay ripening.

 Freezing Apples

Freezing it is another great way to enjoy the fruit immediately for smoothies, snacking, and more. There are two different methods you can use to freeze apples:

First, wash, peel, and core each apple. Use sweet apple varieties for best results. Next, cut the apple into even, thin slices. A medium apple yields 12 slices, while a large apple yields 16.

Brush the slices with a water-ascorbic acid mixture, or a lemon juice and water mixture. This prevents the fruit from turning brown.

Then, choose your freezing method: syrup pack, dry pack, or your own method.

Syrup Pack: Mix 2 cups of sugar in 3 cups of cold water in a pot and bring to a boil. Once the sugar dissolves, put the apple slices in the boiling syrup for 1 to 2 minutes. Drain then cool. Pack the apples into freezer safe bags. Remove excess air. Freeze. These slices will remain good for 6 or more months.

Dry Pack: Place the apple slices in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Freeze until solid. Remove and pack into freezer safe bags.

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 Ideas for Using Apples

  • Pair your favorite apple variety with the right wine and cheese
  • Toss a fresh apple (skin and all) with other fruits and your green of choice (like spinach or kale) in a blender for a quick and healthy breakfast smoothie
  • Use apples to make a beautiful and edible table centerpiece
  • Sweeten up a green salad with fresh apple slices
  • Use apples in creative snacks for your children to enjoy
  • Enjoy apple slices with your favorite “dip.” Peanut butter and Greek yogurt are two tasty and healthy choices.
  • Make homemade apple chips for a quick and easy snack
  • Roast apples with squash, onions, spices, and a veggie or two. Then, blend into a warm and filling soup.