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Fall in love with fall apples

By Elizabeth Hall, MS, RDN, LDN Food City Registered Dietitian • Aug 29, 2018 at 4:00 AM

It’s back-to-school time! Apples often sit on teachers’ desks throughout the school year. Plus, they are known for keeping the doctor away due to their powerful nutrition punch. We grow more than 2,500 varieties of apples in the United States and over 7,500 varieties worldwide. No matter your favorite kind, apples are a quick, healthy snack, side dish or garnish that we eat all year long but especially during the fall season.

When picking out an apple at the grocery store, choose firm, shiny, smooth-skinned apples with intact stems. The fruit should smell fresh, not musty. Refrigerate apples in a plastic bag away from strong-odored foods and enjoy within three weeks of purchasing. Choose different colors for slightly different nutrients and taste. Green apples are typically more tart, while red apples have a sweet taste. Everyone can find an apple type that they enjoy!

Apples are a good source of vitamin C, plus they are fat free and sodium free. As apples change form, the fiber content may change. For example, most of the fiber in an apple comes from the peel and pulp, so the more you remove, the more fiber you lose. A medium apple with the peel contains 4.4 grams of fiber, compared to 2.1 grams for a medium apple without the peel. Applesauce has 2.7 grams in 1 cup of applesauce and 0.5 grams in 1 cup of apple juice. Enjoy the health benefits of applesauce and apple juice but for the most fiber, go straight to the source — the entire apple!

Apples can be eaten alone or sliced and sprinkled with cinnamon. Pair apples with low-fat cheese or natural peanut butter for an easy, balanced snack. Cut apples are the perfect addition to oatmeal, sweet breads or muffins. Apples don’t just go with sweet dishes, but savory dishes as well. Stew or sauté apples with roasted pork or add to hot sandwiches with brie. Do you have leftover apples you don’t know what to do with? Try making your own apple butter in the crockpot! Leave the skin on and puree after cooking for extra fiber.

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