Tuesday, September 29, 2020

APPLES!!!! One of the reasons I love Autumn!

Feel the soft supple skin. Is it firm to the touch or does it have some give? Smell the sweet fragrance. Gently bring it up to your mouth, touch it to your lips, open wide and one healthy bite into the sweet flesh until the juice starts to slide down your hand. Slowly pull it away. Savor the taste as you slowly chew on the crisp flesh of that delicious Winesap apple. The ever sensual apple. 

There are over 7,500 apple varieties, so many more that I remember from my childhood. Many exciting varietals are actually hybrids – Jonagold is a cross between Jonathan and Golden Delicious, Empire is a cross between the Red Delicious and McIntosh, and the Mitsu (Crispin) is a cross between Golden Delicious and Indu. Who knew? 

Apples can be a combination of sweet and tart and a spectrum from crisp to mealy. Ever have a spicy apple? Try a Winesap. Or the newest apple from Washington State that was developed the old fashioned way - COSMIC CRISP. A cross between the Honeycrisp and Enterprise. It's juicy sweet, and tart. Learn a little more from this NPR clip.

Apples are primarily a late summer/fall harvest fruit but do harvest into November especially for winter varieties like Mitsu, Fuji, Northern Spy, Red Delicious, and Granny Smith. When choosing the right apple, make sure there are no bruises. The ones you get in a regular supermarket are the prettiest of the bunch often waxed to perfection. Don't be afraid of the ones that are a little less shiny and raw looking. Less tampering with mother nature.

Also note that apples fall into the dirty dozen from the Environmental Working Group - which means, organic is best for apples. They retain and or use a lot of pesticides in the crop. General rule of thumb is to store in a dark cool place. Ever use an apple in a paper bag to ripen other fruits and vegetables? Well it is a great trick when you need them to ripen faster. Apples give off ethylene gas which speeds the ripening. So use caution leaving apples in your fruit crisper in the fridge. Keep the apple in a plastic bag in the drawer. 

Apples are a good source of fiber and vitamin C. 

Which apples do you like to use for what purpose? And if you really feel adventurous – Why? Please comment on That’s Vegetarian’s Blog below!

Apple Slaw  
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp honey
2 tsp oil - Olive, Walnut, Avocado
1/2 tsp table salt
2 cups cabbage - Napa, savoy, purple, green varieties; thinly sliced or chopped
1 cup celery, thinly sliced 
1 cup carrot, shredded
2 medium tart apples - Granny Smith, Cortland, pink lady, empire, McIntosh, Braeburn, Jonathan; cored and coarsely grated or shredded
2 medium shallots, minced
1/3 cup dried cranberries or cherries, chopped
1/8 tsp black pepper

First, make the dressing. In a large bowl add apple cider vinegar, honey, oil, and salt. Whisk together for  30 seconds to a minute until well combined. 
Add cabbage, celery, apples, shallots, and dried fruit. Toss. Season with pepper.
Prep time: 15 minutes

Apple Varieties and Uses.