Chomping into a fresh apple is a seasonal treat that is hard to beat. On average, a person consumes 120 apples or 40 pounds of apples each year. Apples are a great source of folic acid and a moderate source of several other nutrients. One average-size apple supplies about 80 calories. Apples are rich in fiber, which helps to keep blood cholesterol levels in balance.
Apples have been called "nature's toothbrush." The fibrous texture of apples helps to make them a natural detergent for teeth when brushing is not possible.
The fall season is an economical time to buy apples in large quantities, such as by the half or whole bushel. It is best to store apples in the refrigerator. A properly harvested apple that is kept at room temperature becomes overripe and mealy within a few days. The same apple that is held at 34 degrees Fahrenheit in the crisper compartment of a refrigerator will remain in good condition for four to six months. An alternative to storing apples in the crisper is to place apples in polyethylene bags with a few air holes and store in the refrigerator.
People from Minnesota are fortunate to have access to several high quality apple varieties. The following list identifies several unique Minnesota apple varieties: Zesta ripens in late August. Chestnut Crab matures early, is small and has a wonderful flavor. Sweet 16 ripens in September and has a good storage life. It is very sweet and is similar to cherry candy.
Honeycrisp is a premier Minnesota eating apple. It has a sweet, tart flavor and unusually crisp texture, which makes it great for eating, sauce or pies. It is an apple that can be stored for up to seven months in the refrigerator. Haralson is a Minnesota favorite with a tart flavor, good storage and excellent cooking qualities. Regent is a high quality apple with a balance of sweet and tart flavor with a firm, crisp texture and good storage quality.
(Source: University of Minnesota Extension Service-Cass and Crow Wing counties.)
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