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Apples
The apple can be traced back to the Romans and Egyptians who introduced them to Britain and finally to America. Today, Americans eat about 120 apples apiece each year. At least 50% of the domestic crop is used in items we use every day such as, applesauce, juice, jellies, pies and other popular desserts. (Wellness Encyclopedia of Food and Nutrition, 1992).




Benefits of Apples

Apples are a low caloric density food which means they have a concentration of water relative to their calorie content. This allows you to have a greater sense of fullness while taking in fewer calories. When you eat an apple before a meal, it's been shown that you'll consume less calories with your regular meal and are less likely to splurge on high carb desserts and other unhealthy food items.

A study was performed where overweight women were given one of three dietary supplements which were pears, apples, or oat cookies to determine their effect on blood glucose levels and weight loss. The women given the apple and pear supplements were found to have a greater decrease in blood glucose levels as well as greater weight loss than those supplemented with oat cookies.

Pectin is an indigestible soluble fiber that helps to promote good digestive health. It also promotes a sense of fullness, meaning you'll be less likely to snack for several hours after eating a high pectin food. Fortunately, apples are loaded with pectin meaning you're less likely to reach for that high calorie chocolate cake after eating your apple. As a bonus, foods high in pectin also appear to lower LDL cholesterol which can reduce your risk of heart disease.

Selection

Choose apples that are firm with no soft spots. Avoid apples that are discolored for their variety.

Storage

Keep apples in plastic bags in the refrigerator after purchasing to prevent further ripening. Apples should keep up to six weeks. However, check apples often and remove any apples that begin to decay or the others will do the same.

Preparation

Wash apples well with soap and rinse with water. Prepare apple dishes just before serving to minimize browning (oxidation). Protect cut apples from oxidation by dipping them into a solution of one part citrus juice and three parts water.

Varieties

There are about 2500 known varieties grown in the US. Thirty-six states grow them commercially with the following as top producers, WA, NY, MI, CA, PA, & VA. 56%of the 1999 crop was eaten as fresh fruit and 42% was processed.

Braeburn

Golden & Red Delicious
 
Fuji
 
Gala
 
Jonagold

Rome Beauty
 
Granny Smith
 
Winesap

McIntosh
Recipes

Spicy Apple-Filled Squash
Makes 4 servings.

Ingredients

1 acorn squash (about 1 lb.)
1 Golden Delicious apple, peeled, cored, and sliced
2 tsp. melted butter or margarine
2 tsp. brown sugar
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg

Dash ground cloves

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 1-quart baking dish. Halve squash and remove seeds; cut into quarters. Place quarters, skin side up, in dish and cover; bake 30 minutes. Meanwhile, in medium bowl, combine apple, butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
2. Turn cut sides of acorn squash up; top with apple mixture. Cover and bake 30 minutes longer or until apples are tender.
Variations:
Quick microwave version
Halve and seed squash; cut into quarters. Arrange quarters, cut side up, in microwave-safe baking dish. Microwave on high (100 percent) 6 to 7 minutes, rotating squash halfway through cooking time. Top squash with apple mixture, cover with vented plastic wrap and microwave on high 4 to 5 minutes or until apples are tender.

Nutrition information serving: Calories 88, Fat 3g, Carbohydrate 17g, Protein 1g, Fiber 3g, Sodium 24mg, Cholesterol, 0g.


Apples
Serving size 1  medium (154g)
Amounts Per Serving % Daily Value
Calories 80  
Calories from Fat 0 0
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 0mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 22g 7%
Dietary Fiber 5g 18%
Sugars 16g 
Protein 0g 
Vitamin A 2%
Vitamin C 8%
Calcium 0%
Iron 2%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.