‘An apple a day’ not so cliché

Published 10:32 am Wednesday, September 28, 2016

There is undoubtedly a lot of truth in the old cliché’ “An apple a day.”

Each variety of apple has its own appeal and distinct flavor and adds to an appetizer, main course, salad, bread or dessert.

Apples are also adaptable for preservation and can be canned, frozen, dried, made into juice, jelly, preserves, butter and vinegar.

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Apples are found year round, but they are at their best from early summer to December. A medium sized apple, about 2-1/2 inches in diameter, has only about 75 calories and provides bulk in the diet for the proper function of the body’s digestive and regulatory systems. The apple is low in sodium and fairly high in potassium, making it an excellent natural snack.

When buying apples, look for firm, crisp, well-colored fruit.

Avoid those with shriveled skins, bruises, worm holes and decayed spots.

Always handle apples gently to avoid causing bruises, blemishes or other defects.

Apples soften very quickly when they are stored at room temperature. In a few days, they’ll lose a lot of their vitamins and crunch in the bargain. Lower their temperatures, and they’ll last a good deal longer.You should store your apples in the crisper or in a covered container in the refrigerator, where they will keep for up to three months if they were freshly picked to begin with. Wash them if you wish before refrigerating; doing so does not shorten the storage time.

For the apples you buy after the season is over, three weeks is likely to be the maximum storage period. These apples have already been stored for a while and may have been shipped a long distance from the orchard where they were grown.

Eating apples are generally the sweetest ones and are delicious used raw in salads.Cooking apples have a tart-sweet flavor that doesn’t fade with heat. Any tasty apple can be turned into applesauce, but for pies, eating or cooking, select varieties that will stay firm after cooking.

Red Delicious is a good choice for eating out of hand and combining with other foods.

Rome is a classic choice for baking because they retain shape when cooked.

Winesap are great for eating.

McIntosh, Jonathan and Cortland varieties are slightly to moderately tart and good for cooking.

Golden Delicious are sweet and crisp, and good eaten raw or for cooking

Whatever variety you try, be sure to eat an apple a day for health.

For more information on Kentucky Apples, contact the Clark County Extension Office at 744-4682 or visit us on the web at http://ces.ca.uky.edu/clark.