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An Apple A Day for Health

August 4, 2014

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAApples are a healthy treat any time but during National Apple Week it is an even better time to thank America’s apple farmers. Their land, trees and labor provide an abundance not only for eating but also in other forms such as applesauce, apple cider, apple butter and in a wide array of homemade and commercially made baked goods.

Apple growing is a long term commitment and although the main crop comes but once per year the work load is longer than that. Old trees must occasionally be eliminated, and new trees planted. Savvy farmers may find ways to market the wood from the old trees removed from production.

Many things in farming are increasingly automated but pickers still harvest the apple crop. Wearing an apron full of apples, perched on a ladder in a tree is a challenge. Many pay by the piece so how much you make depends on how hard you want to work. One person might pick a box pallet while someone else does more in the same amount of time. Some start picking as soon as the dew is off the fruit, and while speed is important so is careful handling of the crop. Dropping the apples roughly from apron to shipping container can mean bruised and damaged fruit, which can change the price the grower gets and that $2-3 might not sound like a great deal until it’s multiplied by 1000 boxes!

Handling gets the crop to the consumer in better shape too, whether that consumer is at the on farm fruit stand or their local grocery store. There are different strains for different uses.

For example, fresh eating apples might be McIntosh, Jonathan, Red or Golden Delicious, Stayman Winesap or Franklin. These can also be used for other things while the Lodi or Rome beauty are popular for pies or applesauce. Apple cider is often a blend of up to four types of apples. .

Here’s 7 ways to use apples this week!

Caramel Apple Bars

Squash & apple bake

Apple pie

Spiced Chicken Breasts w/ Apple-Jalapeno Chutney

Apple dumplings

Frosted apple squares

Apple crisp

There are literally hundreds of recipes that would allow making a different apple dish every day. Some add applesauce to brownies or spice cake batter. Others use carmel apple as a dessert with or without ice cream. It’s easier than ever to get ‘an apple a day’!

One more bonus! From Drink Your Own Garden by Judity Glover.

Appleade

1 3/4 pounds sweet, juicy apples

1 lemon

2 pints water

sugar to taste

Chop the apples, including core and peel, taking care not to lose any juice.

Grate or peel the lemon rind (avoiding the white pith) and put into a heat resistant jug with the apple pieces.

Cover with the boiling water, then add the juice of the lemon and sweeten to individual taste.

Leave until cold, strain and serve in glasses with cracked ice and a few sprigs of fresh mint.

Did you know

1 apple has 130 calories, offering low calorie and 7% of daily potassium needed for health as well as 20% of dietary fiber needed.
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