The Big Apple
It’s very easy to get caught up in the new “superfood” frenzy, which is more like tricky marketing terminology than anything else; fruits and vegetables have been kicking the butts of diseases for ages. However, don’t forget about the old reliable, trusted apple, the original “superfood,” aka an apple a day keeps the doctor away.
The apple tree originated in Southwestern Asia, and is part of the Rose family, along with pears, peaches, plums, apricots, cherries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries. There are over 7,000 different types, and they are generally in season from the end of summer through early winter. Worldwide, China is the biggest producer (almost 50%) of this Vitamin C & fibrous packed fruit. In this country, Washington, New York, Michigan and California are our biggest producers. In several studies, whole apples have been shown to protect against lung cancer & asthma, while aiding in diabetes, constipation, lowering the risk of colon & breast cancers, Alzheimer’s, in addition to lowering cholesterol levels (sounds like an O.G. to me).
When selecting apples at the market, look for firm ones with no bruises, nicks or soft spots. The sweeter apples that are generally available at the market are Red, Golden, and Honeycrisp (my favorite). Braeburn and Fuji are slightly tart, while Granny Smith and Pippin are more tart.
- Apples can be used to ripen other fruits, when placed in a brown paper bag with them. Check every day for ripeness.
- To help retard the growth of spuds on potatoes, place apples in the potato bag with them.
- To prevent apples from turning brown when it is cut (oxidizing), sprinkle some lemon or citrus juice on the exposed parts.