Apples have been cultivated by humanity for thousands of years. Our careful dedication to this plant has resulted in over 7,500 known cultivars of apples which differ in size, flavor and consistency. Apple preferences seem to vary from culture to culture; North Americans and Europeans tend to prefer slightly bitter, subacid apples while extremely sweet, non-acidic apples are popular throughout Asia and India. No matter which variety you enjoy, apples offer a multitude of health benefits in a portable package.
The old phrase "An apple a day keeps the doctor away’ may have some merit. Apples contain falvonoids, a photochemical that has been found to reduce the risk of colon, prostate and lung cancers. Apple juice can help lower your risk for heart disease, as its been shown to slow cholesterol oxidization and plaque build-up in the body. Apples are also an excellent source of fiber, which can aid in weight management and digestion.
Thankfully, apples are plentiful this time of year. They’re easily added to any autumn dish and can be juiced, baked, turned into cider or vinegar or even eaten off the tree. Try our Crockpot Baked Apples for an easy dessert that’s sure to become a family tradition. This recipe for Apple Cranberry Sauce makes a great topping for warm pancakes or oatmeal. If you prefer the simplicity of raw apples, you can still experience a multitude of flavors! Here is a guide to some common apple varieties so that you can fully enjoy the season’s abundance: