Apple trees produce thousands of varieties of apples and grow in almost every corner of the globe from Japan to Madagascar to South Africa, New Zealand, Russia, China, England, France and across much of North America. In Ontario, our major apple-producing areas along the shores of Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Lake Huron and Georgian Bay produce about 15 varieties.
An “apple a day” is an old saying that nutritionists still tell us is a good idea. All apples are very high in pectin – a soluble fibre necessary for good digestive health. Apples are also a good source of Vitamin C and are packed with flavonoids, which research suggests may assist with reducing the risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, asthma, and Type-2 diabetes.
- McIntosh: deep red color with green background – great for cooking.
- Red Delicious: deep red, elongated shape and five bumps on bottom – sweet for eating.
- Empire: dark red – a cross between McIntosh and Red Delicious
- Idared: bright red with greenish-yellow patches – great for pies and applesauce.
- Cortland, bright red with yellow cheek – great for snacking.
- Crispin or Mutsu: greenish-yellow exterior with an orange blush – great for eating.
- Golden Delicious: yellow or greenish-yellow exterior – sweet and soft for eating, best for drying.
- Spartan: dark red skin – good for eating and cooking, cooks up nice and soft.
- Northern Spy, red-striped skin with green color – number one baking apple.
Awesome Apple Ideas!
- When making baked goods, substitute half the cooking oil with applesauce – fewer calories and no difference in taste.
- Chopped apples are delicious in tuna salad
- Add grated apples to coleslaw
- Thinly slice apples in your next grilled cheese sandwich (delicious with aged cheddar or brie)
- Storing cakes and baked treats with half an apple, keeps the cake fresh longer.
- Pick a firm, crisp apple like a Granny Smith or Crispin
- Core, slice in thick rounds or wedges.
- Brush with butter.
- Grill 2 to 4 minutes per side to warm.
- Brush with cinnamon and butter
- Serve with ice cream, custard, Greek yogurt or alongside meat such as pork.
Baked Apples – A great dessert for one or many!
- Dig the core out of any apple, being careful not to cut through to the other end.
- Stuff empty core with a mixture of butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, oatmeal, raisins.
- Place in a baking dish with no cover
- Bake 350 for 15 minutes or microwave for 2-3 minutes, until soft.