According to a survey from the Produce Marketing Association, apples are the most popular fruit in America, tied with bananas. And it’s no wonder: they’re available year-round, they’re relatively inexpensive, and they’re delicious.
Because they’re so common, it can be easy to forget that apples pack a powerful nutritional punch as well.
With all that said, picking the perfect apple, be it at the grocery store, farmer’s market, or straight off the tree, can be a bit tricky. This becomes especially important from midsummer to mid-autumn — as apple lovers know, this is the peak season, generally speaking, for apples in America.
Here’s some advice for effective apple picking. These may apply to picking at the orchard or in the produce department; use them in whatever circumstance makes sense for you. Either way, they’re sure to help you find the ripest of these delicious dynamos.
Before we jump into picking, it makes sense to remember the several qualities that make apples extremely healthy — something we may sometimes take for granted.
- The average apple has about four grams of fiber or about 20 percent of the daily recommended intake for women and 13 percent for men. Because fiber helps you feel fuller, apples can be a part of a healthy weight loss plan.
- Apples are high in polyphenols, a potent antioxidant that has a range of health benefits, including potentially helping to prevent certain types of cancer
- They’ve been shown to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
- The average apple contains about eight milligrams of vitamin C, or roughly 8% of the daily recommended intake.
- They also are a good source of potassium, which has a range of health benefits in the body.
Some of these tips may be familiar, while others may be less intuitive. All will help you get the crisp, sweet treat we all hope for when we’re pulling apples off the branches or shelves.
- Look for apples that are firm to the touch. This ensures ripeness, crispness. and sweetness or, depending on the variety, that perfect hint of tartness.
- When picking apples off the tree, gently twist them off rather than pulling or yanking. This keeps the stem intact, which in turn helps the apple stay fresher longer.
- Apples bruise fairly easily, so be sure not to pinch or pierce the skin unless you’re ready to eat it right then and there! A good rule of thumb is to handle apples as if you were handling an egg.
- Ideally, apples should be free of bruising or discoloration before you select them; these can affect the flavor of the apple and can mean they won’t last as long.
- There are literally thousands of different apple varieties. Obviously, not all of these will be readily available in every orchard or grocery store, but it does highlight the importance of understanding your local varieties. Get to know the distinct coloration of your favorite kinds and use these to help you further determine which apples are ripe and ready to pick. For example, a good Granny Smith apple should be bright green in color, while a gala apple is orange or mottled red and yellow.
Although they’re typically available throughout the year in grocery stores, there’s no time like the summer and autumn for picking apples at the peak of their ripeness. If you’re lucky enough to have an apple orchard near where you live, now’s the time to renew your apple-picking tradition or start a new one.
With these tips, you’ll be an apple-picking expert in no time. Whether you want to bake a pie, make your own juice, or just bite into a fresh piece of fruit right off the tree, these simple but important techniques will guide you to the ideal apple.
BlissMark provides information regarding health, wellness, and beauty. The information within this article is not intended to be medical advice. Before starting any diet or exercise routine, consult your physician. If you don’t have a primary care physician, the United States Health & Human Services department has a free online tool that can help you locate a clinic in your area. We are not medical professionals, have not verified or vetted any programs, and in no way intend our content to be anything more than informative and inspiring.