We are starting the new series “What’s in season”. I’ll be writing about a crop or a food that is in season that month. This month it’s apples! If you’d like to read about Why eat local and seasonal food? please click on the link.
There are more than 7000 varieties of apples in the world. The pick season for most of them is from August until March due to their excellent storage life.
Even though an apple a day might not keep the doctor away, the fruit has numerous health benefits:
- Apple contains a lot of pectin, a water-soluble fiber that is an excellent food for our microflora. It also promotes regularity. In addition, pectin binds to bile salts and dietary cholesterol which might improve your blood test results.
- The peel is high in antioxidants and flavonoids that may reduce the risk of certain cancers and heart disease. Eat the whole apple!
- The sour varieties of apples, stimulate secretion of digestive juices, and improve digestion.
- Apples contain a considerable amount of naturally present sugar. A small apple will have about 15 grams of carbs in it. Because of that people with blood sugar issues should eat apples in moderation. And maybe the best time for it would be after physical activity.
Apples require more pesticides to grow than almost any crop! And they’ve been making the top of the “dirty dozen” list on ewg.org for a decade. I highly recommend buying organic apples whenever possible. In addition, there is coat of petroleum based wax on them and it’s very hard to wash off.
What we can do with apples
- Juice or cider – not my favorite way of consuming apples. Even freshly squeezed juice loses most of the health benefits that the whole apple has and the sugar content only gets more concentrated.
- Apple sauce – in addition to being a delicious snack it has some great applications as a healing food, particularly in digestive distress.
- Apple cider vinegar – if you ferment the unpasteurized apple cider at room temperature for several weeks you’ll end up with vinegar. The best vinegar to buy is organic, unfiltered and unpasteurized. Apple cider vinegar can be used for salad dressings, condiments and pickling. It is also used extensively as medicine. Here is an example, Fire Cider Oxymel is an easy home-made immune system booster for the cold and flu season ahead.