There are roughly two dozen different varieties of apples that grow well in Utah.
And, there are so many ways to enjoy applies as part of your healthy diet.
Some people love the crunch when they bite into a whole apples and others like to add apples to meals, snacks and dessert.
You can eat apples raw or cooked, and they are always a healthy choice.
They are low in calories, about 95 for a medium apple. Plus, apples are really satisfying to eat because they contain soluble fiber that helps us feel full for longer periods of time.
Apples also have Vitamin C and a molecule called a flavonoid. These are beneficial for health because they reduce inflammation that can contribute the development of diseases. To get as many flavonoids and vitamin C as possible be sure to eat the peel.
When choosing which apples to buy or eat think about what you want to use them for.
The most popular apples to eat raw are honey crisp, Fuji, and pink lady These have a mild, sweet flavor and a crisp crunch.
For cooking the best choices are Granny Smiths, Braeburns, Jonagold, and Johnathan. These tend to have a little more tart flavor and hold their shape well when softened. This is all based on preference however, most apples can be used for eating and baking/cooking.
2 medium apples
1 Tbsp. melted butter
2 Tbsp. graham cracker crumbs
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. sugar
Slice apples and place them in a bowl. Drizzle the apples with the melted butter. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar and coat apples well. Place in a single layer on a microwave safe plate.
Microwave on high for 1 minute 30 seconds. Let sit for 1 minute. Microwave again for 1 minute 30 seconds. Test for doneness (add 30 seconds to a minute if needed), let cool slightly. sprinkle apples with graham cracker crumbs.
Baking instructions: spread apples in a single layer on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes until apples are soft and starting to brown.
Spinach Apple Salad
8 ounces fresh spinach
1 large apple (or 2 smaller apples)
1/2 c. pecans
1/2 c. mayonnaise
1/4 c. white sugar
3 Tbsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. poppy seeds
Wash and dry spinach, unless you purchased a prewashed spinach.
Break off stems and break the leaves into smaller pieces, place these in a large bowl.
Wash and cut the apples into small pieces. Place in bowl with spinach.
Roughly chop the pecans and place in a bowl with apples and spinach.
In a smaller bowl, add mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar. Whisk together until smooth. Add poppy seeds and mix well.
Drizzle desired amount of dressing over the salad and toss to coat.
Serve immediately and enjoy!
Apples are easy to store for extended amounts of time. They will stay fresh for a few weeks at room temperature, and a few months at refrigerated temperatures.
Choose apples that have a firm shape and are free of bruises and blemishes to the flesh or skin. Try to find apples with the stem still intact. This ensures that there aren't any hidden cracks or cuts that could contribute to spoilage.
If you have extra apples and won't be able to eat them before they start to deteriorate, you could use try home canning, dehydrating, or freeze drying your apples. Specifics on how to preserve apples safely can be found on the USU Preserve the Harvest website, extension.usu.edu/preserve-the-harvest.
To learn more about how to grow apples in Utah, please visit garden.usu.edu.