Depending on variety of apple and region of Wisconsin, apples are harvested in mid-July through the fall, and if kept well in storage, locally-grown apples are available through the winter.
Apples don’t have fat, cholesterol, or sodium; and they’re full of antioxidants like pectin, among other essential nutrients. Do yourself a favor and keep the peel on: two-thirds of their fiber and many antioxidants are in the peel.
How to Select:
Select apples that are firm to the touch, with good aroma and no bruises or breaks in the skin. Consider that different apple varieties do well in different applications: crisp, sweet varieties like Honeycrisp and gala are great for eating raw, and while granny smith is tart, it holds up well in baking.
How to Store:
Apples do keep well, particularly in cool conditions (35-45 degrees Fahrenheit) and humidity 80-90 percent. So, the fridge is the place for them to be—and they’ll keep for quite some time.
How to Prepare:
Of course, apples are wonderful raw and out-of-hand, or added to salads; they can accompany any meal of the day. For breakfast, add an apple compote to yogurt, hot cereals or breads (waffles, pancakes, or muffins); at lunch, fold chunks into a Waldorf salad or layer apple slices into your deli sandwich; dinnertime requires a little more time, but adding apples to a bisque or cooking apples with spices to top chicken, pork, or fish is worth the effort. For something a little sweeter, bake apples on their own or stuff with nuts and dried fruit and oats. To preserve them, consider sauces and spreads, chutneys and relishes, and juices and ciders.
Recipe: Butternut Apple Bisque
Total Time: 45 minutes
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon butter or vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon curry powder (or more, to taste)
- 1 butternut squash, about 1 1/2 pounds, seeded, peeled, and cubed
- 1 Granny Smith apple, cored, peeled, and cubed
- 5 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
- Sea salt to taste
In a 4-quart pot, heat the butter or oil and sauté the onion over medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes.
Then, add curry powder and sauté 3 more minutes, being careful not to burn.
Next, add squash, apple, and vegetable stock to the pot and bring to a boil.
Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook 20-30 minutes, or until the squash is tender.
Puree the soup in a food processor or blender and salt to taste.
Tips & Notes:
For some extra spice, add 1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and chopped, to the pan at the same time as the onions, or add chopped candied ginger as a garnish before serving.
116 calories, 3 g. fat, 5 mg. cholesterol, 52 mg. sodium, 22 g. carbohydrate, 5 g. fiber, 2 g. protein
If you have an abundance of apples, check out Put ‘em Up! Fruit by Sherri Brooks Vinton, which has an abundance of ways to preserve: Apple and Pear Butter, Apple Cider, Apple Cider Vinegar, and Sauces, Leathers, Jellies, and Granolas. The book is available through the Hudson Public Library system.
What about you?
Sweet or savory–what are your favorite ways to use apples in your recipes? Join in the conversation over on our Facebook page!
Want to see more local, fresh produce in your fridge? Consider becoming an owner of the Hudson Grocery Cooperative—which will be a locally-owned, full-service grocery store that offers diverse food and product choices including organic, sustainable and regionally sourced options for our community.
Image and recipe credit: Welcome to the Table
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