Fresh Pick Friday – Apples

When most people think about September, apples come to mind.  They are associated with the start of the school year and the beginning of fall.  They are also associated with good health.  As the saying goes, “an apple a day, keeps the doctor away.”  In truth, it’s not quite that simple, but apples do provide nutritional benefits.  They are an excellent source of soluble fibre and even provide a modest amount of Vitamin C.

Apples

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, the Okanagan produces 98% of BC’s apples, or just under 30% of all Canadian apples.

Season
The apple season in BC is typically from August through October with most apples making their way to market unprocessed.  Apple juice and apple sauce are common processed foods made from apples.  There are 15 common varieties commercially grown in BC, although you can find other varieties at your local Farmers Market.

Purchasing Apples
Many producers keep apples in long-term storage that uses a modified atmosphere (they change the composition of atmospheric gases) to extend the apples’ shelf-life.  That’s why you can find a nice crisp apple at the grocery store in the middle of January.  Look for apples that are firm, with smooth skin and no bruising.  If you have ever seen an apple tree in someone’s back yard you probably know that apples don’t always grow perfectly.  Don’t shy away from a less than perfect apple, just know that it might not keep for as long.  I like to bake with the “ugly” ones.

How to Store Apples
Apples like the cold – plain and simple.  They will ripen ten times faster if kept out at room temperature.  A little bit of humidity helps too, so keep them in your crisper with a damp paper towel.  Here’s a good article on storing apples at home from The Kitchn.

What to Make with Apples
Is there anything better than warm apple pie with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream?  Here’s a few for you to try:

Do you prefer to eat your apples whole or use them in baking?

One Comment Add yours

  1. James Thornley says:

    Don’t miss the big Apple Festival at UBC this fall – October 18th and 19th – 70 types! See you there Mel!

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