Few things say "autumn" more than apples. Well, maybe pumpkins—but they're not as much fun to pick or as easy to eat. And this is the height of apple-picking season in many parts of the country.
Since my daughters started college in a prime apple-growing region of Virginia, we've made apple picking a fall tradition. A few weeks ago we went to Carter Mountain Orchard in Charlottesville. It felt great to walk the hills of the orchard on a crisp fall day with family and friends. And the fruits of our labors—literally—were very rewarding. We came home with four bags filled with a variety of apples: Fujis, Winesaps, Golden Delicious and Jonagolds.
I like my apples crisp and tart and these all make me happy. Apples fresh from the orchard always seem tastier than ones that have languished long on the shelves. Plus, having a beautiful bowlful of apples on the table encourages me to eat them more often, which is great since they’re so good for me—and you!
Here are just a few reasons why you should celebrate National Apple Month.
Apples are a low-calorie snack. They’re only 95 calories. They also have plenty of fiber and water, which help you feel full longer. And, they have no fat or cholesterol and only a trace of sodium. They have some carbohydrates and sugar but, as fruits go, they’re on the lower end. Plus, the 4.4 grams of fiber will help your body process those sugars in a healthier way than if you pop a piece of candy in your mouth.
Apples help fight obesity. Recent findings from Food Chemistry show that the non-digestible compounds in apples—particularly green apples—can help prevent disorders associated with obesity.
Apples are part of a balanced diet. We all need to include plenty of fruits and vegetables in our daily diet. The amount of fruit you should eat daily varies depending on your age, gender and activity level. The USDA recommends 2 cups of fruit a day for women 19 to 30 years old and 1 ½ cups for women over 30; if you exercise regularly, you may want to eat more. A small apple or a cup of applesauce counts as one serving.
And please share your favorite apple recipes below.