Apples are certainly popular- ranking among the top three fruits produced around the world. They are easy to store and transport, and as a result, are typically available year- round in the U.S.A.Thirty-six states grow apples commercially. Apples come in all shades of red, green and yellow. Apple varieties range in size from a little bigger than a cherry, to as large as grapefruit.
There are many ways to apples in a safe and delicious way. There are about 2,500 varieties grown in the US. Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Fuij and Granny Smith are typically found year round. Apples are great as a snack or cut up in a fresh salad. Many varieties are great for making cooked products. Apples used in baking include Braeburn, Gala, Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, Honeycrisp, and Honey Gold. Apples used in pies include Golden Delicious, Braeburn, Jonagold, Jonathan, and Granny Smith.
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), you should wash raw fruits and vegetables very well before you peel, cut, eat or cook with them. Wash your hands with hot soapy water before preparing food. Do not wash produce with soaps or detergents; this may leave residue on produce that is not safe to consume. Use clean potable cold water to wash items. After washing, dry, with clean paper towel. This can remove more bacteria. Don’t forget that homegrown, farmers market, and grocery store fruits and vegetables should all be washed as well.
Apples are very nutritious. Apples are fat, cholesterol, and sodium free and a good source of fiber (soluble and insoluble) and vitamin C. It is a good idea to eat apples with their skin. Almost half of the vitamin C content is just underneath the skin. Eating the skin also increases insoluble fiber content. One medium 2 ½ inch apple, fresh, raw, and with skin has approximately 81 calories. Nutritional value will vary depending on variety and size.
Does eating an apple every day really keep the doctor away?
Of all the tree fruit crops, apples and peaches are best adapted to Oklahoma conditions. Apples bloom later and are less susceptible to the spring frosts that are common in our state. Oklahoma apples are also susceptible to damage from insects and fungus, so they aren’t always the perfect apples you might be accustomed to seeing in the grocery store. However, they are great for making applesauce and pies or for drying.
To prevent cut fruits from turning brown, coat them with an acidic juice such as lemon, orange or pineapple juice. Or use a commercial antidarkening preparation with fruits, such as Fruit Fresh®, and follow the manufacturer’s directions. Another method to prevent browning is to mix them with acidic fruits like oranges, tangerines, grapefruit, and other citrus fruit or pineapple. Prepare the acidic fruit(s) first. Then, cut the other fruits, mixing them within the acidic fruit(s) as you prepare them.
More apple fun facts:
2,500 varieties of apples are grown in the United States. 7,500 varieties of apples are grown throughout the world.
In 2021 the apple crop totaled just over 10.5 billion pounds, down from 5 million pounds from 2019. Apples harvested from an average tree can fill 20 boxes that weigh 42 pounds each.
Apples are the second most valuable fruit grown in the United States. Oranges are first. The world’s top apple producers are China, United States, Turkey, Poland and Italy.
A bushel of apples weighs about 42 pounds and will yield 20-24 quarts of applesauce. Archeologists have found evidence that humans have been enjoying apples since at least 6500 B.C.
A peck of apples weighs 10.5 pounds. The top producing states are Washington, New York, Michigan, Pennsylvania, California, and Virginia.