Cooking with Apples
September is here and with it comes apple season. Fresh picked fruit, bursting with juice, crunchy and sweet, is the fruit of choice through November. Apples bought close to where they are grown are the very best. Be sure to visit an orchard or farm, and perhaps pick your own. The crisp autumn air and the fragrance of fresh apples makes for a wonderful experience.
Inside the house, the aroma of apples cooking beckons us into the kitchen. While a freshly baked apple pie in a crisp, flakey crust, is a favorite, that crust is loaded with fat and the filling is rich with sugar and butter. Is there a way to enjoy baked apple desserts without these drawbacks? The answer is, thanks to Calorie Count members and their creative ventures in cooking, we can have what we crave.
When cooking with apples it's important to choose the right variety. Some apples that are good for cooking are Cortland, Gravenstein, Granny Smith, Rhode Island Greening, Northwest Greening, and Rome. These apples hold their shape and flavor when cooked. Our favorite varieties for eating raw, such as Red or Yellow Delicious, Macoun, and Winesaps, don't hold up when cooked. There are newer apple varieties, such as Gala, Honey Crisp, Ginger Gold and Fuji, may be good for cooking, but are also all great for eating out of hand.
Choose firm apples, heavy for their size, with no bruises or broken skin. Once you have chosen your apples and bring them home, it's important to store them properly in a cool, dry place. If you don't have a cool cellar, the refrigerator crisper drawer keeps them well. Don't store them in the same drawer with other fruits, because the natural gases given off by apples cause other fruit to ripen more rapidly. By the way, those gases also cause cut flowers to turn brown, so don't store apples and cut flowers close to each other.
Just before you use them, scrub them gently under cool water to clean off any impurities from the air, from handling, and also any pesticide residue. Buying organic apples is one way to make sure there is no pesticide present.
If you cut apples, they will turn brown on the cut surfaces. To prevent this, sprinkle them with a little lemon juice, or float them in water with lemon juice.
Once again, we have articles from About.com to help us learn about apple selection and storage.
When we look at the nutritional profile of apples, we see that a 138 gram, 5 ounce apple provides 81 calories, nearly 15% of daily fiber, and about 13% of daily vitamin C. In addition, it gives us important antioxidants and flavenoids. Maybe the old saying, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away," is true.
With so many recipes to choose from, we have selected the ones with under 200 calories per serving. Calorie Count members are at their creative best with these dishes chosen from the Recipe Browser.
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