Delicious and crunchy, apples are one of the most popular fruits in the US, and many varieties are created nearby at the University of Minnesota. In fact, the honey crisp apple is a Minnesota University winner! It’s also quickly becoming a prized variety around the world for its well-balanced sweet-tart taste.
Fresh apples are available year-round, but apple season has arrived in Minnesota and you can easily find fresh locally grown apples at roadside stands now. When purchasing, choose fresh, bright, firm textured apples. Avoid those with bruises or a soft texture.
Fresh apples keep well at room temperature for about a week. Apples stored in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator will last an addition 2-3 weeks: wash apples just before eating.
So what about nutrition? An apple a day can help keep the doctor away because of its rich nutrient profile. Apples contain several phytonutrients and anti-oxidants, including quercetin, a flavonoid that has antihistamine and anti-inflammatory properties. Apples also contain vitamin C, B vitamins and small amounts of minerals. Be sure to eat the peel to get the maximum health benefits.
Once you’ve purchased some fresh tart apples, why not make this delicious recipe for Cinnamon Baked Apples? Adapted from Foot Steps to Health.
- 2 cups dried cranberries
- 1 ¼ cups coarsely chopped walnuts
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 6 tart apples (such as Gala, Macintosh or Granny Smith), cored and chopped
- 1 cup water
- In a large microwave-safe dish, combine all ingredients.
- Microwave on high for 20 minutes or until apples are soft, stirring occasionally.
- To bake in oven: Preheat oven to 350°F. Pour into a baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake about 45 minutes or until the apples are soft.
This simple recipe can be served warm or cold on ice cream, oatmeal, pancakes or enjoyed as is. And there you have it, A Nutritious Dish…in a matter of minutes! ™