By Katie Davenport MS, RD, LD (Clinical Nutrition)
Can you believe it’s apple season, already?! Apples are ready for picking from August through October in Maine and many orchards are now open! There’s an astounding 7,500 varieties of apples available around the world and about 100 of those are grown in Maine. Top “picks” (haha, get it?) are McIntosh, Cortland, Macoun, and Honeycrisp.
Regardless of the variety you choose, apples are a nutritious choice any time of the year. Apples are mainly made up of carbohydrates and water. They also contain a high amount of fiber, most of which is found in the peel. Fiber is beneficial for the gut, it helps keep blood sugar levels steady, and it may lower blood cholesterol levels. In addition, they are a great source of the antioxidant vitamin C. We’ve heard the phrase “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” and there’s some truth to the expression. Vitamin C may help protect against some cancers, heart and eye diseases, and the common cold. It’s worth thinking about how much vitamin C we consume as part of our diet year-round, especially now since the school year has started, and cold and flu season won’t be far behind.
Try one of these recipes to incorporate more apples into your eating pattern this apple season!
- Pair a whole, fresh apple with 1-2 tablespoons of nut butter, or a cheese stick, for a balanced snack
- Add fresh apple slices to a salad for extra crunch and sweetness
- Add apple slices to a grilled cheese sandwich (tip: honeycrisp apples pair well with gouda and gala apples pair well with cheddar!)
- Get apples at breakfast with this apple pie overnight oats recipe
- Warm up as the weather gets cooler with butternut squash apple soup
- For a snack or dessert that’s fun for both kids and adults, try apple “nachos”