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Fall for Apples

Shine Up a Cortland, Grab a Macoun…This Favorite Fruit 
Has a Lot to Offer 

Kiwi, guava, cactus pears, acai…the longsuffering apple can get lost in the cornucopia of today’s stylish fruit choices. It’s easy to pick up a bag during apple-picking season, cook up a crisp, and forget this favorite until next year. But the list of reasons to keep apples on your year-round list is long. The apple has a reputation for warding off the doctor for a reason. Besides being universally liked, it is easy to eat and transport, it is readily available, and its nutritional benefit is rock solid.

Mom’s the Word

The apple’s iconic history is unparalleled in our culture, with its penchant for pie, and its ability to conjure wholesome visions of an apron-clad Mom. It’s nutritional history is similarly deep: famed SuperfoodRx author Dr. Steven Pratt, who helped bring the advantages of antioxidant-rich wild blueberries to the public, also gave the superfood nod to apples for their disease-preventing, anti-aging nutrients. They can’t be ignored for those interested in fighting cancer, heart disease, and Type II diabetes.

So, is the everyday apple prescription tired advice? Not a chance. Here’s why:

  • They have fiber.
  • They are rich in Vitamin C.
  • They have excellent antioxidant properties.
  • They contain a powerful dose of polyphenols.
  • They are rich in potassium.
  • They are satisfyingly high in fiber (whenever possible, eat the skin).
  • They are fat free, sodium free & cholesterol free.

Tastes Worth Telling, William

Red Delicious, Northern Spy…the variety of apples adds to the fruit’s allure. Whether you cherish sweetness or crispness, you’ve probably got your favorite. There are hundreds of apple varieties, and Maine provides an excellent region for sampling many of them. Visit a local orchard and start grazing to identify your favorite. The Maine Pomological Society (that’s right – pomology is the study of pome fruit, and apples are the most commonly known pome)  provides a run-down of local varieties you’re likely to encounter.

The time is now for enjoying the essence of apples, and if you live here in Maine, it’s practically an apple fair a day. Check the Portland Press Herald for a listing of apple festivals galore, including this weekend’s Apple Pumpkin Festival in Livermore Falls, and Downeast Heirloom Apple Week at the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor taking place in October.

Cider: Apples to Apples 

It’s truly the essence of the apple. The enthusiasm for the array of apple cider blends for its connoisseurs is no less than that of oenophiles for their wine. Cider, the naturally sweet juice from apples, is particularly beloved in the Northeast. It serves as the impetus for many fairs, festivals and gatherings that focus on this drinkable treat. Cider is a unique seasonal pleasure that differs from apple juice because of its raw, unfiltered nature. (In cider, the pulp and sediment that is otherwise taken away in regular apple juice is preserved.) It may come as no surprise that cider contains all the health benefits of apples. For those who pasteurize, the process does little to affect its high nutrition.

Can you make your own? You bet. Pickyourown.com tempts those who want to try their hand at their own personal blend. The required equipment can be purchased without too much expenditure, and the result can be enjoyed, or canned for future use.

Slim Pickings

Take full advantage this fall when local apples are abundant in the Northeast – and keep them on your radar throughout the year for nutritional benefit in a figure-saving package. If you are looking for ways to bite the big apple, go au naturel for unadulterated advantage, or take your pick from these apple ideas when your diet allows for indulgence.

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