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Apple Days Are Here Again

By Allison Burch, October 13, 2012  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Allison Burch

There is something so satisfying about crunching into a sweet apple with just a twist of tartness, and they have a regular spot in our fridge at home and in our lunchboxes (the toddler’s and the grownups’). Apples are available year-round, but they’re at their best during the fall. Don’t miss this year’s crop – they’re especially delicious!

While Galas and Fujis are my go-to apples, each year I see a new variety that I’ve never tried before and have to taste. No matter which variety you choose, look for firm, fragrant, bruise-free fruit. 

Some apples taste wonderful out of hand and others have softer textures ideal for baking. Here are some tips for selecting just what you want, plus recipes to try..

Excellent for Eating

Braeburn – crisp, firm, sweet, tart and spicy

Cameo – sweet-tart, firm

Fuji – extra crisp, sweet-tart

Gala – mildly sweet, fragrant, thin skinned

Gingergold – mildly sweet, similar to Golden Delicious

Honeycrisp – crisp, sweet, great fragrance

Pink Lady brand – firm, crisp, sweet-tart

Kale Waldorf Salad Le Gruyere Salad with Apples and Vinaigrette

Apple Slices with Goat Cheese and Pistachios Raw Apple Crisp

Best for Baking

Pippin – crisp, tart, sweet finish

Jonagold – Jonathan/Golden Delicious hybrid, tart, crisp, juicy

Rome – grainy, soft, juicy, sweet

Winesap – firm, slightly tart, sweet-sour contrast

Apples are used extensively in baking because they blend so well with the flavors of vanilla, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, mace, cardamom and clove.

Sweet Potato Apple Cake

More Delicious Ways to Cook with Apples

Much more than snacks and pie filling, apples complement pork, squash and bitter greens and offset a range of cheeses, particularly cow’s milk cheeses, pungent washed rind cheeses and many blue cheeses. And they offer a delicious flavor contrast when paired with savories like rosemary, sage and lemon.

Take a look at these appealing recipes and browse over one hundred more in our recipe collection

Winter Squash and Apple Soup

Apple and Cheddar Whole Wheat Quesadillas

Chard with Bacon and Apple

Cranberry and Apple Stuffed Roasted Pork Spiced Apple-Pear Butter

Storing

Apples ripen quickly at room temperature, but they'll be fine for a day or two on the counter. Otherwise, store them in a bag in your refrigerator's crisper. As apples ripen, they give off ethylene gas, which shortens the storage life of some other vegetables, so keep them in their own compartment. For the same reason, you can use apples to ripen avocados and bananas more quickly by placing them in a paper bag together. To extend peak apple enjoyment for any variety (except Golden Delicious and McIntosh), slice and freeze in a single layer on a sheet tray, then transfer to a freezer bag and use in baking or sauces.

Nutrition Information

Apples are fiber champs and deliver quercetin, a potent flavonoid. Like many other fruits, they're low in calories and free of fat, sodium and cholesterol — a pretty perfect snack in a naturally portable package.

What’s your favorite type of apple and how do you eat it?

Category: Produce, Food & Recipes

 

16 Comments

Comments

Selby says ...
Honey crisp and pippin luv them sliced with Nutella or cookie butter, I also love them in my baked oatmeal squares delish on the go breakfast
10/13/2012 4:39:34 PM CDT
Carol Winegardner says ...
What apple has the lowest amount of sugar ? Love apples.
10/13/2012 5:01:39 PM CDT
Jan Pedersen says ...
A question: do you have fresh unpasteurized cider?
10/14/2012 4:47:49 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@JAN - Our products vary between regions and store locations so I would suggest reaching out to your local store. They can let you know if they carry a fresh unpasteurized cider. You can find their contact info at http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/list.
10/16/2012 10:18:57 AM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@CAROL - I was able to speak with our Healthy Eating Registered Dietitian and she said that the USDA (which is the most trusted nutrition info) doesn’t break fruit down by variety. They lump them all together (apple, raw, with skin) so there is not a legit way to determine which has the lowest sugar. You can find information about apples on their website at http://fnic.nal.usda.gov/food-composition/food-fyi/apples.
10/17/2012 2:37:31 PM CDT
jerri green says ...
i love honey crisps the best. they are great in this apple breakfast cake - http://www.cooking4carnivores.com/2010/10/cake-for-breakfast.html
10/17/2012 10:44:01 PM CDT
Rita says ...
I see what apples are best for eating and baking but what about making your own applesauce?
10/18/2012 12:31:21 PM CDT
Megan says ...
@RITA - Great question! Here are some varieties that are great for applesauce: Pippin, Rhode Island Greening, McIntosh, Elstar, Cortland, Fuji, Gala, Gravenstein. Thanks!
10/19/2012 9:45:08 AM CDT
Bruce Greinke says ...
Do you have fresh unpasteurized apple juice or cider?
10/22/2012 3:20:14 PM CDT
j greenfield says ...
Why do you not recommend the slice and freeze method for McIntosh?
10/23/2012 2:25:19 PM CDT
Dr. Michael Myers says ...
Ever since I was a kid back in Indiana, my favorite apple has been the Jonathan. I tried many others, but nothing else comes close. To me the worst apple is the Delicious, which is flat and flavorless. I usually eat apples straight, though sometimes I run them through the juicer to make homemade apple cider, which tastes just like the cider we used to get back home. What I would like to know is why it is getting so hard to find Jonathan apples, while the others are prevalent all the time?
10/23/2012 2:57:04 PM CDT
Susan Snyder says ...
I love to bite into a lovely Red Delicious or a Gala and savour the "crisp and fresh"! To me, apples are the epitome of wonderful, portable food. Love them!
10/23/2012 3:08:31 PM CDT
BJ says ...
You've just mentioned a tiny fraction of the apple varieties and you missed most of the better ones in favor of big commercial production bland ones. Try: Jonathon (rather than Jonagold), McIntosh, Gravenstein, Spartan, Winesap, Mountaineer, Empire, Spitzenberg. There are several dozen of others that are at least as worthwhile as the ones mentioned.
10/23/2012 3:20:07 PM CDT
Kathleen Fennessey says ...
Are you going to get Stayman apples they are a Va apple, and one can never get them around here.
11/05/2012 8:43:33 AM CST
Vicki says ...
Icing or frosting is the creamy topping added to baked goods, such as cakes and cupcakes for decorating purposes. They have been originated in Philadelphia so these cakes are called Philadelphia Cheese Cakes. While working with these edible sheets make sure to complete doing the printing job in advance and then store them in a zip-loc bag.
12/15/2012 2:23:02 PM CST
MONA NEKHILAN says ...
My favorite apple the yellow once.. I ate them in so many different ways, as fresh once, cooked, with saled & desert. . I do enjiy them any time..
11/02/2013 6:36:23 AM CDT