ApplesSee more Fruits, Vegetables, Herbs
January 1 - December 31
August 15 - November 1
The apple is one of the most widely cultivated fruits in North America. Ontario apples rank among the best in the world because the three Great Lakes moderate temperatures provide warm sunny days and cool nights throughout the growing season.
Waterloo Region apples are available YEAR ROUND thanks to state-of-the-art storage and packing facilities that keep them crisp and fresh throughout the late winter months until well into the spring.
What to Look For
Look for firm apples, free of wrinkles and bruises. Remove any fruit from the container that are overripe, as they give off ethylene gas, which causes other apples to ripen too quickly and spoil (turns out it’s true what they say about “one bad apple.”) Overripe apples can be trimmed and used for pies or applesauce.
Cleaning and Preparation
For maximum nutrition, apples are best eaten raw with their skins on. Rinse apples well under cold water and rub with a cloth to dry. If apples are to be cooked and a softer consistency is required, peel the skin off the apples, core, and slice into desired size.
Apples should be stored in the refrigerator in their original plastic bag for up to one month. Larger quantities can be storied in a cool, dark, well ventilated place such as a fruit cellar or garage.
Apples contain malic and tartaric acids, which improve the digestibility of not only the apple itself but also other foods. Just one apple provides as much dietary fiber as a serving of bran cereal, as well as pectin, a soluble fiber that encourages the growth of beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract and reduces sugar in the blood. Apples also contain antioxidant phytonutrients that help fight the damaging effects of LDL (bad) cholesterol.
1 medium apple (3” in diameter or 180g) provides 95 calories, 0g fat, 25g carbohydrate, 4g dietary fiber and 0g protein.
How to Use
When it comes to cooking with apples, the possibilities are endless. Cakes, pies, cookies, muffins, breads, and ice cream toppings can of course be made with apples, but this sweet and tangy fruit is also great in savoury dishes. Apples are delicious in soups, on pizza, roasted with root vegetables, in turkey stuffing or baked atop pork chops.
Apples can be frozen and stored in the freezer. Peel, core, and slice apples, then submerge them in a salt water solution (1 L of water to ½ tsp of salt) for 15 minutes. Rinse and blanch in boiling water for 1 minute. Cool under running water and dry. To avoid clumps of frozen fruit, arrange slices in a single layer on trays and freeze until thoroughly frozen. Remove and quickly transfer to freezer bags for long-term freezer storage.
Common varieties in Ontario include Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Ida Red, Crispin, Northern Spy, Empire, and Macoun. Less common varieties include Fiesta, Spartan, Royal Gala, Honeycrisp, Snows, Jona-Gold, Talmon Sweet, Russet, Vista Bella, Yellow Harvest, Jersey Mac, Jona-Mac, Melba, Paula Red, St. Lawrence, and Ginger Gold, and more.