Fall in Ohio means that there are many wonderful sights to enjoy and foods to prepare? What’s your family’s favorite? In our home, we enjoy many apple recipes. Did you know that Ohio produces about 40 different varieties of apples?
Whether you are buying apples at the grocery store, visiting the nearby orchard, or picking apples from your backyard, choose the apple variety that meets your needs. Varieties that are good for freezing include: Golden Delicious, Rome Beauty, Stayman, Jonathan and Granny Smith. Varieties that are good for making applesauce and apple butter include: Golden Delicious, Rome Beauty, Stayman, Jonathan, Gravenstein and McIntosh. Red Delicious apples are best eaten fresh. They do not freeze or cook well. If you are not sure which variety is the best to use, ask or check out the chart at Ohio Apples (http://www.ohioapples.com/ohio_apples_useschart.htm).
When selecting your apples, remember that their flavor is best when they are at the peak of maturity. To judge the maturity of apples, don’t go by size. Choose apples that:
· Are free of defects, such as bruises, skin breaks and decayed spots.
· Russeting, or little brown spots on the skin of the apple, does not affect quality.
· Look for firm (hard) apples since soft apples tend to have a mealy texture and overripe flavor.
Cortland and Jonagold are two good all around apples to use while Gala and Fuji are good for eating raw or in salads. Rome and Lodi are good to use in sauces or baking. Try others and see what your family favorites are. Here are some additional tips:
*Store them in the refrigerator 32 to 35 degrees is ideal in a perforated, plastic bag
*Wash in cool water before eating or using.
*1 pound of apples is about 3 medium size apples. An apple (about 2 ½ inches) has about 75 calories gives us vitamin C, potassium and fiber.
*Try making some homemade applesauce by using 4-5 apples (peeled and diced). Add ½ cup water and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon and cook over medium heat for about 30 minutes.
*Apples make a great snack when combined with peanut butter for a quick energy boost or try them with yogurt as a dip. Or add them to your favorite salad for extra crunch and color.
Making Apple Butter is another family favorite of ours and if you’d like to try it in a crock pot, check out our web site at http://go.osu.edu/applebutter.