Move over pumpkin spice, there’s another fall flavor in town! October is National Apple Month, and we’re celebrating by bringing you the nutrition facts plus a great apple recipe round-up to help you incorporate these nutrition powerhouses.
We’ve all heard the saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” In reality, no one food is a magic bullet, but apples have a lot going for them.
Flavor & Texture
There are a wide variety of apples, with new ones coming to market regularly. At last count, there were over 200 types of apples being grown in the United States! Each type of apple has a unique flavor profile. People prefer the tarter varieties, like Granny Smith, for baking.
Apple texture depends on freshness and how it has been stored. While apples are available in stores year-round, they have the ultimate crispy crunch when they are in season. In Missouri and Illinois, apple season starts in August and runs through November. Apples keep for 1-2 months in the refrigerator. If you have fridge space, now is a great time to stock up!
Apple Nutrient Profile
Apples are a good source of fiber, vitamin C, and phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are unique compounds produced by plants, many of which have protective health effects. Vitamin C and phytochemicals are most concentrated in the apple’s peel, so give your fruit a good rinse and eat the entire thing.
Did you know that most adults only get about half of the USDA’s recommended intake of 30g of dietary fiber a day? Dietary fiber provides a host of benefits including improved gut health (apples are a source of prebiotic fibers which feed good bacteria in the gut), cardiovascular protection, reduced risk of diabetes, and reduced risk of some types of cancers. One medium apple contains about 4g of fiber, providing a serious boost toward meeting USDA guidelines!
Ages and Stages
Introduce apples to infants when solids are introduced. However, raw apples are a common choking hazard for infants and toddlers. Feeding professionals recommend offering 6- to 9-month-olds apple halves that have been peeled, cored, and cooked. For full recommendations for each age group through 24 months, check out this great resource from the experts at Solid Starts.
Ways to Enjoy Apples
There may be as many ways to enjoy apples as there are apple varieties!
Diced apples are a great add-in to oatmeal and overnight oats. For variety, microwave diced apples in a covered dish with a splash of water for 30-90 seconds. Enjoy these quick, cooked apples to your oatmeal, or sprinkle with cinnamon for an easy side dish.
On the savory side, add diced apples to chicken or turkey salad, or combine with cabbage in this delicious fruit and nut slaw! This cooked red cabbage with apples is a simple side dish for fall and winter meals.
Finally, we have apple roll-ups. This simple recipe combines apples with whole grains and nut butter, making a great lunch-box addition or a hearty snack for kids and adults alike!Print
- Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Food Features: Apples [Internet]. The Nutrition Source. 2013 [cited 2022 Oct 10]. Available from: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/apples/
- Solid Starts. Apple [Internet]. 2022 [cited 2022 Oct 10]. Available from: https://solidstarts.com/foods/apple/