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A bowl of apples
We’re apple lovers to our core, smitten at first bite. There’s that sharp “crack!” as you break the crispy skin and then a mouthful of juicy, slightly grainy flesh. Although available year round, new season apples appear in the produce aisles from late summer through autumn. And that’s when they are at their crisp and crunchy, sweet and juicy best. Did you know that the plants that eventually produced apple trees were among the first flowering plants on earth evolving about 4.5 million years ago in Central Asia.

The wild apple (Malus sieversii), ancestor of most cultivars of the domesticated apple (M. domestica), is still producing tasty apples on the slopes of Central Asia’s Tian Shan mountains. Domestic apples are grown on every continent (apart from Antarctica), which is why they are so readily available to pack in lunch boxes; grate over muesli; slice into salads; braise with caraway and cabbage; serve with pork; and lovingly bake into muffins, pies and tarts.

Fruit bowl or fridge? Keep apples cold to prevent them from ripening further. Since most apples are picked at peak ripeness, additional “ripening” actually means “decaying”—and this process speeds up tenfold when the fruit is left at room temperature. But to enjoy that juicy, crisp, texture you need to store them in plastic bags in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator rather than in a fruit bowl on the bench. They will keep this way for many weeks. It is a dilemma if your approach is “if it’s healthy keep it handy”.

We think it’s a good idea to have the best of both. Keep most of the apples in the refrigerator and put a few in a small bowl to encourage the family to snack on good carbs rather than heading for the cookie jar.

So, while the so-called exotic super fruits are winning all the plaudits these days, Nicole Senior reckons that “apples are the everyday hero with good levels of fibre, vitamin C and potassium and the highest levels of antioxidants of all the commonly eaten (and more affordable) fruits”.

Apple nutrition facts
 Source: USDA