Authored by Jenna Carter, UMN Public Health Graduate Student
Did you know that there are over twenty varieties of locally grown apples to choose from in Minnesota!? And many are now available at the Mills City Farmers Market!
When choosing your apples, look for those that are rich in color (this varies depending on the variety) and avoid those that have several puncture wounds and bruises. If your bag of apples does contain a couple with bruises or punctures, don’t throw them away! Just eat them quickly because they won’t store as long. When storing your apples, it is best to keep them in the refrigerator where they will last ten times longer than those stored at room temperature. For long term storage, such as freezing, drying and canning, please visit the University of Minnesota Extension for more information and directions (http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/horticulture/DG1111.html).
Freshly picked apples are not only delicious and great for snacking, they are also extremely healthy! Apples are a great source of soluble and insoluble fiber, are loaded with key nutrients, and are low in calories. Soluble fiber helps prevent cholesterol from building up in the blood vessels which leads to a decreased risk of heart disease. Insoluble fiber helps move foods through the digestive system quickly. The higher fiber content also helps you feel fuller longer, which is another reason an apple is a great snack! Apples contain many nutrients including vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium, potassium, thiamine, riboflavin and phosphorus. However, to get the full nutritional benefit from apples, be sure to eat the skin!