Diane's Dish on... Apples

Here's a look at some of the health benefits of apples, tips on cooking with them, and other fun facts
How Cider Is Pressed

A visit to New York's Mead Orchards to learn the ins and outs of making fresh apple cider



Even though spring has officially started, right now apples are still abundant at our local farmers' markets and grocery stores!

In the fall, regular trips to the local orchard are part of the Henderiks routine and we love it! After picking the apples we stop for cider, then head home to brainstorm apple creations. Some favorites are: applesauce, baked apples over ice cream, apple crisp, apple butter, apple pie, roasted potatoes with apples and onions, caramelized apples, dried apples, and apple-walnut muffins.

Apples are one of America's most popular fruits. They are sweet, tasty, portable, kid-friendly, low-calorie, inexpensive, and healthy. They pretty much justify the saying "an apple a day keeps the doctor away!"

Click here to see The Ultimate Guide to Apples

Nutritional Noshes

  • Apples are fat-, sodium-, and cholesterol-free.
  • Want to drop a few pounds? Try eating an apple about a half-hour before your meal. Apples are filling so you will most likely eat less.
  • Eat the whole apple and nothing but the whole apple! Nearly half of the vitamin C is just underneath the skin and the skin contains much of the insoluble fiber and flavor. 
  • Apples are filled with phytonutrients and antioxidants that help lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and may fight cancer. 
  • Pick an apple for vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C, E, and K; folate and niacin; and minerals potassium, phosphorus, calcium, manganese, magnesium, iron, and zinc.
  • Apples are not at the top of the list when it comes to fiber (about 5 grams each) but a substance called "pectin" found in apples works with other substances in the apple to offer the kind of health benefits you find in really high-fiber foods. In other words, the pectin kicks it up a disease-prevention notch.
  • A medium-sized apple has about 90 calories.

Culinary Corner

  • Apples at room temperature ripen six to 10 times faster than if they were refrigerated. The best apple storage temperature is around 40 degrees.
  • Rule of thumb: red and Golden Delicious are very sweet, Braeburn and Fuji apples are slightly tart, and Pippin and Granny Smith apples are really tart.
  • Rub cut apples with lemon juice to keep slices from turning brown.
  • One pound of apples is about three medium-sized apples.  
  • One apple yields about 1 cup, chopped finely.
  • One pound of apples, cored and sliced yields about 4 ½ cups.
  • One 9-inch pie requires about 2 pounds of apples.
  • Jazz up a raw apple with cinnamon, mint, vanilla, or a thin slice of sharp cheese.
  • Sauté diced apples with onions for a delicious addition to sandwiches, chutney, potatoes, or any roasted meat.

Click here to see the Easy Baked Apples Recipe

Fun Facts

  • Apples are a member of the rose family.
  • The apple is the official state fruit of Rhode Island, New York, Washington, and West Virginia, and the apple blossom is the official state flower of Arkansas and Michigan.
  • The apple tree originally came from Eastern Europe and Southwestern Asia.
  • Planting an apple seed from a particular apple will not produce a tree of that same variety. 
  • It takes energy from 50 leaves to produce one apple.
  • In the biblical story of Adam and Eve there is actually no mention that the forbidden fruit in was actually an apple. 
  • Johnny Appleseed's name is really John Chapman.

How Do You Like These Apples?

"Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree."

Martin Luther

"It is remarkable how closely the history of the apple tree is connected with that of man."

Henry David Thoreau

"I've never seen such a bunch of apple-eaters." 

J.D. Salinger

"With an apple I will astonish Paris."

Paul Cezanne

"Autumn seemed to arrive suddenly that year. The morning of the first September was crisp and golden as an apple..." 

J.K. Rowling

"Statistics are to baseball what a flaky crust is to Mom's apple pie."

Harry Reasoner


Diane Henderiks is a personal chef and culinary nutritionist on a mission to teach America how to cook and eat well. Follow her on Twitter @dhenderiks, "Like" Diane on Facebook, or visit her website.