CALS Wellness Committee tip: Embrace apple season

This article was written by Taiya Bach, teaching faculty II and a registered dietitian nutritionist with the UW–Department of Nutritional Sciences, and a member of the CALS Wellness Committee.

It is officially fall in Wisconsin, and that means apple-picking season has started! Don’t let the pumpkin and other fall treats overshadow the oh-so-versatile apple!

Apples are naturally high in Vitamin C and potassium, and they are considered a fiber-rich fruit. An average apple contains four grams of fiber, which is approximately 15% of the recommended daily fiber for an adult. Apples make a great low-calorie snack with around 80 calories for a medium-sized apple. They are easy to eat on the go, and with their carb and fiber content can help keep you satisfied.

Due to Wisconsin’s cold winters, apple season can be short, with the main harvest times being mid-August through the end of October. There are lots of apple orchards in and around the Madison area to visit with many different varieties, and options to pick your own. Many local farms also sell berries, grapes, squash, gourds, and pumpkins.  See last year’s CALS wellness committee article on a list of local orchards here.

If you have limited fridge space, there are options to store your apples. The best option is cold-storage in 35-40 degree Fahrenheit, however, a root cellar or a cool basement would work. Remove any apples with blemishes first (one rotten apple…as the saying goes), and you can try wrapping each apple in newspaper. Then store in shallow boxes in a dark cool place, and check in on them often.

As you pull your apples from storage, you can use them in all sorts of ways: from pie to applesauce, chutney to cider. They can be added to salads, baked in dishes savory and sweet!

Sunday evening, Sept. 25, marked the start of the Jewish New Year-Rosh Hashanah that will last through Tuesday, Sept. 27. Sliced apples and honey will grace dinner tables, as many will dip their slices in honey as both foods symbolize the hope for a sweet new year.

Wishing you and yours a Shana Tova! (a good year).

– Taiya