An Apple a Day: 10 Recipes and a Guide to This Fantastic Fruit

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Keeping the doctor away is reason enough to celebrate today’s apple-focused holiday — International Eat An Apple Day. There’s an explanation as to why this tasty fruit is able to keep you out of the doctor’s office: it’s incredibly healthy. To celebrate this popular fruit’s holiday, here’s a breakdown of its health benefits, the different varieties, and delicious apple-oriented recipes worth baking. If you aren’t already an apple fan, you certainly will be after reading this!

One of an apple’s most redeeming qualities is that you get plenty of nutrients but very few calories. EatingWell writes that a medium apple contains about 4 grams of fiber, 95 calories, and 14 percent of your recommended daily amount of vitamin C. It counts as one cup of fruit, which quickly gets you on your way to meeting your daily fruit quota, about 2 cups for adults. An apple a day can also help with weight loss. According to EatingWell, a recent study showed that women who ate one cup of dried apples daily for a year lost weight, while lowering their cholesterol.

The sweet, crisp, and crunchy fruit can also cut your risk of developing cancer. Best Health writes that scientists from the American Association for Cancer Research found that consuming apples can help reduce your risk of developing pancreatic cancer by up to 23 percent. Additionally, the compounds in apple peels can fight against cancer cells in the liver, colon, and breasts.

If you’re looking for a benefit that you can physically see, this one’s for you. Apples are great for your skin. Because it is rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, eating an apple can help prevent signs of aging and wrinkles, while giving your skin a healthy glow, per The Health Site. Eating an apple also helps to stimulate saliva production, which decreases cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth. This ensures your pearly whites stay in tip-top shape.

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Now that you’ve read about all of the amazing health benefits that are attached to apples, you’re probably ready to head out and stock up. Just remember: no two apple varieties taste the same. You can get apples that are sweet, crunchy, juicy, tart, or good for baking, depending on what your needs are. Here’s a look at ten of the most popular varieties, along with some amazing apple recipes to prepare.

1. Granny Smith

These apples are green, very tart, juicy, and quite versatile. Washington Apples recommends including them in pies and salads, or enjoying one by itself for a sweet snack. If you’re looking for a recipe that does this tart apple justice, then you will love Yankee’s recipe for Granny Smith apple brunch cake, which is loaded with tasty apples and warm, sweet cinnamon.

2. Gala

You’ll recognize this apple by its thin, red-orange skin. It has a semi-sweet flavor and is both crisp and juicy, writes Care2. You’ll love eating this apple by itself, using it as a sweet salad topping, or pairing it with your favorite mild cheeses. Or you can do as this PBS recipe suggests, and create a delicious, cinnamon-flavored baked apple dish.

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3. McIntosh

Typically a solid bright red shade, McIntosh apples have a rich-flavored flesh, which is sweet, crispy, juicy, and slightly perfumed. These apples are nice and fresh in autumn, making it a great time to eat them as a snack. During the rest of the year, you can use them to create amazing-tasting applesauce. Something to keep in mind: McIntosh apples collapse when baked whole or in pies, according to Care2. Get a little creative by trying this Wegmans recipe for McIntosh applesauce with raisins.

4. Red Delicious

With its mildly sweet flavor, it’s no wonder this is usually people’s go-to snacking apple. It’s bright red and has a satisfyingly crunchy texture to it. You can also use Red Delicious in salads for a light and fruity flavor. Put your apples to good use by preparing AllRecipes.com’s apple walnut salad with cranberry vinaigrette. Walnuts, apples, cranberries, and apples create a fresh salad that will taste just like an autumn salad should.

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5. Golden Delicious

These apples have a pale yellow or yellow-green hue and are considered to be an all-purpose apple, according to Washington Apples. It has a mild and sweet taste and is great for snacking, desserts, and salads. Put your Golden Delicious apples to the test by preparing Betty Crocker’s Golden Delicious apple crisp. You will enjoy every bite of this warm, sweet, and heavenly dessert.

6. Fuji

This large, super-sweet, slightly tart, and crisp apple is a fan favorite. It’s able to keep its texture when baked and also works great on salads. You’ll recognize this apple by its reddish-pink colors, according to Washington Apples. If you’ve got about 8 medium Fuji apples on hand, consider using them to make Bon Appetit’s recipe via Epicurious for Fuji apple tarte tatin. It creates an indulgently tasty, apple-flavored pastry.

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7. Cortland

This red-and-green-striped apple is crisp, juicy, and tastily tart. Interestingly, its white flesh is able to resist browning, making it a great all-purpose apple that works well in salads and fruit cups, per Care2Or you could skip the salad and head straight to dessert by making Cooks.com’s apple cheesecake.

8. Honeycrisp

Honeycrisp apples have a bright red and pale green outer skin, and an inner-flesh that is crisp and juicy. Washington Apples writes that this apple type has a sweet yet slightly tart flavor, making it great for salads, baking, cooking, or snacking. You can also prepare an amazing sangria using Honeycrisp. The apple’s sugary-sweet flavor balances perfectly with the spiced wine in CookingLight’s apple sangria recipe.

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9. Cameo

Juicy, crisp, and sweet, this apple also has a touch of tartness to it. It has a reddish, yellowish skin, and is believed to come from both Red and Yellow Delicious apples, according to Epicurious. This is a great one to eat raw, but also works well in baking. In fact, feel free to use Cameos in recipes that call for Red or Yellow Delicious apples. Cameos work wonderfully in this PCC Natural Markets recipe for caramel upside-down Cameo apple pie, a decadent dessert that calls for apples, hazelnuts, cranberries, and sweet seasonings.

10. Empire

This is a cross between a Red Delicious and McIntosh, according to Care2. It’s a medium-sized, red-on-yellow apple that is crisp, juicy, and sweet. This is arguably the best apple to eat raw, but also tastes wonderful in salads and fruit cups. Rachael Ray’s brussels sprouts salad with apples, pecans and manchego is a great way to use up your Empire apples. Pecans, cheese, apples, bacon, and Brussels sprouts create a hearty and full-flavored dinner dish.

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