When the leaves change into colorful golds and rich reds, and cooler weather calls for a light jacket and a warm mug, apples say “fall” to me. Versatile and flavorful, apples can be used in almost any type of dish—from crispy salads to delectable desserts and everything in between. As one of the most cultivated tree fruits throughout the world, Americans consume 45.5 pounds of apples per person per year, reports CNN.com. Now that’s a lot of fruit.
Supporting the old proverb “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” research has suggested that the fruit may reduce the risk of cancer—specifically, colon, prostate and lung varieties. In addition, it may help to ward off heart disease, aid in weight loss and control cholesterol. Packed with 5 grams of fiber, one apple supplies 20% of the daily recommendation from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and is fat-, sodium- and cholesterol-free. The peel, especially, is high in fiber content and antioxidants.
In the kitchen
Whether baked, stewed, dried or pureed, apples make great desserts, complement meat dishes or taste great alone. Ocean Spa & Fitness Center at Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel in Santa Monica, Calif., features a Peachy-pink Red Delicious Apple Refresher beverage. As it gets colder, sample some Curried Apple and Pear Soup at Westglow Resort & Spa in Blowing Rock, N.C., which features a variety of apples, as well as apple cider. The Grilled Apple Salad from Green Mountain at Fox Run in Ludlow, Vt., has grilled apple wedges and a sweet honey balsamic vinaigrette. For dessert, The Hills Health Ranch in 108 Mile Ranch, BC, Canada, serves Baked Apples in Phyllo Pastry With Papaya Sauce. Also, see the recipe Shrimp/Pork Satay With Green Apple Slaw, courtesy of Executive Chef Terry Conlan at Lake Austin Spa Resort in Austin, Texas.