Quality ingredients are critical for making any recipe a success. In some cases, an ingredient can have several different varieties. When this is the case, choosing the right variety is also critical. There are so many varieties of apples now that it can be hard to choose the right one!
I'm a believer that incorporating apples into your daily habits and recipes is a smart idea. Not only because apples are delicious, but because the health benefits! Apples offer an incredible range of benefits for both you long and short-term health. So, first things first...
Are Apples Good for You?
They say that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, and for good reason! Apples are the original superfood, and I make sure each member of our family eats at least one apple per day.
My rule for my son is “fruit before snacks.” If you’re hungry, grab a piece of fruit! Then, if you’re still hungry, go ahead and grab something else. This rule has worked well for my Kindergartner, to the point where he now says “I’ll get an apple first because I want to be healthy!”
Most folks know that apples are high in fiber and vitamins. But, incorporating apples into your diet helps so many factors of your health. Apples:
- Help to fight asthma through lung-protecting antioxidants
- Promote a healthy immune system and lower inflammation through flavonoids in the peel.
- Promote heart health through fiber and polyphenols. These lower blood pressure and stroke risk.
- Lessen your risk of cancer and promote healthy bone mass . The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties in apples both contribute to this.
- Promote a healthy brain! The juice in apples can help to reduce the decline of the neurotransmitters in your brain.
- Promote a healthy gut through prebiotic properties.
Adding apples into your daily diet is just the smart thing to do! But, how do you choose the right one?
How to Choose The Right Apple for Your Recipes:
So, we know that apples are SO GOOD for your health. But, that still doesn’t help us choose the right one! When you’re at the grocery store and you have 10+ apple varieties staring you in the face, which one do you choose? I like to ask myself a few questions:
Are you going to eat the apple or bake with it?
To me, this is the single most important question. Water content and firmness play a big factor in whether an apple is good for baking, or good for eating.
Apples That Are Great For Baking
An apple that is good for baking needs to have some firmness to it. You don’t want it to turn into a pile of mush! For baking, I like the following apples:
Pazazz, my favorite all-purpose apple, is GREAT for eating! But, it also shines when used in recipes! Pazazz apples are delicious for baking into your pies or cobblers. I also like to mix them raw with green salads. It's my choice apple for fried cinnamon apple or for roasting with winter squashes.
Apples That Are Great For Eating
If you’re choosing apples to eat immediately or serve raw in a recipe, choose an apple that is in season at the time. My favorite apples for eating are:
- Pazazz: MY FAVORITE! Available November through August at Hy-Vee and Aldi, if you're local to Kansas City!
- Honeycrisp: Available September through April from US growers
- First Kiss: Available during peak apple season, August through September, from Minnesota growers.
Sweet or Tart?
It’s up to you to decide how sweet or tart your apples are. It’s your personal preference! For me, I prefer a middle-of-the-road apple, a sweet apple with a bit of sour flavor! My son and husband LOVE a good sour apple, so I try to choose an apple we can all agree on.
Pazazz apples are an awesome variety that balance sweet and tart flavors very well that my family loves. If you’re local to Missouri and Kansas, Pazazz apples are available at Hy-Vee and Aldi!
If sweet is your thing, choose a Gala apple! If super tart is your preference, try out a First Kiss apple when they’re available. Or, Honeycrisp is always a favorite that everyone can agree on.
Crispy or Creamy?
Apples also range from crispy to creamy, and again, this is your preference! I like an apple with a TON of crunch when I bite into it, so again, Pazazz is a great all-around apple for me.
I’m excited to share more apple recipes with you in the coming months! In the meantime, like Honeybear Brands on Facebook and follow them on Instagram for more awesome Pazazz apple recipes and ideas, and check out Hy-Vee or Aldi to try some of my favorite Pazazz apples for yourself!
This post was sponsored by Honeybear Brands, but all opinions remain my own.