Apples To Apples

Cortland Apples

I like dividing fall season into two different types of people — apple cinnamon or pumpkin spice. Sure, many of us like both, but in reality, it’s a hard lean to one side or the other. Apple pie or pumpkin pie, apple cider or pumpkin spice latte, apple picking or pumpkin picking . . . actually, I draw a tie there. We’re ripe into picking apples off those trees (maybe some of them don’t even make it into the basket) and it’s actually like picking health benefits directly off the branches.

To give you a quick overview, a single apple has under 100 calories, a fifth of daily soluble fiber for heart and digestive health, some potassium, vitamin C for antioxidants, and boron for bone health. Additionally, apples strengthen the immune system and hydrate the body. However, most of these benefits actually lie on the fruit’s skin — so peeling it off isn’t the healthiest decision. The skin contains the fiber, the vitamin C, vitamin A, and contains quercetin, which aids in breathing and memory. For optimal goodness, apples should always be organic and farm fresh, otherwise the skin has a whole bunch of spray on it that you don’t need.

Luckily, New York is the home state to more apple varieties than anywhere else in the U.S., with approximately 700 growers and more than 10 million trees. That’s around 500 million apple pies annually. Better get to baking.

One of the best types of apples to eat, that’s grown right in our own backyard, is a red delicious, due to its deep red skin. It claims the highest level of antioxidants and compounds of polyphenols (antioxidants) in the apple kingdom. Best of all, now through October is the most delicious time of all to eat them.

Pick your own apples at The Milk Pail and Hank’s PumpkinTown in Water Mill, Breeze Hill Farm & Preserve in Peconic, Wickham Fruit Farm in Cutchogue, Harbes Family Farm in Mattituck, Lewin Farms in Calverton, or Woodside Orchards’ Jamesport orchard.

For all things New York apples, I recommend heading to to learn all about the flavor chart of each variety.

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