Full of fiber and easy to grab for a snack on the go, apples really do warrant the old adage about an apple a day keeping the doctor away. And with twenty-two Ela varieties to choose from – ranging in flavor from explosively sweet to tart and spicy — you don’t have to worry about flavor fatigue.
Apples are hardy and don’t require the TLC demanded by other fruits. For consumption within a week, simply leave them out of the sun on the counter. For use within several weeks, it’s best to store them in the refrigerator. Keep in mind that our late-harvest varieties such as Fuji, Braeburn and Granny Smith will last up to eight weeks if stored properly. Prior to long-term storage, first inspect apples and remove any with bruises. Then put them either in a refrigerator away from green peppers (apples can absorb odors) or in a cool garage in a cardboard box covered by a blanket or in a cooler. Place the box or cooler on the ground, not on a shelf, for extra warmth as temperatures dip. Apples kept in the freezer can be used in countless ways, such as in applesauce, pies, crisps and muffins. For tips on how to prepare them for the freezer, check this Universityof Georgia Cooperative Extension Servicepublication: http://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/uga/uga_freeze_fruit.pdf. For canning instructions, refer to www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/foodnut/09347.html.