Newest Review: ... very nice, and I have heard that they can lead to nasty diseases. Not worth the risk. Apples are brilliant with or after meat or chees... more
Member Name: lellagrace
Advantages: Many health benefits
Disadvantages: Need preserving well
An apple a day keeps the doctor away - an old saying which this week has been announced to be true. Apples are one way of obtaining your five-a-day and have numerous health benefits, some of which have been included in the introduction to the review category.
It has long been the case that apple sauce accompanies rich food such as pork. This is because the apple helps aid digestion.
Apples help prevent constipation and are good for the teeth, as they supposedly help prevent gum disease.
Now is the time of year when apple trees in gardens and orchards will be laden with fruit. Also, if you are planning on planting an apple tree this is the time of year to do so.
Before buying your tree decide what variety of apples you want - will you be using the apples for eating or cooking? Do you have a favourite variety? The best thing to do is to read about the different kinds of apple trees, then go along to a reputable nursery or garden centre and make your choice.
It used to be that you needed two apple trees for them to be fruit bearing, but now there are self pollinating varieties. You can also obtain miniature apple trees which are idela for small gardens.
Be careful when selecting your tree that you know how big it is going to grow. Will it be suitable for your garden or will it grow too big?
In early spring the apple blossom will appear on the trees, a sure sign that summer is just around the corner. Once the blossom fades the fruit begins to set and you can then watch the apples forming.
From around the middle of September the apples should be ready to pick, depending on both the weather and on the variety. As this year has been very wet in the summer months, the fruit has developed well and many trees have an abundance of fruit.
If it is windy there will be a lot of windfalls, apples which have fallen off the tree.
The windfalls can be gathered up and used in cooking if they are slightly bruised.
Apples are ready to pick when you can hold the fruit in the palm of your hand and gently twist the stalk. If the apple breaks off easily, it is ripe.
There is something therapeutic about picking apples from your own tree and it is also good to know that your crop has not been sprayed with pesticides.
There are so many recipes you can use for apples, from apple pie to apple crumble, or baked apples stuffed with dates and cooked in the oven, stewed apples. All these make delicious desserts served with custard, cream or ice cream.
Or you can use the apples to flavour meat dishes, add a few slices of apples to pork chops and gently simmer in the oven.
Of course you can simple eat the apple raw, perfect for a snack or to take with a packed lunch. And a Yorkshire delicacy is to eat apple pie with a chunk of cheese!
Apples are used in jams and chutneys also.
When peeled, apples soon discolour so it is best to eat them as soon as possible. The peel itself is full of nutrients and if you plant the pips you can even grow another apple tree! Many an urban garden has an apple tree grown from a discarded apple core.
Apples should be stored in a cool place, preferably wrapped individually so as to prevent them bruising each other and to prevent rot spreading.
Lay them in layers in boxes or baskets, with a layer of paper (tissue paper is best) between each layer. Check regularly for signs of rot.
Years ago apples at the greengrocers were wrapped individually in tissue paper and placed in sturdy wooden boxes. Even now, the fruit is often separated by modern packaging materials, and the sturdy cardboard boxes that apples are packed in are great for using as home storage or for preparing for house removal.
If you have an apple tree in the garden and also have an open fire, then do save some of the branches after pruning. The smell of apple logs is delightful when burnt on an open fire, especially at Christmas time.
A review on apples would not be complete with a mention of that potent drink - apple cider! Or scrumpy as it is often known. A delicious lunch on a sunny autumn day, a glass of cool cider, bread and cheese and an apple to finish off with!
Summary: Apples are good for you