Have you ever been to Minnesota? I have, several times, all of them during the winter months when the ground is frozen, the snow is measured in feet, and the howling winds permeate every layer of clothing. So, it was with great surprise when I learned that my favorite apple – the Honeycrisp – originated in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

A ‘Designer’ Apple

A most diverse fruit, apples come in different colors, tastes and, to a degree, shapes. The Honeycrisp variety is known as a “designer” apple because of its engineered origins. Development of the variety began in the 1960s at the University of Minnesota, with the apple not hitting store shelves until 1991.

Good raw and for baking or making applesauce, the Honeycrisp has a sweet taste, distinct juiciness and snap — according to an article on this specific apple variety in, believe it or not, Esquire Magazine. And an apple-variety database points out that “the flesh is quite light, the crunch is surprisingly soft, nothing like the hard crisp crunch of a good Golden Delicious.”

Health Benefits of Honeycrisp Apples

Did you know apples are a nutrient powerhouse, loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants? Nutrition varies somewhat among varieties, but a Honeycrisp apple will provide your body with:

  • About 80 calories, 22 grams of carbohydrates, and 5 grams of fiber.
  • 8% of the recommended daily intake (RDI) of vitamin C, and 2% of the RDI of both vitamin A and Iron.

What’s more, apples can help you regulate your digestive system and are thought to promote cardiovascular health (yes, it’s true: an apple a day does indeed help keep the doctor away). There are even more reasons experts advocate eating apples, including weight loss, lowered risk of diabetes and cancer, and the promotion of bone and brain health. Of course, to get all the potential benefits, it’s best to eat the apple’s skin as well as its flesh.

Organic or Non-Organic?

As with most grocery items, organic is better, but know that nearly 25% of organically grown American apples are sold as non-organic due to organic farmers who choose not to be certified by the National Organic Board, according to a USDA report.

Be warned, though, that apples rank #4 on the “Dirty Dozen” list for the highest levels of pesticide residues among produce. Reports indicate rinsing an apple does not adequately remove pesticide residue, making organic a better choice overall, but not foolproof as even organic pesticides may have harmful effects. You always have the option to peel an apple as the most effective way to remove pesticide residue, but then you lose some of the apple’s nutrients (but not too much). But eating a peeled apple is better than not eating an apple at all. Just be sure to eat apples one way or another, whether peeled or not.

Apple Slaw Recipe

1 cup(s) yogurt, plain\
1/4 cup(s) apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon(s) agave syrup
1 tablespoon(s) celery seed
1 tablespoon(s) Dijon mustard
1 medium cabbage, cored and shredded
4 large Organic Honeycrisp Apple
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste

Directions:

Whisk together the yogurt, cider vinegar, agave nectar, celery seed and Dijon mustard until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Core the cabbage: Cut the bottom of the cabbage to create a flat surface. Place the cabbage stem down on a cutting board. Slice it in half from top to bottom. Slice it again to create quarters. Turn the cabbage on its side and remove the stem and tough core from each wedge by cutting diagonally across to remove the solid parts.

Shred the cabbage: Turn it so the flat surface is on the cutting board. Slice the cabbage into thin strips.

Peel and core the apples. Shred them on a box grater (using the large holes).

Combine the cabbage and apples in a large bowl and pour the dressing over it. Mix well.

Add more agave nectar if you prefer a sweeter slaw, or more vinegar if you prefer a tangier slaw.

 

The Pickled Beet incorporates honeycrisps and other apple varieties into many delicious and healthy recipes for our Miami clients. We work with individuals, couples, and families to find meals that are flavorful, healthy, and best fuel the body no matter what nutritional requirements might be part of the equation. Contact us for a free consultation.

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