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Feature Articles: Food, Fitness and Cooking and Produce


Apples on treeTime to pick Missouri apples

Tammy Roberts, MS, RD, LD, Nutrition and Health Education Specialist, Bates County, University of Missouri Extension


There is nothing tastier than an apple picked right off the tree. In Missouri, that’s an easy thing to do during the fall season — the state produces about 1 million bushels of apples every year.


One apple has only about 80 calories and has around four grams of fiber. Apples can be canned, frozen or dried. They can be made into apple butter, jelly, juice, apple sauce and delicious homemade pie! 


Jonathan, Red Delicious and Golden Delicious are the three most commonly grown apples in Missouri, but the state also grows others like Gala, Fuji, Wine sap and Rome Beauty.


The Jonathan apple has been grown in Missouri for more than 150 years and is the most widely grown apple in the state. Harvest for Jonathan apples usually starts at the beginning of September. Jonathans are crisp, juicy and tart, and are considered the best all-purpose apple. They are great to cook or bake with or just eaten fresh for a snack.


Golden Delicious apples are juicy but mild flavored. They are naturally sweet so they’re great to eat right off the tree. They are also good for pies, apple sauce and fresh salads. In Missouri, they are ready to pick around the end of September.


Red Delicious apples are usually harvested in mid-September and taste best when eaten whole.


Apples that ripen in late summer do not keep as long as apples harvested in the fall. In Missouri, Fuji is the apple that keeps the best. If stored properly, it will retain its crisp juicy texture for several months.


A good apple should be bright, crisp and juicy. Fresh apples need to be stored in a cool place (about 32 to 40 degrees F) to help keep them fresh and prevent rotting. Be careful not to get below 32 degrees because freezing will deteriorate the apples quickly.


So go ahead and have that Missouri-grown apple a day!


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Last update: Tuesday, September 06, 2016