October 1, 2018

Living Loving Local for October: Apples!


Enjoyed all over the world, and grown in a variety of climates, the apple has a special place in the Canadian diet as a mainstay, all year round, fruit source. It also has a special place in our folklore, medicine and history, (think Adam and Eve, “an apple a day keeps the Doctor away,” Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs). With over 30 varieties grown in Canada, there is plenty of fresh, crisp, sweet apple flavour to be had!

Canadian Statistics:

  • Canada has approx. 18,000 hectares of land dedicated to commercial apple farming. With farm gate sales of $160 500 000 and almost 500,000 tonnes of fruit.
  • Apples are commercially grown in only 6 of our 13 Provinces and Territories: BC, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI.
  • The Okanagan Valley is the main apple growing region in BC and in Ontario apples are most found along the shoreline of the great lakes.

Canadian Varieties: How many have you tried?

  • Ambrosia
  • Belmac
  • Braeburn
  • Cortland
  • Crimson Beauty
  • Crispin (Mutsu)
  • Duchess
  • Elstar
  • Eden
  • Empire
  • Fuji
  • Ginger Gold
  • Golden Delicious
  • Golden Russet
  • Granny Smith
  • Honeycrisp
  • Jersey Mac
  • Jonagold
  • Jona Mac
  • Lobo
  • Lodi
  • McIntosh
  • Melba
  • Milton
  • Milwaukee
  • Newtown
  • Northern Spy
  • Paula Red
  • Red Delicious
  • Red Rome
  • Royal Gala
  • Sandow
  • Shamrock
  • Sinta
  • Spartan
  • SuperMac
  • Sunrise
  • Vista Bella
  • Yellow Transparent

Health Benefits:

  • An average apple contains more dietary fibre than a bowl of oatmeal or most brands of cold cereal.
  • Eighty percent of the fibre in apples is soluble fibre, which may aid in the reduction of blood cholesterol levels.
  • Apples are packed with flavonoids such as quercetin, which may assist with reducing the risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, asthma, and type-2 diabetes.

Farming Fun:

  • Most apple varieties do not pollinate themselves or any flowers of the same apple variety; this requires planting at least two different apple tree varieties close to one another so that the bees can pollinate.
  • The result is that apple seeds share two different gene sets, half from the tree on which it grows and half from the tree from which the pollen came. If planted these seeds would produce apples of unknown variety – wild apples.
  • Farmers need a consistent variety of apple so they propagate their trees by grafting existing tree branches onto rootstock trees.

Fun Facts:

  • Eat an apple 15 minutes before your biggest meal. The apple is filled with fibre and water, which will make you feel satiated sooner. As a result, you will end up consuming fewer calories.
  • When making baked goods which call for the use of oil, substitute half the oil with applesauce. There will be fewer calories and no difference in taste.
  • An apple is 85% water.
  • During the California Gold Rush, apples sometimes fetched more than $100 a bushel because of their versatility, durability and capacity to be preserved by drying.
  • Ambrosia and Spartan apples are Canadian born varieties.

Living Loving Local Recipe:

Try this delicious local recipe that our chefs are featuring this month.