Fruit of the Week: Apple

– The apple is a sweet, crunchy fruit that grows in many different colours (red, green, yellow, pink, russet or even bi- and tri-coloured) and varieties
– More than 7500 apple cultivars exist around the world!
– The primary ancestor of today’s domesticated apple originated in Central Asia
– Apples and apple seeds from Europe were brought to North America by colonisers in the 1600s
– Crab apples grew in North America prior to colonisation and are still used in Indigenous foods such as jellies
– Apples are ready to be harvested by late summer and into the fall season
– Apples come in a wide variety of sizes, but commercial growers today generally aim to produce fruit that are 7.0 – 8.3 cm in diameter
– Cultivated apple trees grow to stand between 6 – 15 feet tall because they are grafted to a dwarfing rootstock
– Wild apple trees can grow as tall as 39 feet
– Commercial apples are propagated through grafting rather than from seed
– Apple trees grown from seed would likely produce an apple too sour to be eaten raw, but which could still be used in cooking
– Apples can be bred for a variety of purposes based taste and usage, such as eating raw, cooking, producing apple cider or fermented to produce alcoholic cider
– Large scale commercial apple industry began in Washington State during 1900s following land irrigation projects
– The shores of Lakes Ontario, Erie, Huron and the Georgian Bay are Ontario’s hotspots for apple production
– 10% of Ontario’s apples are exported while the rest are sold in Ontario as fresh apples or processing for juice, apple sauce etc.
– Three quarters of Ontario fresh apple production is distributed through grocery stores and the rest through farmer’s markets, roadside stands and pick-your-own operations
– The number of imported apples distributed in Ontario grocery stores has increased significantly over the last decade
– Today, China, the United States and Turkey are the top three apple producers in the world

Cinnamon Apple Oat Cakes

Cinnamon Apple Oat Cakes
Makes 12 servings

– 3 cups old-fashioned oats
– 1/4 cup brown sugar
– 2 teaspoons baking powder
– 1 teaspoon cinnamon
– 3/4 teaspoon salt
– 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
– 1/2 cup applesauce
– 1/2 cup plain yogurt
– 1/2 cup nonfat milk
– 1/4 cup canola oil
– 1 teaspoon vanilla
– 2 eggs
– 2 medium apples, peeled, cored, and finely chopped, about 2 cups
– Heavy cream, whipped or plain

1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
2. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan.
3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
4. In a second mixing bowl, whisk together the applesauce, yogurt, milk, oil, vanilla, and eggs.
5. Pour the wet ingredients onto the dry, and add the apples.
6. Fold gently to combine.
7. Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin pan.
8. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden.
9. To freeze, store the baked and cooled cakes in an airtight container in the freezer. Thaw completely overnight and reheat in the microwave or hot oven.


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