Did you know that there are over 7,500 different apple varieties worldwide? Even more impressive is the fact that America on its own is a proud producer of about ⅓ of all apple varieties on this planet! (This apple factoid may better explain the phrase “American as apple pie!”)
Popular Apple Varieties
The next time you are in the produce section in the grocery store, take a moment to compare the various apples from which you can choose and then scan over the other fruits. The plain truth is that no other fruit boasts as many varieties as does the apple fruit. Fortunately, as you try to choose the best or more desired apple for your current shopping trip you can thank your grocer for eliminating over 99.9% of all the apple varieties available for consumption; that would still leave 7 different varieties for selection. (If you find over 7 apple varieties in a grocery store you should be impressed!)
So what are the most popular apples that you would likely find in a grocery store?
Here are 10 of the more common apple varieties grocery stores carry:
- Ambrosia – pink-tinged, orange/red flush over yellow skin; crisp, juicy, slight honey flavor
- Braeburn – skin has red/orange vertical streaks; crisp, juicy, sweet/tart flavor with an aromatic aftertaste
- Fuji* – skin displays a reddish hue over yellow background; crisp, juicy, sweet flavor
- Gala* – skin has an orange background with red mottles or stripes; crisp, sweet/tart flavor
- Golden Delicious – yellow-hued skin; firm, crisp, honeyed sweet/tart flavor
- Granny Smith – green-hued skin; juicy, crunchy, tart flavor
- Honeycrisp – yellow/red/pink-hued skin; crisp, light, airy, syrupy sweet/tart flavor
- McIntosh – red/green skin; tender, juicy, tart flavor
- Pink Lady – reddish/pink-blush skin; crisp, juicy, tart flavor with a sweet aftertaste
- Red Delicious* – bright-red skin; tender, mildly sweet flavor
* Not recommended for baking
As you can see, most of the above-listed apples not only taste great fresh but are also great for baking! While Granny Smith remains a popular baking favorite, consider a more unusual variety or even a couple of varieties mixed together for this recipe.
(As a rule of thumb, avoid apple varieties with higher juice content for baking; as they cook, they lose their firmness and fall apart so you end up with “apple soup” instead of baked apples.)
APPLE LOVER TIP: If your grocery store happens to display a variety not listed above, our advice is to grab it so you can experience a new apple flavor!
Will an apple a day keep the doctor away?
There is no doubt that apples carry health benefits (as do most fruits) but it’s helpful to know precisely how incorporating apples into your diet can help to improve and maintain good health. According to Healthline, apples are the number 1 fruit for healthy lifestyles but let’s review the many reasons why it ranks at the top of the list of healthy fruits.
A medium-sized apple weighing about 6.4 ounces (about 3” in diameter) is equal to 1½ cups, nearly the two cups of fruit you should consume daily. And since you need fruit, apples may be one of the top choices for good health, considering that same 6.4-ounce apple also contains:
- Calories: 95
- Carbs: 25 grams
- Fiber: 4 grams
- Vitamin C: 14% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
- Potassium: 6% of the RDI
- Vitamin K: 5% of the RDI
- Polyphenols: natural micronutrients found in plants
Not only are apples delicious and nutritious but there are also other important health benefits you can find in them, such as:
- Bone Health – while all fruits are great for maintaining higher bone density, apples seems to shine in this particular wellness area
- Brain Health – both apple juice and apple peels help support and maintain the neurotransmitters we use for memory
- Cancer Prevention – several studies have discovered links between plant compounds in apples and a reduced risk of cancer
- Combat Asthma – since apples are rich in antioxidants, it makes sense that they can protect the lungs from oxidative damage; oxidative stress is a key symptom of asthma
- Good Gut Bacteria – the pectin in apples is a fiber that functions as a prebiotic, thus feeding good bacteria to your gut (and may protect against obesity and heart disease)
- Heart Health – the soluble fiber in apples can lower cholesterol while the polyphenols can lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of strokes
- NSAID Protection – nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are painkillers known to injure stomach linings; apples can protect that lining from such damage
- Reduced Diabetes Risk – one study indicates that an apple a day may keep diabetes away; this is likely due to the polyphenol antioxidant content in apples
- Weight Loss – the high fiber and water content in apples are qualities that make one feel full; having apple slices with meals may reduce the total amount consumed at meals
After knowing this, we may want to change that famous saying to accurately declare that “An apple a day keeps the illnesses away!”
Speaking of sayings…
We have already dropped “American as apple pie” and “an apple a day will keep the doctor away” as classic “apple phraseology” but that barely scratches the vast surface of apple lore. We can begin with the Biblical tale of Adam and Eve (which had to have been written by a male since the female takes the rap!); although the forbidden fruit is never properly identified, most people imagine it to be the apple.
We also have the classic apple polisher which evolved from another apple tradition: bringing an apple to the schoolteacher.
Originally, back in the mid-15th century, teachers were invited to the homes of their students and treated to dinner to express gratitude and appreciation for their knowledge and dedication to their students.
As with all too many customs, this more elaborate and generous method of giving thanks to schoolteachers was gradually whittled down to the practice of bringing a highly polished apple to school for the teacher to eat. Nowadays, an apple polisher is usually considered to be a groveling person with little self-respect seeking favors from influential superiors.
Finally, let’s not overlook a few of the many “apple” sayings (one of which doesn’t even include the word “apple” but still conjures up an image of the red fruit), including:
- “A” is for Apple – when we are learning our alphabet, “apple” is used to describe the very first letter
- Comparing apples and oranges – a common phrase describing the difficulty of differentiating between two unalike items
- Don’t upset the apple cart – originally an early Roman saying (“I upset my wagon!”), it meant everything was spoiled; “wagon” was changed to “apple cart” in the 1700s
- One rotten apple spoils the whole barrel – originated in Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales (circa 1400) as “A rotten apple’s better thrown away before it spoils the barrel”
- Rotten to the core – nothing is nastier than taking a big bite out of an apple that is rotten to the core; now it refers to a very bad or dishonest person
- A bad apple – also stemming from “rotten to the core,” Ben Franklin wrote in 1736, “the rotten apple spoils his companion”
- Apple of my eye – this saying goes back as far as the Bible (with four separate references to “apple of the eye”); it originally referred to the pupil or entire eye
- The apple never falls far from the tree – used in English since the 1700s, it likely evolved from a circa 1500 German phrase (“The apple does not like to fall far from the tree”); it refers to children acting or looking like their parents
- The Big Apple – refers to one of the most famous cities in the world: New York City; it was penned by a sportswriter from the 1920s, John J. Fitz Gerald, when he described horse racing in the “Big Apple”
By the way, of all fruits apples are the ones most likely to spread their rot, making the “bad apple” sayings sourced in fact. As a fruit ripens, it emits the gas ethylene; if one fruit ripens faster than the rest in a barrel or basket, that ethylene gets more concentrated and helps other fruit to speed up its ripening process.
So, yes, one rotten apple can ruin an entire bushel of apples.
However, enough of bad apples and let’s instead discover what a wonderful treat you can make with good apples!
Cannabinoid-Enriched Apple Crisp
This time around, we will offer you some suggestions for how to enrich your apple crisp dessert with cannabinoids but will let you decide what you want to add. As you review the ingredients, any item marked with an asterisk (*) is tagged as an excellent candidate for including the cannabinoid(s) of your choice.
If you prefer explicit instructions, don’t worry! Just follow some or all of the suggestions we provide and you will end up with a delicious dessert that will please more than your tongue and tummy once the infused cannabinoids get a chance to go to work.
- 8 medium or 6 large apples (about 2 pounds), peeled and cubed
- APPLE COATING
- ½ cup brown sugar
- *½ cup pecans
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- CRISPY TOPPING
- *1 cup flour
- 1½ cups rolled oats
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- *¾ cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*Pecans, flour, and coconut oil are three outstanding ingredients for cannabinoid enhancement. Conveniently, we already have blog posts that explain how you can infuse cannabinoids into these three ingredients, as follows:
- Pecans – add Micronized Delta 8 (Delta 8 Candied Pecans)
- Flour – add kief to flour (Empower Your Flower)
- Coconut Oil – add CBD (Sous Vide: CBD-Infusion Made Simpler)
Remember, these are only suggestions; you are in control of the final result!
- Peel and cube each apple, stirring the cut pieces into a mixing bowl containing the Apple Coating ingredients (brown sugar, pecans, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, lemon juice, and vanilla extract). Thoroughly toss the apple cubes so that they are fully coated. As you add each newly cubed apple, the dried mix will continue to be absorbed by the freshly cut apple cubes. (By the time you peel and cube the final apple, there should be just enough Apple Coating remaining to cover every apple cube with a glaze of sweet and spiced flavoring.)
- Transfer the coated apples to a greased 9×13 dish and spread evenly.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Prepare the Crispy Topping. Add the flour, rolled oats, brown sugar, and cinnamon to the mixing bowl and combine thoroughly. Then stir in the melted coconut oil and vanilla extract until all dry ingredients are moist and crumbly.
- Spoon the Crispy Topping over the apple layer, spreading it across the top with the spoon to make an even thickness.
- Place into the oven and bake for 50 minutes until the top is nicely golden brown and the coated apples are bubbling.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.
You can expect to get 16 hearty servings from this recipe.
When covered, this dessert will stay fresh in your fridge for at least a week. You can spoon out the portion you desire, pop it into the microwave and heat it for 30 seconds, and then add more ice cream or whipped cream. Rest assured, it tastes better than when it was first baked thanks to all the wonderful flavors which continue to merge into one awesome taste sensation.
And don’t forget about the fabulous cannabinoids you included in your recipe to jazz it up even more! (Our next section will help you figure out how many cannabinoids made it into your recipe.)
- Vegan vanilla ice cream
- Vegan whipped cream
Calculating Cannabinoid Potencies
Finally, let’s walk through the potency calculations. We will assume that you used the portions recommended for each of the cannabinoid-infused ingredients (pecans, flour, and coconut oil) but remember that once you know how to calculate potency you can create this dessert with the cannabinoids and strength you desire.
Micronized Delta 8 Candied Pecan
In this recipe, our calculations determined that a 0.3-gram infusion of Micronized Delta 8 would result in about 60mg of Delta 8 THC per cup. Since we recommend ½ cup of candied pecans, there will be 30mg of Delta 8 THC in the pecans added to this recipe.
Our usual recommendation when adding kief to flour is a 1 to 3 ratio. Since this recipe calls for 1 cup of flour, all you need to do is to mix ¾ cup of flour with ¼ cup of kief to create kief flour!
As the article further illustrates, determining the amount of CBD (or CBG) contained in your kief flour is pretty simple. Here is a three-step example for determining a kief strain containing 15% CBD:
- A ¼ cup of kief weighs about ¼ ounce (7 grams)
- There are 1000mg per gram, so there are 7000mg of kief in your flour
- If your kief potency is 15%, then there are 1,050mg of CBD in your flour (7000*.15)
If your kief has a different potency percentage, just multiply it by 7000 to determine the CBD (or CBG) in your flour.
CBD-Infused Coconut Oil
It’s no secret that coconut oil is a popular and effective carrier for delivering cannabinoids to your cannabinoid system. It is also a healthy oil in its own right, making it an excellent substitute for butter or other less-healthy cooking oils.
This recipe calls for ¾ cup of coconut oil to make the Crispy Topping. If you use the example in our article, you would end up with about 1020mg of CBD (or CBG) in your oil.
Cannabinoid Content Summary
Finally, let’s break down the cannabinoids by the serving.
Just for fun, let’s assume that you selected a CBG kief product for the flour; this means you will end up with a dessert containing Delta 8 THC, CBD, and CBG. When you talk about a well-rounded dessert that pleases the palate while offering wellness benefits for the mind and body, this one is hard to beat!
Since there are 16 servings in this recipe, we can pull out our calculator and quickly determine the content of each cannabinoid type included in this dessert.
- Delta 8 THC Pecan – we estimated a total of 30mg of Delta 8 THC; each serving would contain 1.875mg of Delta 8 THC
- CBG Kief-Flour – we estimated a total of 1050mg of CBG; each serving would contain 65.625mg of CBG
- CBD Coconut Oil – we estimated a total of 1020mg of CBD; each serving would contain 63.75mg of CBD
This particular combination brings you a dessert with a modest dose of Delta 8 THC along with healthy doses of both CBD and CBG.
If you want higher or lower dosages of any of these cannabinoids, just review this recipe to get the starting quantities of the various cannabinoids used. Then add more or less of each cannabinoid type to meet your preferences and you are off and running with a dessert perfectly tailored to your specific wellness needs!