UNITED STATES—There is a reason I love Autumn. It’s not just that the weather cools down considerably, but it ushers in one of the most versatile fruits of the bunch: the apple. Yep, the good ole apple, it’s notorious for making appearances in the lunch box.

In my opinion, indulging in a variety of apples is key to discovering the variety of tastes that apples contain. Name me a person who is not a fan of apples? The popularity will grow even more in the next two months with cider in full production and apple orchard field trips likely for many who have children. I think perhaps one of the greatest things I love about apples compared to most fruits is their shelf life. Typically, fruits and veggies only last a couple of days, but apples last a bit longer.

This is the perfect treat to eat just plain or perhaps with some peanut butter, cream cheese or caramel dipping sauce. We are all familiar with the red apple, which is something most of us have in our fridge or fruit bowl, but a red apple is not at the top of my list. The variety of apples include Braeburn, Gala, Golden Delicious, Jazz, Pink Lady, Granny Smith, Fuji, McIntosh, Jonagold, to name a few. The important thing to understand about apples is that some are sweet and others are tart.  Perhaps one of the tartest apples of them all is the Granny Smith. While it may not be a fave for many to eat, this is the apple that stands up the best to baking if you ask me.

Sweeter apples like Gala and Jazz don’t hold as well under high heat. Many my be surprised to know that Granny Smith apples are the go to apple, when it comes to baking apple pies as they hold up the best. That doesn’t mean you can’t choose other apples to implement into the mix or in fact do a mix of a variety of apples to give the pie even more texture.

An apple is a nice addition to a salad; some of you might be familiar with the Waldorf salad that utilizes apples to a big degree. Other treats for apples include apple fritters, strudels, apple sauce, as well as chutneys.  On the nutrient side of things, apples are packed with more than 85 percent of water, not to mention a strong component of Vitamin C. Apples are also great sources of calcium and potassium.

I want to point out, what many of us consider to be ‘apple juice’ is not true apple juice, its concentrate. If you really want a tasty glass of apple juice, utilize a juicer to obtain all of the fresh ingredients and juiciness that an apple can offer to the body without the added sugars that so many of us consume on a daily basis.