An apple a day just may keep the doctor away, all right.

Apples are rich in antioxidant phytochemicals as well as fiber. Researchers think apples may help prevent cancer, stroke and heart disease when they are part of a low-fat, high-fiber plant-based diet.

While some varieties are available only in the fall, you’ll find others in the supermarket year round. What is the best variety to buy? It depends on what you are using them for!

  • Braeburn: As a snack or in a salad, this apple is crisp, sweet and tart.
  • Cameo: Sweet, tart and firm flesh makes it versatile.
  • Cortland: Sweet flavor makes it the perfect dessert apple.
  • Criterion: Juicy and sweet, this apple resists browning when cut, making it perfect for salads and fruit plates.
  • Empire: Bake it, toss it in a salad or eat as a snack.
  • Fuji: Sweet and crisp, makes good applesauce or snack.
  • Gala: A crisp, sweet snack or addition to salad.
  • Golden Delicious: Sweet taste. Good for just about every use, including baking, pies, applesauce, salads, snacks and fruit plates.
  • Ida Red: Large, tangy and tart. Great in applesauce, pies and baking.
  • Jonagold: Tangy-sweet taste is good for cooking as well as munching out of hand.
  • Jonathan: Spicy tang makes it good as a snack, in a pie, or for applesauce.
  • McIntosh: Slightly tart and juicy with a smooth texture that is good raw or cooked. Bruises easily.
  • Newtown-Pippin: A tangy tasting apple for pies or applesauce.
  • Pink Lady: Salads, pies and applesauce shine with this sweet, tart, crisp and firm variety.
  • Red Delicious: Crisp, juicy and sweet — a favorite for snacking and in salads. But beware — it doesn’t cook well.
  • Rome Beauty: Firm flesh and sweet taste — a good baking apple.
  • Winesap: Mildly tart and juicy, good for all uses. Spicy, too — a great choice for cider.
  • York: Holds its shape well when baked. Yellow, moderately juicy flesh.

Source: www.foodandhealth.com.

For more apple information and apple recipes, go to www.foodandhealth.com and type “apple” in the search bar.

For more information on nutrition, food safety, health, or family and child development, contact the Marais des Cygnes Extension District in Paola at (913) 294-4306 or Mound City at (913) 795-2829) or write to fmeastwo@ksu.edu.

Editor and Publisher Brian McCauley can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or brian.mccauley@miconews.com.

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