Why I Only Eat Apples from August-January

Apple season begins in late July/early August in the northern hemisphere. and yet most people tell me that they didn’t know that apples had a “season”. We can thank the BigAg Industrial Complex for not knowing that, and spoiler alert – everything that grows (fruits, vegetables, seeds, & nuts) has a season.

Depending on when you are reading this, it’s likely that your apples are a year old.

When I was younger, I remember eating really mealy red delicious apples and deciding that I really don’t like apples. It wasn’t until the puzzle pieces clicked and I realized I just don’t like year old apples that you find at continental breakfasts and oftentimes at the grocery store.

Apple picking season begins in late July and ends in late November, depending on the variety and latitude.

From the USDA AgResearch Magazine:

“Pick an apple off the tree and it’ll last a few weeks before it starts to turn soft and rot. Store an entire harvest under controlled-atmosphere conditions and it’ll last up to 10 months, depending on variety.

To slow the proverbial sands of time, some fruit distributors treat their apple bins with a gaseous compound, 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP). It extends the fruits’ poststorage quality by blocking ethylene, a colorless gas that naturally regulates ripening and aging.”

Maybe the texture of apples doesn’t bother you, but the other problem with old apples is a lack of nutrients. Antioxidant levels decrease as apples age. According to Jo Robinson, in Eating on the Wild Side, “…you would have to eat two long-stored apples to get the same anticancer benefits as one freshly harvested apple”. 

So the next time you’re out shopping, I encourage you to consider the time of the year before buying apples.

xoxo, Katie

The 52 New Foods Challenge – Pomegranates

This is the FINAL post for The 52 New Foods Challenge! WOW! It has taken me MUCH longer that 52 weeks to blog about this, but hey, I stuck with it!!

Pomegranates are a fruit that I didn’t really eat until I was an adult. I loved buying the ready-to-go pomegranate seeds at Trader Joe’s! So easy! They are quite a fun snack, although they are a bit of work when you buy the whole fruit. I also enjoy adding pomegranates to salads. The seasonal Thanksgiving salad that I mentioned here, also had pomegranate seeds. Danielle Walker of Against All Grain adds them to a Brussels sprouts dish, which adds a delightful twist.

Jennifer Tyler Lee suggests making a sauce using pomegranates instead of cranberries or add them to a wild rice and pistachio dish. Both sound delicious!

Food Facts:

  • Pomegranates are thought to be the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, rather than apples.
  • They originate from Iran.
  • The red seeds are called arils.
  • Pomegranates are a good source of vitamins K, E,  and B6, and folate, potassium, manganese, and pantothenic acid.
  • Rich source of antioxidants, especially tannins and flavonoids.
  • Studies show that pomegranate juice can inhibit the growth of breast, prostate, colon, and lung cancers.
  • Pomegranates have been shown to be heart protective, as it can improve blood pressure and improve blood flow.


The 52 New Foods Challenge by Jennifer Tyler Lee and Superfoods by Tonia Reinhard.

The 52 New Foods Challenge – Apples

While Apples are pretty much a staple in most homes in North America, I imagine that there are many varieties that you have yet to try! My grandparents had an apple tree in their backyard and I grew making apple crumbles and apple pies with my grandma. Despite all those apples as a kid,  I did not really like raw apples until I was an adult. Green were too tart for me and red and yellow were always too mealy (I now know that’s because they were OLD – many months out of season). Americans are so used to getting all types of produce year round in super markets, but in reality, those foods are either stored in cold storage for many months, grown in a different climate and shipped in, or grown in a greenhouse.

As an adult, I have come to really like all kinds of pink apples: pink lady, fuji, gala, and honeycrisp. I also only eat apples during apple season and during the very early weeks of cold storage. In Northern California, apple season begins in mid-late July and generally lasts until October. Thus, I  only consume apples from July-December.

Besides eating apples with almond butter, my favorite thing to use apples for is apple pie, any surprises there??? Jennifer Tyler Lee recommends that folks make an apple galette, warm cinnamon apples, or apple chips.

Food Facts:

  • Wild apples have SIGNIFICANTLY more phytonutrients than our domesticated varieties – some wild varieties have up to 475 times more phytonutrients than certain domesticated varieties.
  • If you were to plant the five apple seeds from an apple, you would get FIVE different varieties from those new trees. Once a variety is identified, new trees are grown by grafting (a method that involves cutting off branches from a tree and attaching that branch to a less desirable tree that has been trimmed back). This is known as extreme heterozygosity.
  • Any apple that is less than two inches in diameter is considered a crabapple.
  • Most of our modern apples can be traced back to central Asia.
  • There were once 15,000 varieties of apples growing in the United States, now there 500 varieties.
  • Apples harvested at the end of apple season will store the longest – several months, as compared with apples harvested in the beginning of apple season – several weeks.
  • Apples store best in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator.
  • An apple with the peel contains 50% more nutrients than an apple without the peel.
  • Raw apples contain more nutrients than cooked apples.
  • Apples are a good source of vitamins C and K and potassium.
  • Good source of pectin and other fibers.
  • Rich source of flavonoids.


The 52 New Foods Challenge by Jennifer Tyler Lee, Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michael Murray, Joseph Pizzorno, and Lara Pizzorno, Superfoods by Tonia Reinhard, Eating on the Wild Side by Jo Robinson, and The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan


The 52 New Foods Challenge – Pears

The 52 New Foods Challenge Food of the Week: Pears

Jennifer Tyler Lee suggests making a pear sauce – like apple sauce or in a winter fruit salad (I made a similar one for Christmas). Mmmmm!

Food Facts: 

  • Pears ripen in late summer to mid fall, if you’re buying pears at any other time, they are either imported or have been in cold storage, like apples
  • Apples and pears are from the same food family and are very similar, except the flesh of pears contains stone cells, often called grits
  • Good source of vitamins C, E, B2, and K and potassium and copper
  • Good source of fiber
  • It is an anti inflammatory and it counters atherosclerosis, a common problem in cardiovascular disease
  • They are good for lowering cholesterol
  • Often recommended as a hypo-allergenic fruit because they are less likely to cause a reaction
  • Contains antioxidants called phenols
  • Antioxidants levels maintain even when cooked- this makes Jennifer Tyler Lee’s pear sauce an even better idea!

From The 52 New Foods Challenge: A Family Cooking Adventure for Each Week of the Year, with 150 Recipes by Jennifer Tyler Lee, Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michael Murray, Joseph Pizzorno, and Lara Pizzorno, and Superfoods: The Healthiest Foods on the Planet by Tonia Reinhard