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Fall has officially arrived! Football is heating up, the weather is cooling down, and the leaves will be changing soon. That means apple picking season has begun. And nothing quite captures the essence of fall like biting into a fresh, crisp apple. So let’s get into the fall spirit by celebrating this beloved fruit.

Did you know there are more than 7,500 varieties of apples? You could eat a different kind of apple every day for 20 years and still not try them all! But even if you have just one favorite, you’re doing yourself a favor every time you eat it. That’s because apples are nutritious. They are loaded with fiber, potassium, and antioxidants. But don’t peel the skin. Lots of those healthy nutrients are found there.

Apples may also help you manage your weight. A medium size apple has only 80 calories and no fat or cholesterol. And the fiber in apples helps you feel full longer. One study found that people who ate an apple 15 minutes before a meal ate 15% less of their food.

There are lots of ways to enjoy apples and their benefits:

  • Bring an apple to work or school. You can’t find an easier snack. Slice it up or eat it as is. Just remember to leave the peel on.
  • Bake an apple for dessert. Remove the core and slice the apple into eighths. Preheat your oven to 350° and bake the apple for 15 to 20 minutes. Add a dash of cinnamon to spice it up.
  • Put an apple in your salad. Use diced apple and a few walnuts instead of croutons on top of your salad for a healthy crunch. Or put some tart green apples in your coleslaw or chicken salad.
  • Add apples to meat dishes. Apple slices are one of the secret ingredients to a great slow roasted rack of ribs or pork chops.

Apples can sweeten your world whether you’re watching your weight or just looking for a healthy snack. So why not celebrate fall with a trip to a nearby orchard for some apple picking? Bring your friends and family and make a day of it. Then enjoy your fresh apples for the next few weeks.